Joseph Gangemi biography

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Joseph Gangemi

Joseph Gangemi

Joseph Gangemi Biography

Joseph Gangemi was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1970. An early love of science fiction took him to the Clarion Writers Workshop in 1986, where he was the youngest attendee in the workshop's history. Shortly thereafter he made his first professional sale, publishing a short story in the speculative fiction anthology Full Spectrum II.

Gangemi graduated from Swarthmore, a small Quaker liberal arts college outside Philadelphia, with a degree in psychology. His friend Jon Cohen, a Swarthmore native and novelist, approached him about collaborating on a screenplay. The partnership produced "Crossover", a thriller about a team of vampire heart surgeons, which was subsequently optioned by Interscope Films. Several solo screenplays followed, resulting eventually in the 1997 spec sale of "Black Ice" to New Line Cinema. Now screenwriting full-time, Gangemi worked on open writing for Warner Brothers. The film "Wind Chill", for which he wrote the screenplay, was released in 2007.

His other screenplays include "Stonehearst Asylum" (2014), and "Go with Me" (2015).

Gangemi's ongoing interest in unexplored footnotes in history has lead to him writing -- over ten intense months of 2002 -- his first novel. Inamorata was published in 2004. Set in 1920s Philadelphia, and featuring a cast of skeptical graduate students, morphine addicts, beguiling spirit-mediums, sadistic gynecologists, peg-legged Filipino butlers, and a talkative ghost (who bites), Inamorata takes place only a few blocks from the Rittenhouse Square home where he previously lived.

He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife and children.



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Interview

Joseph Gangemi discusses the story behind his first book, Inamorata, set in 1922 Philadelphia when spiritualism and in particular parlor séances were the fashion and Scientific American offered $5,000 for conclusive evidence of psychic manifestations.

"A few years ago, while browsing in the gift shop of Philadelphia's White Dog Café, I came across Peter Washington's book MADAME BLAVATSKY'S BABOON: A HISTORY OF THE MYSTICS, MEDIUMS, AND MISFITS WHO BROUGHT SPIRITUALISM TO AMERICA (Schocken, 1993). What was one of the city's premiere restaurants doing selling books on the occult? Turns out the White Dog occupies an old row house that was home at one time to the colorful Madame Blavatsky (1831 - 1891)... Russian emigré, rumored spy, and founder of the occult religion Theosophy.

As a fan of obscure history I bought the book, and over the next few days delighted in Washington's cast of colorful Victorian oddballs. I had recently sold an original screenplay set at the turn of the century, and I was casting about, in the daydreamy, directionless way I do between projects, for good topics for a follow-up period piece. I began toying with the idea of a fictionalized retelling of the life of 20th Century occult guru Krisnamurti, and was just starting to dig a little deeper into the history of Spiritualism when I came across a footnote that stopped me in my tracks.

Apparently, surprisingly, parlor séances -- which I'd always dismissed...

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Books by this Author

Books by Joseph Gangemi at BookBrowse
Inamorata jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Joseph Gangemi but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Julian Barnes

    Julian Barnes

    Julian Barnes was born in Leicester, England on January 19, 1946. He was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964 and at Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated in modern languages (with honors) in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Inamorata

    Try:
    Arthur & George
    by Julian Barnes

  • Ian Caldwell

    Ian Caldwell

    Ian Caldwell attended Princeton University, where he studied history. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998. He began writing The Rule of Four with his best friend, Dustin Thomason, after graduation. His second book, The Fifth ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Inamorata

    Try:
    The Rule of Four
    by Ian Caldwell

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