Book Four in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet “Nothing quite like this has ever been published before,” proclaimed The Guardian newspaper about the Neapolitan Novels in 2014. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book in the series, was an international best seller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Its author was dubbed “one of the great novelists of our time” by the New York Times Book Review. This fourth and final installment in the series raises the bar even higher and indeed confirms Elena Ferrante as one of the world’s best living storytellers. Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, both are adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet somehow this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable! Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, this story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty. Lila and Elena clash, drift apart, reconcile, and clash again, in the process revealing new facets of their friendship. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and, like Elena and Lila themselves, every return will bring with it new discoveries.
Author: Elena Ferrante
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: 2015-09-01
The Story of the Lost Child is the long-awaited fourth volume in the Neapolitan novels (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay). The quartet traces the friendship between Elena and Lila, from their childhood in a poor neighbourhood in Naples, to their thirties, when both women are mothers but each has chosen a different path. Their lives are still inextricably linked, for better or worse, especially when it comes to the drama of a lost child. Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of 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. Frantugmalia, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in 2016. She is one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors. Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante’s work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Prize. Praise for Ferrante and the Neapolitan novels ‘[Ferrante’s] charting of the rivalries and sheer inscrutability of female friendship is raw. This is high stakes, subversive literature.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Ferrante is an expert above all at the rhythm of plotting...Whether it’s work, family, friends or sex–and Ferrante, perhaps thanks to her anonymity as an author, is blisteringly good on bad sex–our greatest mistakes in life aren’t isolated acts; we rehearse them over and over until we get them as badly wrong as we can.’ Independent ‘Great novels are intelligent far beyond the powers of any character or writer or individual reader, as are great friendships, in their way. These wonderful books sit at the heart of that mystery, with the warmth and power of both.’ Harper’s ‘Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time. Her voice is passionate, her view sweeping and her gaze basilisk...In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now—one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.’ New York Times Sunday Book Review ‘When I read [the Neapolitan novels] I find that I never want to stop. I feel vexed by the obstacles—my job, or acquaintances on the subway—that threaten to keep me apart from the books. I mourn separations (a year until the next one—how?). I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going.’ New Yorker ‘The best thing I’ve read this year, far and away...She puts most other writing at the moment in the shade. She’s marvellous.’ Richard Flanagan ‘The Neapolitan series stands as a testament to the ability of great literature to challenge, flummox, enrage and excite as it entertains.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘The depth of perception Ms. Ferrante shows about her character’s conflicts and psychological states is astonishing...Her novels ring so true and are written with such empathy that they sound confessional.’ Wall Street Journal ‘The older you get, the harder it is to recapture the intoxicating sense of discovery that comes when you first read George Eliot, Nabokov, Tolstoy or Colette. But this year it came again when I read Elena Ferrante’s remarkable Neapolitan novels.’ Jane Shilling, New Statesman ‘There is nothing remotely tiring or trying about the experience of reading the Neapolitan novels, which I, and a great many others, now rank among our greatest book-related pleasures...it is writing that holds honesty dear.’ Weekend Australian ‘Dickens gave working people a voice. Ferrante, whoever she might be, presents a new paradigm for being female in the world...Ferrante’s great literary creations, Lenu and Lila, have the same emotional weight as Anne in Persuasion, Jo in Little Women, Maggie in The Mill on the Floss, Jane in Jane Eyre.’ Helen Elliott in the Monthly ‘This stunning conclusion further solidifies the Neapolitan novels as Ferrante’s masterpiece and guarantees that this reclusive author will remain far from obscure for years to come.’ Publishers Weekly ‘The Neapolitan novels are smart, thoughtful, serious literature. At the same time, they are violent, suspenseful soap operas populated with a vivid cast of scheming characters...Ferrante’s novels are deeply personal and intimate, getting to the very heart of what it means to be a woman, a friend, a daughter, a mother.’ Debrief Daily ‘Shattering and enthralling, intimate and vicious...The Neapolitan Novels are the kind of books that swallow me whole. As soon as I pick one up, I don’t want to breathe or move lest I break the spell...The Neapolitan Novels are among the most important in my reading life. I can’t recommend them highly enough.’ Readings ‘Ferrante captures the complexities of women, friendship and motherhood in ways that make your heart soar and ache in equal measures. If you haven’t already, treat yourself to this series.’ ELLE Australia ‘[Ferrante’s] Neapolitan novels contain real life – recognisable anxiety, joy, love and heartbreak. This is an incredibly difficult feat to achieve in the first place, let alone sustain, over four books. We will be talking about Elena and Lila for years to come.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘There's a bright, sinewy humanness to Ferrante’s writing that is so alive it's alarming...The Story of the Lost Child is a full emotional experience, and a fitting end to a huge, arresting series.’ New Zealand Listener ‘I was one of the many who wept and wondered over Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child. I plan to re-read the entire series soon.’ Favourite Feminist Reads from 2016, Feminist Writers Festival
Author: Elena Ferrante
Publisher: Europa Editions UK
Release Date: 2015-09-03
“Nothing quite like this has ever been published before,” proclaimed The Guardian newspaper about the Neapolitan Novels in 2014. The first book in the series, My Brilliant Friend, was a New York Times bestseller. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay was a Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year, and was named a best book of 2014 twenty-five times including in The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New Statesman, Slate, The Daily Beast, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and the Boston Globe. This fourth and final installment in the series gives validation to the New York Times Book Review’s opinion of its author, Elena Ferrante, as “one of the great novelists of our time.” Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. In this final book, she has returned to Naples. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from the city of her birth. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable! Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, the story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and every return will bring with it new revelations.
Book One in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila. Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a tetralogy, she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction.
Author: Elena Ferrante
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Leda is a middle-aged, divorced mother devoted to her work as an English professor. After the departure of her grown-up daughters, she takes a holiday on the Italian coast. But after a few days things become unsettling; on the beach she encounters a family whose brash behaviour proves menacing. Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult and unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The tale of a woman's rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with the past. The Lost Daughter is a profound exploration of the conflicting emotions that tie women to their children. Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of 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. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy's most acclaimed authors. Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante's work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award. 'Ferrante's gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral.' New Yorker 'This superb and scary Italian writer...has blown the lid off tempestuous parent-child relations.' Seattle Times 'So refined, almost translucent, that it seems about to float away, in the end this piercing novel is not so easily dislodged from the memory.' Boston Globe 'It's Leda's voice that's hypnotic, and it's the writing that makes it that way. Ferrante can do a woman's interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt.' Booklist 'Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret.' Publishers Weekly ‘Ferrante’s uncompromising directness and her unflinching gaze cannot be faulted.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald ‘With cold determination, Ferrante conveys both the selfishness and the courage that comes with admitting your own maternal shortcomings.’ New Zealand Listener
You Need To Read This Book if you want to dive deeper into the world of Elena Ferrante. The Story of the Lost Child is the last book of the Neapolitan books series. We follow love struck Elena through her turbulent affair with Nino as she tries to become an autonomous woman and grieve with Lila when her brilliant daughter who was full of potential goes missing one day without a trace. The final work of the series is full of brilliant thematic threads that build upon the three last books, awe-inspiring plot twists, and beautiful character development. Inside this summary you'll find: Chapter Summaries Character Analysis Themes Imagery and Symbols Important Quotes Disclaimer: This text serves as a companion and guide to the bestseller The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four by Elena Ferrante. It will help to broaden the reader's understanding of the book, and highlight insights that might otherwise be overlooked. As this is a companion volume, you'll want to have a copy of the actual book on hand before reading this.
Author: Elena Ferrante
Publisher: Europa Editions UK
Release Date: 2012-09-10
Following her mother’s untimely death, Delia sets off on a breathtaking odyssey through the chaotic, suffocating streets of her native Naples in search of the truth about her family. Reality is buried in the fertile soil of memory, and Delia digs deep to reconcile the past with the mysterious events leading up to her mother’s death. Spurred by a series of anonymous telephone calls, Delia reconstructs her mother’s final days and with every new discovery must face the possibility that her mother was not at all the person Delia imagined her to be. To learn the truth and to untangle the knot of lies, passions and memories that bind mother and daughter, Delia must return to her roots, to the Naples of her childhood. One of the most celebrated Italian novels of recent decades, and subsequently a successful film by director Mario Martone, Troubling Love is Elena Ferrante’s astounding first novel.
Named one of The Guardian's "Best Books of 2016" From the author of My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante returns to a story that animated the novel she considers to be a turning point in her development as a a writer: The Lost Daughter. But this time the tale takes the form of a children's fable told from the point of view of the lost (stolen!) doll, Celina. Celina is having a terrible night, one full of jealousy for the new kitten, Minù, feelings of abandonment and sadness, misadventures at the hands of the beach attendant, and dark dreams. But she will be happily found by Mati, her child, once the sun rises. Accompanied by the oneiric illustrations of Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night is a story for all of Ferrante's many ardent fans.
Book Two in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet In 2012, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series. With these books, which the New Yorker's James Wood described as "large, captivating, amiably peopled...a beautiful and delicate tale of confluence and reversal," Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy's most accomplished storytellers. She writes vividly about a specific neighborhood of Naples from the late-1950s through to the current day and about two remarkable young women who are very much the products of that place and time. Yet in doing so she has created a world in which readers will recognize themselves and has drawn a marvelously nuanced portrait of friendship. In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her enterée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Love, jealousy, family, freedom, commitment, and above all friendship: these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment, gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.
Soon to be an HBO series, book three in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted epic by one of today's most beloved and acclaimed writers, Elena Ferrante, “one of the great novelists of our time.” (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times) In the third book in the Neapolitan quartet, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women are pushing against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond. Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With the Neapolitan quartet she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.
Named one of The Guardian's "Best Books of 2016" From the author of My Brilliant Friend This book invites readers into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early standalone novels and the four installments of My Brilliant Friend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of over 20 years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing. In these pages Ferrante answers many of her readers’ questions. She addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn’t good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies. The result is a vibrant and intimate self-portrait of a writer at work.
Author: Elena Ferrante
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: 2015-04-15
Rarely have the foundations upon which our ideas of motherhood and womanhood rest been so candidly questioned. This compelling novel tells the story of one woman’s headlong descent into what she calls an ‘absence of sense’ after being abandoned by her husband. Olga’s ‘days of abandonment’ become a desperate, dangerous freefall into the darkest places of the soul as she roams the empty streets of a city that she has never learned to love. When she finds herself trapped inside the four walls of her apartment in the middle of a summer heat wave, Olga is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal again. Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of 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. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors. Ann Goldstein has translated all of Elena Ferrante’s work. She is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award. ‘Her novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.’ New Yorker ‘Everything Olga encounters becomes part of her pattern of thinking, and is accommodated as though it had always existed. This, rather than any graphic ‘candour’, is what makes Ferrante’s writing extraordinary.’ London Review ‘Ferrante puts hammer to flesh and invites her reader to penetrate the page.’ Financial Times ‘Every now and again, an author comes along who dares to remind us that the very pain of abandonment can ratchet us back a few evolutionary notches, knock us to the ground and leave us crawling, babbling like beasts.’ San Diego Union-Tribune ‘If that’s not a great literary novel, I don’t know what is.’ Elle ‘Ferrante is unflinching in drawing a mental landscape that is irrational and cruel...She writes like a rampage, her truth telling implacable and her fury kinetic. The tension in the pages is almost unbearable. The book is a startling treatise on how to stay alive when your world falls apart.’ New Zealand Listener
Author: John Domini
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2014-05-27
Genre: Literary Collections
A witty and sophisticated examination of nontraditional storytelling in contemporary art and literature, The Sea-God’s Herb contains reviews and essays on some of the most interesting authors and artists of the last forty years. From William Gass and Thomas Pynchon to Brian Evenson and Steve Erickson, John Domini takes readers beyond that which is “impossible” to explain.
This “delightfully whimsical novel riffs on the premise that ordinary lives stubbornly resist the tidy order that a fiction narrative might impose on them” (Publishers Weekly). Can a story save your life? Meg Carpenter is broke. Her novel is years overdue. Her cell phone is out of minutes. And her moody boyfriend’s only contribution to the household is his sour attitude. So she jumps at the chance to review a pseudoscientific book that promises life everlasting. But who wants to live forever? Consulting cosmology and physics, tarot cards, koans (and riddles and jokes), new-age theories of everything, narrative theory, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, and knitting patterns, Meg wends her way through Our Tragic Universe, asking this and many other questions. Does she believe in fairies? In magic? Is she a superbeing? Is she living a storyless story? And what’s the connection between her off-hand suggestion to push a car into a river, a ship in a bottle, a mysterious beast loose on the moor, and the controversial author of The Science of Living Forever? Smart, entrancing, and boiling over with Thomas’s trademark big ideas, Our Tragic Universe is a book about how relationships are created and destroyed, how we can rewrite our futures (if not our histories), and how stories just might save our lives.
Author: Suzanne Berne
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-01-10
"A "brilliantly done" (Sunday Times, London) comedy of manners that explores the unease behind the manicured lawns of suburban America from the Orange Prize-winning author of A Crime in the Neighborhood. Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Ten Best Places to Live in America, full of psychologists and college professors, is proud of its fine schools, its girls' soccer teams, its leafy streets, and charming village center. Yet no sooner has sociologist Dr. Clarice Watkins arrived to study the elements of "good quality of life" than someone begins poisoning the town's dogs. Are the poisonings in protest to an off-leash proposal for Baldwin Park--the subject of much town debate--or the sign of a far deeper disorder? Certainly these types of things don't happen in Littlefield. With an element of suspense, satirical social commentary, and in-depth character portraits, Suzanne Berne's nuanced novel reveals the discontent concealed behind the manicured lawns and picket fences of darkest suburbia. The Dogs of Littlefield is "a compelling, poignant yet unsentimental novel that examines life, love, and loss" (Sunday Mirror, UK)"--