The Audio Book Club Makes a Brilliant Friend
Slate critics debate the first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.
Jan. 9 2015 9:29 AM
By David Haglund, Parul Sehgal, and Katy Waldman
This month, David Haglund, Katy Waldman, and New York Times Book Review editor Parul Sehgal discuss My Brilliant Friend, the first of reclusive writer Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels about the difficult, lifelong enmeshment of two working-class Italian women. Are Lila and Elena typical girlhood frenemies? What makes Lila, as she is drawn in Elena’s hand, so captivating? Why do so many critics overlook the question of class in these books? And who IS Ferrante, anyway?
The Audio Book Club (perhaps) has answers.
David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.
Parul Sehgal is an editor at the New York Times Book Review.
Katy Waldman is Slate’s words correspondent.