Thursday, April 3, 2014

Currently Reading: The Story of a New Name

I finally finished the last book I was reading—I wrote about it here—and now I am moving onto a book that I have been eager to read since I got it for Christmas this year. It is the second in a trilogy by the reclusive and incredibly private author, Elena Ferrante. The first book of the series, My Brilliant Friend, was published in 2012 and the third and concluding book of the Neapolitan Trilogy, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, is slated to come out in September of this year! Can't wait! 

I first became interested in Elena Ferrante when I read an article about her in The New Yorker. The article compared her to Salinger because of her reclusive character; she does not promote her books nor does she do phone or television interviews. She will only, and rarely, respond to press questions in hand written letters. No one has ever seen Elena Ferrante, fueling theories that she is a famous author using a pen name or that she is really a he. 

She writes in Italian and her books are translated into English by Ann Goldstein. Her translated titles include Trouble Love, The Lost Daughter, and The Days of Abandonment. Once I read the last in the trilogy, I hope to move onto her other novels. 

I read My Brilliant Friend over the summer and loved it. It's heavy and follows a whole neighborhood of characters so I'm afraid I might need to refresh my memory as I start reading the next installment. I would really recommend these novels to everyone; Ferrante has a very unique style. She writes about the everyday but with far more insight and attention; things that seem banal to most become exceptional fragments of life. The characters are realistic and toe the line of likable and awful on every page. I'm really looking forward to reading this and I will keep you updated along the way! 

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