Tag Archives: Elena Ferrante

On Anonymity, Identity and Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante Neapolitan Novels

There are many reasons why authors may choose to publish their work anonymously or pseudonymously. Historically, this has primarily been due to the threat of persecution or prosecution if the material produced was controversial and/or illegal. More recently, however, it has often stemmed from the author’s desire to simply let the words speak for themselves. Continue reading


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The Man Booker International Prize Winner 2016

The Vegetarian Han KangIt has just been announced that the first winner of this year’s reconfigured Man Booker International Prize is The Vegetarian by Han Kang translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith. A very well deserved win for one of the most startlingly original and surreal works of translated fiction I’ve read this year. Many congratulations to them both!

Myself and my fellow shadow panel members also voted for our winner last week from our own shortlist consisting of Ferrante, Lianke, NDiaye, Oe, Kang and de Kerangal. It was a close run thing between ‘The Vegetarian’ and Death by Water by Kenzaburo Oe in the run-off vote but ‘The Vegetarian’ also came out top in the end, meaning that we are in agreement with the real judging panel for the second year in a row (last year, we selected The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck as our winner for the now-defunct Independent Foreign Fiction Prize). While ‘Death by Water’ had its devoted fans amongst our group, ‘The Vegetarian’ had wider support in both the longlist and shortlist stages and also featured in many of our early prediction lists before the longlist was even announced. Continue reading


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The Man Booker International Prize Shortlist 2016

The official shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize was announced on Thursday. The six books are:

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The Man Booker International Prize Longlist 2016

The longlist for the newly reconfigured Man Booker International Prize has been announced today. The thirteen books are:

  • A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), translated by Daniel Hahn and published by Harvill Secker.
  • The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (Italy), translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith and published by Portobello Books
  • Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (France), translated by Jessica Moore and published by Maclehose Press
  • Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia), translated by Labodalih Sembiring and published by Verso Books
  • The Four Books by Yan Lianke (China), translated by Carlos Rojas and published by Chatto & Windus
  • Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria), translated by Roland Glasser and published by Jacaranda
  • A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar (Brazil), translated by Stefan Tobler and published by Penguin Modern Classics
  • Ladivine by Marie NDiaye (France), translated by Jordan Stump and published Maclehose Press
  • Death by Water by Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan), translated by Deborah Boliner Boem (Atlantic Books)
  • White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen (Finland), translated by Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah and published by Peirene Press
  • A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), translated by Ekin Oklap and published by Faber & Faber
  • A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austria), translated by Charlotte Collins and published by Picador

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The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante The Story of the Lost Child Naples‘The Story of the Lost Child’ is the fourth and final novel by Elena Ferrante in her series of Neapolitan novels translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein. While the third volume Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay ended with Elena and Nino seemingly walking off into the sunset, it will come as no surprise to readers that it isn’t long before all is not well in their relationship. Having returned to Naples to be with Nino, Elena is reunited with Lila and becomes embroiled in the politics and violence of their neighbourhood once again. Continue reading


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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Elena FerranteTranslated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, ‘Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay’ is the third volume of Elena Ferrante’s series of Neapolitan Novels following My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name. The book opens with Elena and Lila aged in their sixties coming across the body of their childhood friend Gigliola in a church flower bed. Lila doesn’t want Elena to write an autobiographical novel about their friendship causing Elena to reflect on their early adulthood towards the end of the 1960s. Elena is engaged to be married to Pietro, a professor she met at university, and has recently published her first novel which has caused something of a stir amongst critics. Meanwhile, having left Nino, Lila is living with Enzo and working in Bruno Soccava’s sausage factory whilst bringing up her son Gennaro. Nevertheless, they remain bound to each other through their friendship and rivalry. Continue reading


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The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

‘TThe Story of a New Name Elena Ferrantehe Story of a New Name’ is the second in the series of Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante and translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein. The book opens with Lila asking Elena to hide a box of notebooks from her husband. Instead, Elena dumps them in the river but not without reading them first and the story continues where the first book ‘My Brilliant Friend‘ left off with Lila leaving school and getting married to Stefano Carracci, a well-off local grocer. Unsurprisingly, their marriage is tempestuous from the very beginning while Elena is planning to continue her education and go to university.  Continue reading


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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend‘My Brilliant Friend’ is the first in the series of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, it tells the story of two young girls, Elena Greco and Raffaela “Lila” Cerullo, spanning their friendship over the years. The series opens with Elena, aged in her sixties, taking a telephone call from Lila’s son Rino who informs her that Lila has gone missing. Having received this news, Elena looks back on her childhood and adolescence growing up with her lifelong friend outside Naples during the late 1950s and 1960s. Continue reading


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