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How We Spend Our Days: “Not only do they provide an intimately written description of a female friendship, clear as life, but together they form a female Künstlerroman, a woman’s story of coming of age as an artist in a male-dominated world..."

Date: Aug 1 2015

I’m currently wild for Elena Ferrante, and recently I’ve read the first two books, My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name, in her Neapolitan tetralogy. I’ve been recommending them to everyone, especially my own brilliant women friends. Not only do they provide an intimately written description of a female friendship, clear as life, but together they form a female Künstlerroman, a woman’s story of coming of age as an artist in a male-dominated world, and we still don’t have enough of those. I actually don’t remember how I chose it. I think I was impressed by Ferrante’s reclusiveness and refusal to engage social media and so on, and also the fact that critics like Charles Finch, whose taste I trust, had been recommending her.