"Schrefer masterfully portrays Léon’s inner world, full of self-doubt and desperation (alongside dreamy moments at the piano), within a suspenseful story of high personal stakes. Can Léon have both musical success and a genuine life?"
- Booklist (*STARRED REVIEW*)
"With these details and Delafosse’s and Proust’s letters as research material, the author creates an intimate, sensitive, gay coming-of-age story. Each description paints a sensual image of Léon’s world, from the rural idyll of his childhood home to his cramped Parisian apartment and Robert’s sumptuous town house. Knowledge of the era is not necessary to enjoy Léon’s story, but readers who do have that context will find even more to appreciate... Beautifully realized and a pleasure to read."
- Kirkus (*STARRED REVIEW*)
"Schrefer’s Léon Delafosse, who is based on the real French pianist of the same name, is not only likable, but sensitive and resilient, and his perseverance amid dramatic ups and downs on his path toward happiness is engaging."
- Publishers Weekly
Charming Young Man
“Charming Young Man is a gorgeous exploration of artistic talent and envy, wealth and power, art and desire wrapped up in a delicious, page-turner of a plot. I absolutely loved it.”
-Nina LaCour, author of Michael L. Printz Award–winner We Are Okay
"Famed historical figures and glittering parties are aplenty, but most endearing is the novel's immense empathy for its characters as they navigate the impossibility of queerness in high society spaces."
- Entertainment Weekly ("The 41 new fall books we're most excited to read")
A Junior Library Guild "Gold Standard" Selection
From New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer comes an exuberant YA historical coming-of-age novel about a rising star French pianist, navigating his way into high society as he explores his sexuality. Perfect for fans of Last Night at the Telegraph Club and The Gentleman’s Gide to Vice and Virtue.
They say Léon Delafosse will be France’s next great pianist. But despite his being the youngest student ever accepted into the prestigious Paris Conservatory, there’s no way an impoverished musician can make his way in 1890s Paris without an outside patron.
Young gossip columnist Marcel Proust takes Léon under his wing, and the boys game their way through an extravagant new world. When the larger-than-life Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fézensac offers his patronage, Léon’s dreams are made real. But the closer he gets to becoming France’s next great thing, the further he strays from his old country life he shared with his family and his best friend Félix . . . a boy he might love.
With each choice Léon makes, he must navigate a fine line between two worlds—or risk losing them both.
On sale: October 10, 2023
dazzling, big-hearted... as riveting as the action is, it's the nuanced portraits of the characters, human and ape, that make the story so affecting.
New York Times Editors' Choice review of Endangered
"One of the most fun books I have ever read!"
Trevor Noah on Queer Ducks (and Other Animals)