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Michele Zackeim of SVA's Summer Reading Friday Picks: "They are eloquent and painfully honest books, following two friends from a poor Naples neighborhood."

Date: Aug 28 2015

Like Jane Gardam, Elena Ferrante has written a series, called her Neapolitan novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of The Lost Child, which will be the fourth and final volume, to be published in September. They are eloquent and painfully honest books, following two friends from a poor Naples neighborhood. But, Ferrante isn’t Ferrante. No one knows her real name. It’s probably best that she’s a mystery, for her stories are intensely personal and could be nothing but autobiographical in nature. “I’m no longer dependent on the movement of others, only on my own,” she said in a rare interview. By giving up fame, she has accomplished autonomy. She told her publisher that she had done enough; she wrote the books.