In these four crisp essays, Ferrante offers a rare look into the origins of her literary prowess. She describes her influences, her struggles, and her formation as both a reader and a writer; she warns against the perils of “bad language” and the ways in which it has long excluded women’s truth; she proposes a choral fusion of feminine talent as she brilliantly discourses on the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Ingeborg Bachmann, and many others.
An “incandescent…philosophical monograph on the nature of writing,” (Molly Young, New York Times) this candid collection by one of the great novelists of our time is destined to delight general readers, writers, and Ferrante fans in equal measure.
“Everyone should read everything with Elena Ferrante’s name on it.”—The Boston Globe
Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), now a film directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, and Jessie Buckley. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini; Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016); and a children’s picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016). The four volumes known as the “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) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018 and is in its third season. Ferrante’s most recent novel is the instant New York Times bestseller, The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020).