He is the author of nine novels, most recently, Cloudland (St. Martin's Press, 2012). His first novel, Clara's Heart, won the Times/Jonathan Cape Young Writers' Competition and went on to be made into a feature film starring Whoopi Goldberg in 1988. In addition to his novels, he has written extensively for newspapers and magazines, including San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Times, The Observer, The Independent, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Observer, Harper's Bazaar, People Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly. Between 1992 and 1994 he was a regular book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal. For most of the 1990s he was a professor of Creative Writing at New York University, where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses. He is currently Executive Editor of Delphinium Books (distributed by Harpercollins).
Joseph Olshan is published in the U.S. by St. Martin's Press and Berkley Books and in United Kingdom by Bloomsbury Publishing and by Arcadia Books. His work has been translated into sixteen languages. He grew up in Harrison, New York, and New York City and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Olshan is openly gay. He is not considered a gay literature writer but he prefers to be simply a "writer".
The Conversion by Joseph Olshan
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (June 23, 2009)
Amazon: The Conversion
Amazon Kindle: The Conversion
Russell Todaro, a young American translator, moves to Paris to take stock of his life and goals only to further lose himself in the surprising twists fate has in store for him. One night, two men waving guns and knives break and enter their Paris hotel room, terrorizing Russell and his much older companion, a famous American poet named Edward Cannon. The intruders, not finding what they seemingly expected, leave without further incident but the baffling, traumatic events overwhelm Cannon who dies in his sleep later that night. Now Russell is left to ponder the meaning of the attack, what to do with the poet’s unfinished, problematic memoir and, perhaps most importantly, how to reconstruct and move forward with his own life.
Hearing of the disturbing circumstances of Cannon’s death, an Italian writer, Marina Vezzoli, invites Russell to recuperate at her villa in Tuscany. But what at first seems like a generous invitation slowly reveals itself to be a calculated offer. As Russell’s stay in Italy lengthens, he begins to realize that the people in his life are using or manipulating him, most of all the poet’s New York publishers who, against the dying man’s wishes, are trying to acquire his unfinished manuscript. Looming over everything is the long and fascinating legacy of Villa Guidi, where during Word War II a Jewish family hid in the subterranean floors, later undergoing a conversion to Catholicism. In an echo of this dramatic history, Russell is forced to undergo a conversion of his own in order to find redemption and meaning in his life.
More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4291628.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.