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September's Author of the Month: ELENA FERRANTE

Tuesday, Sep 01, 2020 at 12:49pm

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. The author of The Days of Abandonment, which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love, adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Oscar Award-winner Olivia Colman. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions, illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey, and The Beach at Night, illustrated by Mara Cerri. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (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.

Ferrante’s powerful new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, translated by Ann Goldstein, is set in a divided Naples. Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

On Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 7:00 PM (EST), stream a live online event with translator Ann Goldstein as she discusses The Lying Life of Adults with Elizabeth Renzetti (The Globe and Mail). This is a ticketed event presented with Europa Editions and Flying Books. For more information and to get your ticket, please visit this page.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases, Author of the Month

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The Lying Life of Adults

- by Elena Ferrante

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ANEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER. Soon to be a NETFLIX Original Series.

A POWERFUL NEW NOVEL set in a divided Naples by ELENA FERRANTE, theNew York Times best-selling author ofMy Brilliant Friend andThe Lost Daughter.

"There's no doubt [the publication ofThe Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year."--ELLE Magazine

Giovanna's pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016's most influential people byTIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world's most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. InThe Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

The Days of Abandonment

- by Elena Ferrante

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A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.

Troubling Love

- by Elena Ferrante

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Following her mother's untimely and mysterious death, Delia embarks on a voyage of discovery through the streets of her native Naples searching for the truth about her family. A series of mysterious telephone calls leads her to compelling and disturbing revelations about her mother's final days.


This stylish fiction from the author of The Days of Abandonment is set in a beguiling but often hostile Naples, whose chaotic, suffocating streets become one of the book's central motifs. A story about mothers and daughters and the complicated knot of lies and emotions that binds them.


Elena Ferrante's previous novel, The Days of Abandonment, received excellent critical attention in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, Library Journal, and many other publications. Troubling Love is expected to follow in its footsteps.

The Lost Daughter

- by Elena Ferrante

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From the author of The Days of Abandonment, The Lost Daughter is Elena Ferrante's most compelling and perceptive meditation on womanhood and motherhood yet. Leda, a middle-aged divorce, is alone for the first time in years when her daughters leave home to live with their father. Her initial, unexpected sense of liberty turns to ferocious introspection following a seemingly trivial occurrence. Ferrante's language is as finely tuned and intense as ever, and she treats her theme with a fierce, candid tenacity.

Incidental Inventions

- by Elena Ferrante

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Elena Ferrante is the best-selling author ofMy Brilliant Friend, now an HBO original series. Collected here for the first time are the seeds of future novels, the timely reflections of this internationally beloved storyteller, the abiding preoccupations of a writer who has been called "one of the great novelists of our time" (New York Times)."This is my last column, after a year that has scared and inspired me . . . I have written as an author of novels, taking on matters that are important to me and that--if I have the will and the time--I'd like to develop within real narrative mechanisms."With these words, Elena Ferrante bid farewell to her year-long collaboration with theGuardian newspaper. For a full year, she wrote weekly articles, the subjects of which had been suggested byGuardianeditors, making the writing process a sort of prolonged interlocution. The subjects ranged from first love to climate change, from enmity among women to the experience of seeing her novels adapted for film and TV.Translated by Ann Goldstein, the acclaimed translator of Ferrante's novels, and accompanied by Andrea Ucini's intelligent, witty, and beautiful illustrations, this volume is a must for all curious readers.

Frantumaglia

- by Elena Ferrante

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One ofThe Guardian's Best Books of the Year: Personal writings by the anonymous author who became a literary phenomenon withMy Brilliant Friend.

The writer known as Elena Ferrante has taken pains to hide her identity in the hope that readers would focus on her body of work. But in this volume, she invites us into Elena Ferrante's workshop and 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 the Neapolitan Novels, theNew York Times-bestselling "enduring masterpiece" (The Atlantic).

Consisting of over twenty 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.

"Everyone should read anything with Ferrante's name on it." --The Boston Globe

The Beach at Night

- by Elena Ferrante

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A "beautifully written" dark fable from a doll's point of view--by theNew York Times-bestselling author ofThe Lost Daughter and the Neapolitan Novels (The Washington Post).

One ofNPR's Best Books of the Year.

Readers of Elena Ferrante'sThe Lost Daughter may recall the little doll--lost or stolen--around which that novel revolves. Here, Ferrante retells the tale from the doll's perspective.

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 . . .

"Everyone should read anything with Ferrante's name on it." --The Boston Globe

My Brilliant Friend

- by Elena Ferrante

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Now an HBO series: the first volume in theNew York Times-bestselling "enduring masterpiece" about a lifelong friendship between two women from Naples (The Atlantic).

Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Elena Ferrante's four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its main characters, the fiery and unforgettable Lila and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflicted friendship. This first novel in the series follows Lila and Elena from their fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

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 two women.

"An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends." --Entertainment Weekly

"Spectacular." --Maureen Corrigan,NPR's Fresh Air

"Captivating." --The New Yorker

The Story of a New Name

- by Elena Ferrante

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The second book, following 2012ís acclaimed My Brilliant Friend, featuring the two friends Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their twenties. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the centre of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the sometimes cruel price that this passage exacts.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

- by Elena Ferrante

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The incredible story continues in book three of the critically acclaimed Neapolitan Novels!

Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors has grown enormously. She has gained admirers among authors--Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Strout, Claire Messud, to name a few--and critics--James Wood, John Freeman, Eugenia Williamson, for example. But her most resounding success has undoubtedly been with readers, who have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship.

In this third Neapolitan novel, 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 have attempted 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.

The Story of the Lost Child

- by Elena Ferrante

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The "stunning conclusion" to the bestselling saga of the fierce lifelong bond between two women, from a gritty Naples childhood through old age (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

The Story of the Lost Child concludes the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila, who first met amid the shambles of postwar Italy. In this book, life's great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women's friendship remains the gravitational center of their lives.

Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up. 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.

"Lila is a magnificent character." --The Atlantic

"Everyone should read anything with Ferrante's name on it." --The Boston Globe