Story of a New Name (Ferrante)

Author Bio
Elena Ferrante is the pen-name of an Italian novelist whose true identity is not publicly known. Though heralded as the most important Italian novelist of her generation, she has kept her identity secret since the publication of her first novel in 1992.

Ferrante is the author of a half dozen novels, the most well-known of which is Days of Abandonment. Her four "Neapolitan Novels" revolve around two perceptive and intelligent girls from Naples who try to create lives for themselves within a violent and stultifying culture. The series consists of four novels: My Brilliant Friend (2012), The Story of a New Name (2013), Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay (2014), and The Story of the Lost Child (2015), which was nominated for the Strega Prize, an Italian literary award.

Two of Ferrante's novels have been turned into films by Italian filmmakers. Troubling Love became the 1995 feature film Nasty Love, and The Days of Abandonment became a 2005 film of the same title.

Her nonfiction book Fragments (2003) discussion her experiences as a writer.

In a January 21, 2013, article in The New Yorker, James Woods wrote that Ferrante has said, "books, once they are written, have no need of their authors." Perhaps that is one reason for her pen-name.

Speculation about Ferrante's identity is rife. In the same New Yorker article, Woods also wrote:

In the past twenty years or so, though, she has provided written answers to journalists’ questions, and a number of her letters have been collected and published. From them, we learn that she grew up in Naples, and has lived for periods outside Italy. She has a classics degree; she has referred to being a mother. One could also infer from her fiction and from her interviews that she is not now married. (“Over the years, I’ve moved often, in general unwillingly, out of necessity. . . . I’m no longer dependent on the movements of others, only on my own” is her encryption.) In addition to writing, “I study, I translate, I teach. (Author bio adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/11/2015.)

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