Who is Elena Ferrante?
The literary world is agog at the unmasking of Elena Ferrante, the mysterious author of the internationally popular Neapolitan Novels. Using financial records and real estate documents, an investigative journalist traced the true identity of the writer behind the pseudonym and published the results of his detective work in the New York Review of Books. Dozens of essays were penned in response, decrying the controversial article. Is the exposé simply poor journalism, as The New Republic suggests? Or is it sexism at work, as The Independent opines?
Haven't caught Ferrante fever yet? The quartet of books collectively called the Neapolitan Novels chronicles the lives of two girls growing up in Naples during the 1950s and follows them into tumultuous adulthood, vividly exploring themes of female friendship and the changing roles of women through modern Italian history. The English translation of the fourth book was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize this year, and inevitable TV and theatre adaptations are in the pipeline. Find out for yourself what the buzz is about:
If you've read and enjoyed the series, here is a list of read-alike titles for your sampling. Interested in learning about connections between the books and Neapolitan legends? Don't forget to mark this Thought Exchange lecture at Yorkville Branch on your calendar!