Yes, I’ve fallen for Elena Ferrante’s work. She conjures some of the most remarkably nuanced female characters I’ve ever encountered. Her narrative – though not filled with car chases – is hypnotic. Her attention is on the small, even in terms of setting. This novel culminates at a wedding and one character is described as being able to “enter and leave the neighborhood as he wished.” And it is this neighborhood that defines the novel and gives it a kind of claustrophobia. How does one get out? Academics? Travel? Wealth? Publication? Or does one seek to be the queen of one’s neighborhood, regardless of its limitations? I didn’t want the story to end. Luckily, it doesn’t. On to The Story of a New Name.
Kudos also to Ann Goldstein for the fluid and unobtrusive translation.