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The Days of Abandonment

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Overview


"She is among the greatest Italian authors of recent years."-Corriere della Sera

"Ferrante dissects the personal microcosm so well, and with awesome lucidity and precision shows us the meanderings of a woman's mind, the suffering that accompanies being abandoned, and the awful rumbling of time passing."-El Mundo

"Elena Ferrante has given us a startlingly beautiful novel of exceptional and bold strength."-Il Manifesto

"Severe and rigorously ...

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The Days of Abandonment

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Overview


"She is among the greatest Italian authors of recent years."-Corriere della Sera

"Ferrante dissects the personal microcosm so well, and with awesome lucidity and precision shows us the meanderings of a woman's mind, the suffering that accompanies being abandoned, and the awful rumbling of time passing."-El Mundo

"Elena Ferrante has given us a startlingly beautiful novel of exceptional and bold strength."-Il Manifesto

"Severe and rigorously unsentimental, packed full of passages written with dizzying intensity at a rare and acute pitch. Ferrante is at her best when her writing holds tight to those nagging, niggling obsessions that make up our mental landscapes."-La Stampa

A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
The template for the hot-blooded Italian best seller The Days of Abandonment is familiar, in fiction and in life. But the raging, torrential voice of the author is something rare. Using the secret of her identity to elevate this book's already high drama, the author (Elena Ferrante is a pseudonym) describes the violent rupture of a marriage with all the inner tranquillity that you might associate with Medea. When her book's heroine has the temerity to invoke Anna Karenina approaching the railroad tracks, the analogy is actually well earned.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Once an aspiring writer, Olga traded literary ambition for marriage and motherhood; when Mario dumps her after 15 years, she is utterly unprepared. Though she tells herself that she is a competent woman, nothing like the poverella (poor abandoned wife) that mothers whispered about in her childhood, Olga falls completely apart. Routine chores overwhelm her; she neglects her appearance and forgets her manners; she throws herself at the older musician downstairs; she sees the poverella's ghost. After months of self-pity, anger, doubt, fury, desperation and near madness, her acknowledgments of weaknesses in the marriage feel as earned as they are unsurprising. Smoothly translated by New Yorker editor Goldstein, this intelligent and darkly comic novel-which sat atop Italian bestseller lists for nearly a year, has been translated into 12 languages and adapted for an Italian film slated for 2006 release-conveys the resilience of a complex woman. Speculation about the identity of the pseudonymous Ferrante, whose previous novel is scheduled for 2006 release by Europa, has reached Pynchon-like proportions in Italy. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
First published in Italy in 2002, this book tells the timeless story of a married man leaving his wife for a much younger woman. Narrator Olga describes how her husband Mario tells her matter-of-factly about his lover after lunch one afternoon. As a metaphor for her situation, Olga invokes the "legend" of the poverella (literally the "poor woman"), who loses her home, marriage, and financial and emotional stability when her husband leaves her. Olga makes an effort to stave off that fate-she does not scream or rebuke Mario for abandoning her and her young children for a while, instead maintaining an eerie calm. Her emotions eventually boil over, however, and humiliation and anger come off her like molten lava, searing everything that they touch. Olga candidly describes the anxiety, fear, and tumult that lead from her trying to hurt Mario and his young lover to her creating a peaceful home for her and her children. In the end, she finds her own way out. Raw and gut-wrenching, this book will find fans in literary fiction readers but not among the timid. For medium and larger public libraries with contemporary fiction collections.-Lisa Nussbaum, Dauphin Cty. Lib. Syst., Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933372006
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 75,145
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author


Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. Though she is one of Italy's most important and acclaimed contemporary authors, her identity is a mystery. Theories and speculation as to who Elena Ferrante really is continue to circulate; however, the author has successfully shunned public attention and has been able to keep her whereabouts and her true identity concealed. The Days of Abandonment, her second novel, is currently being made into a film by director Roberto Faenza, due for release in North America in 2006.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2014

    Breaks your heart, but uplifts it too

    Elena Ferrante is one of the most interesting writers around. Her Neapolitan novels (2 available in translation; 2 to come) are fantastic. Highly recommend this one, too, about a woman whose marriage ends and the ways she falls apart--and puts herself together again. Short, brutal, beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    dark but worth every page

    hang on to the end. It's worth it.

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