The Intensive Course

By Anna Parsifal

How do you tell a friendly gesture from an intimate one?

While on vacation with her closeted girlfriend, Anna falls for another woman, her Italian teacher. They begin a confusingly intimate friendship.

One year later, Anna leaves behind the sociocultural limits of her homeland to find out once and for all if she can win the heart of the mysterious Italian beauty. She returns to Perugia for another intensive course: both in the Italian language and the exquisite agony of ambiguous female bonds.

An autobiographical novel in the tradition of Audre Lorde and Jeanette Winterson, The Intensive Course is a story of claiming self and desire amid multiple taboos. For those who came of age between Stonewall and Love is Love, for anyone learning to be themselves in a religious culture that wants to erase them, for anyone who has wondered what happens to love unfulfilled.

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