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Mona Simpson at Refinery 29: "She's a Neapolitan Alice Munro."

Date: Aug 7 2014

I've just read Elena Ferrante's novel My Brilliant Friend, which is about two girls in an impoverished neighborhood of Naples, trying to climb out of the cycles of brutality (all their fathers beat and bruise their mothers) by becoming great students. There's a fairy-tale quality to the premise itself: Emerge from violence and squalor by memorizing Latin declensions. With her combination of granular, raw detail and her instinct for extracting stories, she's a Neapolitan Alice Munro. I'm now reading everything else that's been translated into English.

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