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Mlle. Zabzie

Elena Ferrante - Neapolitan Novels (Maybe Spoilers?)

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Who else has read and loved these?  I resisted for a while - they got too much good press and sounded, frankly, a little boring.  The story of the friendship between two women over 60+ years didn't sound. . . compelling.  Boy was I wrong.  The books are strangely fascinating.  The narrator is unreliable and self-aware about it to a certain extent, but we never know how much.  The narrator is a complex, interesting, sometimes unlikable, sometimes very likable, in short, very relatable character, who struggles with self-esteem, social class, sexism, tension with parents, friends, basically with being a human, and it's all very much laid out.  The other "main" character is enigmatically complex, and we are given lots of hints about who she is, how she is and what she suffers, but in the end, she remains a mystery as does every interaction the two women have.  There are other deeply etched characters throughout the books - you feel like you know them by the end.   The book starts and ends with a mystery, and well, it's all so very fraught and interesting.

And then there is a wonderful real-life mystery to boot - no one knows who Ferrante is!  There has been loads and loads of speculation, and people trawl the Neapolitan novels for clues/potential Easter Eggs (because the books have the feel of a Roman a Clef), but no one knows.  (Maybe she is Chuck Tingle!!!)  Anyhow, if you have read and liked, please discuss!  

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Im reading Story about New name currently and I enjoy it.

I definitely want to know who Elena Ferrante is - I find that author does bring something in his or her texts, and it is interesting to compare books and motives in the books with author real life.

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I was so pleased by the author choosing to remain anonymous. The Italian journalist who was obsessed by this, determined to dox her, infuriates me.  This happened back in October 2016.  Now one cannot but help filter the fiction through this information, which in some ways spoils hugely.

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Posted (edited)

Elena Ferrante definitely has some secret motive for remaining anonymous. I can't help but wonder which.

Edited by Lady Winter Rose

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