Elena Ferrante’s New York Times bestselling masterpiece, My Brilliant Friend, book one of her Neapolitan Quartet, is now an extraordinary, visually vibrant graphic novel, with text adapted by Chiara Lagani, and illustrations by Mara Cerri.
HBO’s four-season TV adaptation of My Brilliant Friend has enjoyed success with critics and viewers in the U.S.; the novel has been adapted for the stage and radio plays. Here, for the first time, it is brought to vivid life as a graphic novel by one of Italy’s most beloved illustrators.
For Ferrante fans, for those new to Ferrante, for readers of graphic novels, Chiara Lagani’s and Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend: the graphic novel is a thrilling new adaptation of one of the best loved novels of recent decades. Translated by Ferrante’s long-time translator, Ann Goldstein, the graphic novel tells the enduring story of the complex friendship between Lila and Lenù in post-war Naples.
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. The adaptation of Ferrante’s most recent novel, The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020), debuted on Netflix in 2023.
Born in Ravenna, Italy, Chiara Lagani is an actor, playwright, and translator. Many of her adaptations have been staged by Fanny & Alexander, a repertory company based in Ravenna, among which an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada and “Story of a Friendship,” based on the Neapolitan quartet by Elena Ferrante.
Mara Cerri’s illustrations have appeared in the Washington Post, Columbia University Magazine, Galison, Guideposts, and many Italian publications including il Manifesto and Internazionale. She created the animations for Giacomo Durzi’s documentary, Ferrante Fever, and illustrated Elena Ferrante’s tale, The Beach at Night. She is the author and illustrator of many books. She was born in Pesaro, Italy.