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Fiction

Review: The Napolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

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Hi everyone!

Today I would like to tell you about a tetralogy I have just finished reading, which really blew my mind away: The Napolitan Novels. The Napolitan novels are a series of four novels written by Italian author Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend (published in 2012), The Story of a New Name (2013), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014) and The Story of the Lost Child (2015). These novels form a long bildungsroman following the lives of two childhood friends, Elena and Lina (also nicknamed “Lila” by Elena) from their childhood in a poor neighborhood of Naples in the 1950’s to their late sixties in 1990’s Italy. The books are narrated by Elena. The first book opens on Lila’s disappearance: Elena receives a phone call from Rino, Lila’s son, telling her that his mother has been gone for two weeks, taking everything with her and leaving no trace behind her, and that he is desperate to find her again. Elena then decides to write the story of their friendship, in chronological order until Lila’s disappearance – this story makes up the four books. Continue Reading