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.
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.
“Nothing quite like this has ever been published before,” proclaimed The Guardian about the Neapolitan novels in 2014. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, Elena Ferrante tells the story of a sixty-year friendship between the brilliant and bookish Elena and the fiery, rebellious Lila with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The four books in this novel cycle constitute a long, remarkable story, one that Vogue described as “gutsy and compulsively readable,” which readers will return to again and again, and each return will bring with it new revelations.
The Story of a New Name is an extraordinary novel about two young women, Lila and Elena, growing up in Naples in the early 1960s. At sixteen Lila marries the shopkeeper Stefano. She is filled with pleasure at her new wealth, and horror at the life she has chosen. Elena's own attempts at romance seem to be sabotaged by Lila's turbulent affairs. As she tries to plot her way out of poverty via academic and literary success, her constant anxiety is that she is just a shadow of the brilliant Lila. The sequel to My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name continues the enthralling chronicle of a friendship that is obsessive, loving, complicated, hurtful, enduring and constantly startling. It is an exhilarating reading experience. 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 is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award. 'Ferrante transforms the love, separation and reunion of two poor urban girls into the general tragedy of their city, a place so beautiful and heartbreaking that it inspired the expression "Vedi Napoli e poi muori" - "See Naples and then die".' New York Times Book Review 'Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you have never heard of...Ferrante's voice is startlingly honest...her storytelling both visceral and compelling.' Economist 'The writing and translation from Italian are first-class.' Otago Daily Times 'The first two Neapolitan novels [My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name]...move far from contrivance, logic or respectability to ask uncomfortable questions about how we live, how we love, how we singe an existence in a deeply flawed world that expects pretty acquiescence from its women. In all their beauty, their ugliness, their devotion and deceit, these girls enchant and repulse, like life, like our very selves.' Sydney Morning Herald 'Ferrante writes so beautifully that you can't help but become engrossed with the lives, loves and loss of Lila and Elena...will leave readers salivating for the third instalment.' Courier Mail '[Elena Ferrante's] brilliance isn’t limited to her mechanics, her finesse or her creativity as a writer, but it’s her willingness to continually address the psychological machinations of women who have very unfeminine feelings.' Three Percent '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
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.
Since the publication of the acclaimed My Brilliant Friend and The Story of A New Name, Elena Ferrante’s reputation has grown enormously. Her novels about the friendship between Lila and Elena, about the mysteries of human relationships, are utterly compelling. In Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the two protagonists are now in their thirties. Lila, married at sixteen, has left her husband and the comforts of her marriage, and has now joined the workforce. Elena has left the neighbourhood in Naples, been to university, and published a successful novel, all of which has brought her into a wealthier, more cultured world. Both women are seizing opportunities to flee a life of poverty, ignorance and submission. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by an unbreakable bond. 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 is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award. ‘[Ferrante’s] charting of the rivalries and sheer inscrutability of female friendship is raw. This is high stakes, subversive literature.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘In the past decade, no fiction writer has made it more necessary to think about the performative aspect of being a woman than Elena Ferrante. Her novels, written originally in Italian and translated beautifully by Ann Goldstein, are ferociously engaged with the ways in which a woman—as a daughter, a teenager, a lover, and, most dramatically, a mother—is a kind of person in drag, speaking through a costume that slowly becomes all that one knows of her...It’s Ferrante’s ability to capture both the mirror and the woman standing before it that makes her a writer to be reckoned with.’ John Freeman ‘Nothing you read about Elena Ferrante’s work prepares you for the ferocity of it...This is a woman’s story told with such truthfulness that it is not so much a life observed as it is felt.’ New York Times ‘Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time...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 ‘It is a testament to Ferrante’s achievement that, at the end of this third book and anticipating the fourth, it seems there’s limitless potential for Lina to reinvent herself again.’ Times Literary Supplement ‘Ferrante’s project is bold: her books chronicle the inner conflicts of intelligent women...Her writing has a powerful intimacy...a bona fide literary sensation–the famous writer nobody knows.’ Guardian UK ‘The best thing I’ve read this year, far and away...She’s marvellous.’ Richard Flanagan '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
Elena Ferrante—named one of the 100 most influential people in 2016 by Time magazine—is best known for her Neapolitan novels, which explore such themes as the complexity of female friendship; the joys and constraints of motherhood; the impact of changing gender roles; the pervasiveness of male violence; the struggle for upward mobility; and the impact of the feminist movement. Ferrante’s three novellas encompass similar themes, focusing on moments of extreme tension in women’s lives. This study analyzes the integration of political themes and feminist theory in Ferrante’s works, including men’s entrapment in a sexist script written for them from time immemorial. Her decision to write under a pseudonym is examined, along with speculation that Rome-based translator Anita Raja and her husband Domenico Starnone are coauthors of Ferrante’s books.
The story of Elena and Lila begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. They learn to rely on each other and discover that their destinies are bound up in the intensity of their relationship. Elena Ferrante’s piercingly honest portrait of two girls’ path into womanhood is also the story of a nation and a meditation on the nature of friendship itself. My Brilliant Friend is a modern masterpiece, the work of one of Italy’s great storytellers.
A hardback gift edition of the global literary sensation. The story of Elena and Lila begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples. They learn to rely on each other and discover that their destinies are bound up in the intensity of their relationship. Elena Ferrante’s piercingly honest portrait of two girls’ path into womanhood is also the story of a nation and a meditation on the nature of friendship itself. My Brilliant Friend is a modern masterpiece, the work of one of Italy’s great storytellers.