A stunning classic set in Italy's most vibrant and turbulent metropolis - Naples - in the immediate aftermath of World War Two. These lively and superbly written stories helped inspire Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. Ortese's work was also championed by Italo Calvino, who was her Italian editor.
The stories and reportage collected in this volume form a powerful portrait of ordinary lives, both high and low, family dramas, love affairs, and struggles to pay the rent, set against the crumbling courtyards of the city itself, and the dramatic landscape of Naples Bay.
This classic is exquisitely rendered in English by Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee, two of the leading translators working from Italian today. Included in the collection is 'A Pair of Eyeglasses', one of the most widely praised Italian short stories of the last century.
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Number of pages: 208
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
As for Naples, today I feel drawn above all by Anna Maria Ortese
This short collection, so full of arresting images and startling observations, is a portrait of an author who found in a damaged city her perfect muse
Anna Maria Ortese is a writer of exceptional prowess and force. The stories collected in this volume, which reverberate with Chekhovian energy and melancholy, are revered in Italy by writers and readers alike. Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee reward us with a fresh and scrupulous translation.
In Ortese's insistence in seeing the truth in her surroundings... it's easy to understand how she inspired Elena Ferrante
A masterpiece of documentary realism... brilliantly captures her powerful visions of Naples in exquisite English
Will satisfy those looking to fill the Ferrante-shaped hole in their lives... luminous prose
A portrait of post-war Naples by one of Italy's most acclaimed writers. The collected stories inspired Elena Ferrnate's more recent Neapolitan novels
Required reading for Ferrante fans... a powerful and raw journey through the intimacies of human relationships
Truly wonderful, evocative and thought provoking. Reading Ortese is quite an experience
She is a writer full of sharp angles... every word and image cannot but strike a vital, deep, intimate chord
Elena Ferrante has cited Ortese as one of her greatest influences, and the connections are obvious in [these stories], which infuse a grimy, chaotic Naples with unsentimental menace rather than romanic mystique. Ortese gathers concrete details about the realities of poverty, and, like Ferrante, delineates moments of status tension with blunt accuracy
Follow [Ortese] as though on a pilgrimage; she will transport you to a world where language and narrative can reclaim their critical urgency and value
Required reading for Ferrante fans
Anna Maria Ortese was the last great writer of the generation that produced Italo Calvino and Primo Levi. Today, few critics would disagree with the poet Andrea Zanzotto, who rates her as 'one of the most important Italian women writers of this century.'
Ortese's people are all in primary colors, so vivid that they jump off the page... This book will be of interest to Ferrante fans. But Ortese is worth reading for herself. Her mixture of the surreal and the real in all of this work is original and compelling. An example of prose that has lasted and will continue to do so
This remarkable city portrait, both phantasmagorical and harshly realistic, conveys Naples in all its shabbiness and splendor. Naples appears as both a monster and an immense waiting room, whose inhabitants are caught between resignation and unquenchable resilience. Beautifully translated, this lyrical gem has been rescued from the vast storehouse of superior foreign literature previously ignored by a provincial American public.
Gives an essential glimpse into the origins of Ferrante's work ... A mesmerizing companion to Ferrante's Neapolitan project as well as a daring work of both social criticism and narrative inventiveness that stands, toweringly, on its own.
An astonishing descent into the underworld ... A modern artist has rarely rendered so intensely the spectrality of all things.
Anna Maria Ortese's Neapolitan Chronicles is a mother lode, in every sense, for the work of Elena Ferrante. Ferrante drew inspiration from Ortese, not only for the characters, voices, and places in her great tetralogy, but for the power of the woman's voice that narrates them.
One of the most important Italian women writers of this century