Following on from the bestselling My Brilliant Friend, the second part of Ferrante’s mesmerising Neapolitan quartet continues to map the intricate and complex relationship between Elena and Lina. The Story of a New Name is an absorbing examination of the personal transformation of the two young women and the choices that diverge their paths in life.
The second in the Neapolitan Novels series by evasive Italian author Elena Ferrante, The Story of a New Name elicited the Guardian to dub Ferrante a ‘writer of the unsayable’.
It continues her sweeping telling of the tangled, complicated friendship between Elena Greco and Lina Cerullo, which began in 1950s Naples in the pages of My Brilliant Friend, before closing with Lina’s rejection of further education to get married at age 16. This and the other two books in the series are narrated by Elena – or Lenú – who grows to become a famous novelist and who, from a position of late adulthood, remembers their lives after Lina’s son reports that his 66-year-old mother has gone missing.
This second novel’s title refers to Lina’s change of surname with her marriage – but also, interestingly, to Elena’s retention of hers as her published pen name, even after she weds the fiancé she meets while studying at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. We see Lina’s chaos inspire Elena: her roles as grocer’s wife, as adulteress falling pregnant by her lover, and as cuckolded mother. Meantime, Elena’s success while rewarding, feels less colourful without Lina sharing in it.
Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
Number of pages: 471
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
"Elena Ferrante has established herself as the foremost writer in Italy-and in the world." * The Sunday Times *
"An extraordinary epic." -- Michiko Kakutani * The New York Times *
"An unconditional masterpiece . . . I was totally enthralled." -- Jhumpa Lahiri
"The only book ever to make me shout out loud at a revelation in the story." * The Guardian *
"A beautiful and delicate tale of confluence and reversal." -- James Wood * The New Yorker *
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“The Neapolitan series is absorbing, dramatic, perfect...”
I loved the first book in this series and was lucky to be sent the second from the publisher in exchange for honest feedback.
The Neapolitan series makes for compulsive reading - once you learn a little about Elena... More
“Addicting from cover to cover”
Marvelous and the reasons why are difficult to describe. Both Elena and Lila are despicable in different way and their friendship is akin to one with their drug addiction. Though their lives remain intertwined each is... More
“The Story of a New Name - a winning follow-up to My Brilliant Friend”
A fitting sequel to the first part of the Neapolitan quartet of novels. A firm grip of the narrative and a telling sense of character development together with a keen eye for small details make this an absorbing read.
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