If you've seen any of the Librairie D+Q staff summer reads lists, you may have noticed a common thread running through each of them: Elena Ferrante! Her Neapolitan novels have been eagerly devoured by all of us in turn, or will very soon be, now that summer vacations are on the horizon. Despite the wild popularity and critical acclaim of her work, Ferrante herself has largely remained an enigma. She is routinely hailed as "the most important Italian writer of her generation," and yet Elena Ferrante is a pen name, and everything about her has been well-cloaked in mystery...that is until recently, when the Paris Review published this interview with her.
The first three Neapolitan novels have been flying off our shelves, and with good reason. Ferrante writes with a fierce magnetism to which nobody seems immune. We are all struggling to make it until September, when the fourth and final novel, The Story of the Lost Child, will finally be available in English. In the meantime, I'm sure I'm not the only reader whose actual dreams have been invaded by Ferrante's characters and the world they inhabit. (A natural consequence of staying up compulsively reading far too late into the night, unable to wrench the book from my hands!)