Following the fortunes of an adolescent girl through changing family dynamics and growing self-realisation, The Lying Life of Adults is a pitch-perfect dissection of Italian family life and the follies of youth.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year 2021
Giovanna’s pretty face has changed: it’s turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?
She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
'Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything—the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words—remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.'
Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Modern, urgent, truthful.' –The Telegraph
'Elena Ferrante is an expert chronicler of adolescence and its many indignities, as well as its erratic, overwhelming passions.' –The Observer
'An astonishing, deeply moving tale of the sorts of wisdom, beauty and knowledge that remain as unruly as the determinedly inharmonious faces of these women.' –The Guardian
'Ferrante is a hypnotist.' –The Spectator
'The most intense writing about the experiences and interior life of a girl on the cusp of adulthood that I have ever read.' –Financial Times
'An incendiary portrait of the volcanic currents of sex and betrayal rumbling away beneath polite society.' –The Mail on Sunday
'Compulsive.' ―The Times
'Layer by layer, piece by piece, with her customary deftness, Ferrante builds up her story, introducing new characters and bits of information, as Giovanna’s once safe and sane world becomes ever more slippery. Ferrante has a voice very much her own.' –The TLS
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Yet another layer of Ferrante’ s investigation into the links that bind us to our family nourishing sometimes and true ties at other moments. This time she uses the point of view (and the emotional volcano) of a... More
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