Another penetrating Neapolitan story from New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Paul Mescal, and Peter Sarsgaard
Leda, a middle-aged divorcée, is alone for the first time in years after her two adult daughters leave home to live with their father in Toronto. Enjoying an unexpected sense of liberty, she heads to the Ionian coast for a vacation. But she soon finds herself intrigued by Nina, a young mother on the beach, eventually striking up a conversation with her. After Nina confides a dark secret, one seemingly trivial occurrence leads to events that could destroy Nina’s family in this “arresting” novel by the author of the New York Times–bestselling Neapolitan Novels, which have sold millions of copies and been adapted into an HBO series (Publishers Weekly).
“Although much of the drama takes place in [Leda’s] head, Ferrante’s gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral.” —The New Yorker
“Ferrante’s prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret.” —Publishers Weekly
The arresting third novel from pseudonymous Italian novelist Ferrante ( Troubling Love) pursues a divorced, 47-year-old academic's deeply conflicted feelings about motherhood to their frightening core. While on vacation by herself on the Ionian coast, Leda feels contentedly disburdened of her two 20-something daughters, who have moved to their father's city of Toronto. She's soon engrossed in watching the daily drama of Nina, a young mother, with her young daughter, Elena (along with Elena's doll, Nani), at the seashore. Surrounded by proprietary Neapolitan relatives and absorbed in her daughter's care, Nina at first strikes Leda as the perfect mother, reminding herself of when she was a new and hopeful parent. Leda's eventual acquaintance with Nina yields a disturbing confession and sets in motion a series of events that threatens to wreck, or save, the integrity of Nina's family. Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret. (May)
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In this brutally frank novel of maternal ambivalence, the narrator, a forty-seven-year-old divorcée summering alone on the Ionian coast, becomes obsessed with a beautiful young mother who seems ill at ease with her husbands rowdy, slightly menacing Neapolitan clan. When this womans daughter loses her doll, the older woman commits a small crime that she cant explain even to herself. Although much of the drama takes place in her head, Ferrantes gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral, as when the narrator recalls the "animal opacity" with which she first longed for a child, before she was devoured by pregnancy.
Praise for The Lost Daughter
"Elena Ferrante will blow you away."—Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
"Ferrante can do a woman's interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt."—Booklist
"Ferrante has blown the lid off tempestuous parent-child relations."—The Seattle Times
"So refined, almost translucent, that it seems about to float away. In the end this piercing novel is not so easily dislodged from the memory."—The Boston Globe
"Ferrante's prose is stunningly candid, direct and unforgettable. From simple elements, she builds a powerful tale of hope and regret."—Publishers Weekly
"The Lost Daughter is a resounding success...It is delicate yet daring, precise yet evanescent: it hurts like a cut, and cures like balm."—La Repubblica
"The Lost Daughter is a novel about the female condition: the conflicts that can emerge in the sphere of marriage, the extinction of love and passion, the difficult relationships with children, which both obstruct and assist the free expression of one's feelings and the growth towards maturity.”—La Stampa
Praise for Elena Ferrante
“Elena Ferrante’s decision to remain biographically unavailable is her greatest gift to readers, and maybe her boldest creative gesture.”—David Kurnick, Public Books
“Everyone should read anything with Ferrante’s name on it.”—Eugenia Williamson, The Boston Globe
“Ferrante has written about female identity with a heft and sharpness unmatched by anyone since Doris Lessing.”—Elizabeth Lowry, The Wall Street Journal
“Ferrante has become Italy’s best known writer. In our era of social media accessibility, shameless self-promotion, and hot young celebrity culture, this is nothing short of astounding.”—Gina Frangello, Electric Literature
“Ferrante’s writing seems to say something that hasn’t been said before—it isn’t easy to specify what this is—in a way so compelling its readers forget where they are, abandon friends and disdain sleep.”—Joanna Biggs, The London Review of Books
“To disagree over the quality of a Ferrante passage is often to run up against what you cannot answer or digest.”—Jedediah Purdy, The Los Angeles Review of Books
Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), soon to be a film directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016) and a children’s picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016). The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018.