The Essential Ferrante | The Nation
The writer who goes by the name of #Elena_Ferrante has, over the past 25 years, produced seven novels. The most famous of them—My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child—form a quartet. Published in rapid succession between 2011 and 2014, these novels are set in a slum neighborhood in Naples that is marked by poverty, ignorance, and violence and yet constitutes, for its inhabitants, a world whose borders none may traverse. No amount of hardscrabble life on its mean streets is sufficient to wean anyone—and I mean anyone—of loyalty to the neighborhood’s addictive brutishness. If, on occasion, one or two of its denizens manage to escape, they are (symbolically speaking) likely to lose a limb tearing free, thereby remaining as maimed as those being left behind.