My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One

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Penguin, Sep 25, 2012 - Fiction - 336 pages
15 Reviews
Soon to be an HBO series, book one in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends growing up in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted family epic by Italy’s most beloved and acclaimed writer, Elena Ferrante, “one of the great novelists of our time.” (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times)

Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.†

Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.

“An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends,” writes Entertainment Weekly. “Spectacular,” says Maureen Corrigan on NPR’s Fresh Air. “A large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman,” writes James Wood in The New Yorker

Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With My Brilliant Friend she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.

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User Review  - RidgewayGirl -

I am very happy that My Brilliant Friend is just the first book in Elena Ferrante's trilogy about two girls from Naples, Italy. Lena and Lila live in the same building, and first encounter each other ... Read full review

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User Review  - Booktrovert -

this was an interesting reading experience, and i am wavering between 3- and 4-stars... but i rounded up because i have the feeling this is going to be a book that sits with me for a while, becoming ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Elena Ferrante†is the author of†The Days of Abandonment†(Europa, 2005),†Troubling Love†(Europa, 2006),†The Lost Daughter†(Europa, 2008) and the Neapolitan Quartet (Europa 2012-2015). She is also the author of a children’s picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri,†The Beach at Night.

Ann Goldstein
†is an editor at†The New Yorker. Her translations for Europa Editions include novels by Amara Lakhous, Alessandro Piperno, and Elena Ferrante's bestselling†My Brilliant Friend. She lives in New York.

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