In Profane Friendship, Harold Brodkey tells an odd and strangely beautiful Venetian love story, sounding its depths with the suppleness and virtuosity of style that in recent years have won him worldwide admiration as a uniquely gifted American writer. Growing up in Venice in the 1930s, Niles O'Hara, the son of an expatriate American novelist, loves a Venetian boy named Giangiacomo Gallieni, fondly known as Onni. After the Second World War, Niles and his mother return to Venice, and he becomes involved in a complex on-again, off-again affair with his childhood friend, now an adolescent with a wartime history of sexual trespass. Profane Friendship is a remarkable depiction of an intense and enduring relationship conducted in the triumphantly alluring setting of the world's most beautiful city. Searching, comic, romantic, and ironic. Harold Brodkey's novel is at once the most sumptuous modern evocation of Venice and a truly singular exploration of human emotion and passion. Growing up in Venice in the 1930s, Niles O'Hara, the son of an expatriate writer, befriends a Venetian boy. 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.