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.
Praise for Elena Ferrante and The Neapolitan Novels The United States "Ferrante's novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader." - James Wood , The New Yorker "One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory." - Megan O'Grady , Vogue "Amazing! My Brilliant Friend took my breath away. If I were president of the world I would make everyone read this book. It is so honest and right and opens up heart to so much. Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can't look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn't know books could do this!" - Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge "I like the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, a lot. I've been reading all her work and all about her." - John Waters , actor and director "Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you've never heard of"- The Economist "Ferrante's freshness has nothing to do with fashion...it is imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history." - The New York Times Book Review "I am such a fan of Ferrante's work, and have been for quite a while." - Jennifer Gilmore , author of The Mothers "The women's fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of the poignant book" - Publisher's Weekly "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." - Molly Fischer , The New Yorker "[Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels] don't merely offer a teeming vision of working-class Naples, with its cobblers and professors, communists and mobbed-up businessmen, womanizing poets and downtrodden wives; they present one of modern fiction's richest portraits of a friendship." - John Powers , Fresh Air, NPR "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." - Roxana Robinson , The New York Times Book Review "An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you're reading her." - Entertainment Weekly "It's just hypnotic. I could not stop reading it or thinking about it."- Hillary Clinton "Ferrante seasons the prose with provocative perceptions not unlike the way Proust did." - Shelf Awareness "It would be difficult to find a deeper portrait of women's friendship than the one in Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, which unfold from the fifties to the twenty-first century to tell a single story with the possessive force of an origin myth." - Megan O'Grady , Vogue "Ferrante's writing is so unencumbered, so natural, and yet so lovely, brazen, and flush. The constancy of detail and the pacing that zips and skips then slows to a real-time crawl have an almost psychic effect, bringing you deeply into synchronicity with the discomforts and urgency of the characters' emotions. Ferrante is unlike other writers-not because she's innovative, but rather because she's unselfconscious and brutally, diligently honest." - Minna Proctor , Bookforum "Ferrante can do a woman's interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt." - Booklist "The truest evocation of a complex and lifel
Elena Ferrante ist eine äußerst erfolgreiche und zugleich geheimnisvolle Autorin. Von ihren ersten beiden Romanen wurden in Italien jeweils mehr als 100 000 Exemplare verkauft, aber zu Gesicht bekommen hat Elena Ferrante noch niemand. Mal heißt es, sie scheue die Öffentlichkeit und habe sich auf eine griechische Insel zurückgezogen. Mal wird spekuliert, dass der Name ein Pseudonym sei.