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Growing up in Venice in the 1930's, Niles O'Hara, the son of an expatriate writer, befriends a Venetian boy, Giangiacomo Gallieni. After the war, Niles and his family return, and he becomes involved in a kind of semi-affair with his childhood friend, who is now an adolescent with a wartime history of sexual trespass. Searching, comic, romantic, and ironic, Profane Friendship is a remarkable study of a strange, provocative, powerful relationship conducted in the matchlessly human-scaled, triumphantly beautiful setting of the ...

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