Ferrante, Elena

Ferrante, Elena, pseud. of the contemporary writer often considered the finest Italian novelist of her generation; the details of her personal life are a closely guarded secret. Her novels, the first of which, L'amore molesto, was published in 1992 (tr.Troubling Love, 2006), are marked by direct, conversational prose and a feminist sensibility. Most widely read of her earlier works is I giorni dell'abbandono (2002; tr. The Days of Abandonment, 2005), an account of the emotional and psychological frenzy caused by the break-up of the female narrator's marriage. Ferrante's Neapolitan quartet, an account of a six-decade friendship, has been internationally acclaimed. Composed of L'amica geniale (2011; tr. My Brilliant Friend, 2012), Storia del nuovo cognome (2012; tr. The Story of a New Name, 2013), Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta (2013; tr. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, 2014), and Storia della bambina perduta (2014; tr. The Story of the Lost Child, 2015) and narrated by Elena, who becomes a successful novelist, the novels tell of her friendship and rivalry with Lila, a more brilliant intellect forced into a more pedestrian life. Ferrante explores the complicated lives of contemporary women, the nature of female friendship, and the struggle of the woman artist and intellectual with the biological realities of marriage and motherhood. Ferrante's other novels include La figlia oscura (2006; tr. The Lost Daughter, 2008) and La vida mentirosa de los adultos (2020; tr. The Lying Life of Adults); the latter traces the evolution from childhood, through adolescence, to adulthood of the daughter of a middle-class Neopolitan family.

See the interviews, correspondence, and other materials in La frantumaglia (2003; tr. and expanded as Frantumaglia: A Writer's Journey, 2016)

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