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The Story of a New Name (Neapolitan Novels Series #2)
     

The Story of a New Name (Neapolitan Novels Series #2)

4.6 5
by Elena Ferrante
 

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Soon to be an HBO series, the follow-up to My Brilliant Friend 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.”

Overview

Soon to be an HBO series, the follow-up to My Brilliant Friend 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)

In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her enterée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Love, jealousy, family, freedom, commitment, and above all friendship: these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment, gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.

Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With the Neapolitan quartet 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.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Joseph Luzzi
Every so often you encounter an author so unusual it takes a while to make sense of her voice. The challenge is greater still when this writer's freshness has nothing to do with fashion, when it's imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history. Elena Ferrante is this rare bird: so deliberate in building up her story that you almost give up on it, so gifted that by the end she has you in tears…As a translator, Ann Goldstein does Ferrante a great service. Like the original Italian, the English here is disciplined, precise, never calling attention to itself…Ferrante's gift for recreating real life stems as much from the quiet, unhurried rhythm of her writing as from the people and events she describes. The translation reproduces Ferrante's narrative ebb and flow while registering the distinct features of her voice.
Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
The second in a trilogy, book two rejoins narrator Elena Greco and her "brilliant friend" Lina Cerullo as they leave behind their claustrophobic Italian girlhood and enter the tumultuous world of young womanhood with all its accompanying love, loss, and confusion. Against the backdrop of l960s/70s Naples, the previously inseparable girls embark on diverse paths. At 16, Lila has married the prosperous local grocer, Stefano Carraci, only to discover at their wedding reception that he has already betrayed her and damned their union. Conversely Elena has chosen education, a less traditional route to free her from the stultifying village life. Lina asks Elena to hide a box of notebooks from her husband. Instead, she dumps them in the river but not without first reading them. Ferrante masterfully combines Elena's recollections of events with Lila's point of view as documented in her notebooks to drive the narrative. The women's fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of this poignant book. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Elena Ferrante and The Neapolitan Novels

The United States

“Ferrante’s novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.” —James Wood, The New Yorker
 
“One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue
 
“Amazing! My Brilliant Friend took my breath away. If I were president of the world I would make everyone read this book. It is so honest and right and opens up heart to so much. Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can’t look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn’t know books could do this!” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge
 
“I like the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, a lot. I've been reading all her work and all about her.” — John Waters, actor and director
 
“Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you’ve never heard of”— The Economist
 
“Ferrante’s freshness has nothing to do with fashion…it is imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“I am such a fan of Ferrante’s work, and have been for quite a while.” —Jennifer Gilmore, author of The Mothers
 
“The women’s fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of the poignant book” — Publisher’s Weekly
 
“When I read [the Neapolitan novels] I find that I never want to stop. I feel vexed by the obstacles—my job, or acquaintances on the subway—that threaten to keep me apart from the books. I mourn separations (a year until the next one—how?). I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going.”—Molly Fischer, The New Yorker

“[Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels] don’t merely offer a teeming vision of working-class Naples, with its cobblers and professors, communists and mobbed-up businessmen, womanizing poets and downtrodden wives; they present one of modern fiction’s richest portraits of a friendship.” —John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR
 
“Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time. Her voice is passionate, her view sweeping and her gaze basilisk . . . In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now — one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.”—Roxana Robinson, The New York Times Book Review
 
“An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression  and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you’re reading her.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
“Ferrante seasons the prose with provocative perceptions not unlike the way Proust did.” —Shelf Awareness
 
“It would be difficult to find a deeper portrait of women’s friendship than the one in Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, which unfold from the fifties to the twenty-first century to tell a single story with the possessive force of an origin myth.”—Megan O’Grady, Vogue 
 
“Ferrante’s writing is so unencumbered, so natural, and yet so lovely, brazen, and flush. The constancy of detail and the pacing that zips and skips then slows to a real-time crawl have an almost psychic effect, bringing you deeply into synchronicity with the discomforts and urgency of the characters’ emotions. Ferrante is unlike other writers—not because she’s innovative, but rather because she’s unselfconscious and brutally, diligently honest.”—Minna Proctor, Bookforum
 
“Ferrante can do a woman’s interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt.”—Booklist
 
“The truest evocation of a complex and lifelong friendship between women I’ve ever read.” —Emily Gould, author of Friendship
 
“Elena Ferrante is the author of several remarkable, lucid, austerely honest novels . . . My Brilliant Friend is a large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman.”—James Wood, The New Yorker
 
“Compelling, visceral and immediate . . . a riveting examination of power . . . The Neapolitan novels are a tour de force.”—Jennifer Gilmore, The Los Angeles Times
 
“Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay surpasses the rapturous storytelling of the previous titles in the Neapolitan Novels.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Ferrante’s voice feels necessary. She is the Italian Alice Munro.”—Mona Simpson,author of Casebook and Anywhere But Here
 
“Elena Ferrante will blow you away.”—Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
 
“The Days of Abandonment is a powerful, heartrending novel.”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Lowland 
 
“The Neapolitan novel cycle is an unconditional masterpiece . . . I read all the books in a state of immersion; I was totally enthralled. There was nothing else I wanted to do except follow the lives of Lila and Lenù to the end.”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Lowland
 
“Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can’t look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn’t know books could do this!”—Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Burgess Boys
 
“Elena Ferrante: the best angry woman writer ever!”—John Waters, director
 
“The feverish speculation about the identity of Elena Ferrante betrays an understandable failure of imagination: it seems impossible that right now somewhere someone sits in a room and draws up these books. Palatial and heartbreaking beyond measure, the Neapolitan novels seem less written than they do revealed. One simply surrenders. When the final volume appears—may that day never come!—they’re bound to be acknowledged as one of the most powerful works of art, in any medium, of our age.”—Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of A Sense of Direction
 
“Ferrante tackles girlhood and friendship with amazing force.”—Gwyneth Paltrow, actor
 
“Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name. Book two in her Naples trilogy. Two words: Read it.”—Ann Hood, writer (from Twitter)
 
“Ferrante continues to imbue this growing saga with great magic.”—Booklist(starred review)
 
“One of Italy’s best contemporary novelists.”?—The Seattle Times

“Ferrante’s emotional and carnal candor are so potent.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“Elena Ferrante’s gutsy and compulsively readable new novel, the first of a quartet, is a terrific entry point for Americans unfamiliar with the famously reclusive writer, whose go-for-broke tales of women’s shadow selves—those ambivalent mothers and seething divorcées too complex or unseemly for polite society (and most literary fiction, for that matter)—shimmer with Balzacian human detail and subtle psychological suspense . . . The Neapolitan novels offer one of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory—from the make-up and break-up quarrels of young girls to the way in which we carefully define ourselves against each other as teens—Ferrante wisely balances her memoir-like emotional authenticity with a wry sociological understanding of a society on the verge of dramatic change.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue
 
“My Brilliant Friend is a sweeping family-centered epic that encompasses issues of loyalty, love, and a transforming Europe. This gorgeous novel should bring a host of new readers to one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.”—The Barnes and Noble Review
 
“Ferrante draws an indelible picture of the city’s mean streets and the poverty, violence and sameness of lives lived in the same place forever . . . She is a fierce writer.”—Shelf Awareness
 
“Ferrante transforms the love, separation and reunion of two poor urban girls into the general tragedy of their city.”––The New York Times
 
“Beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein . . . Ferrante writes with a ferocious, intimate urgency that is a celebration of anger. Ferrante is terribly good with anger, a very specific sort of wrath harbored by women, who are so often not allowed to give voice to it. We are angry, a lot of the time, at the position we’re in—whether it’s as wife, daughter, mother, friend—and I can think of no other woman writing who is so swift and gorgeous in this rage, so bracingly fearless in mining fury.”—Susanna Sonnenberg, The San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Everyone should read anything with Ferrante’s name on it.”—The Boston Globe
 
“The through-line in all of Ferrante’s investigations, for me, is nothing less than one long, mind-and-heart-shredding howl for the history of women (not only Neapolitan women), and its implicit j’accuse . . . Ferrante’s effect, critics agree, is inarguable. ‘Intensely, violently personal’ and ‘brutal directness, familial torment’ is how James Wood ventures to categorize her—descriptions that seem mild after you’ve encountered the work.” —Joan Frank, The San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Lila, mercurial, unsparing, and, at the end of this first episode in a planned trilogy from Ferrante, seemingly capable of starting a full-scale neighborhood war, is a memorable character.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“An engrossing, wildly original contemporary epic about the demonic power of human (and particularly female) creativity checked by the forces of history and society.” —The Los Angeles Review of Books
 
“Ferrante’s own writing has no limits, is willing to take every thought forward to its most radical conclusion and backwards to its most radical birthing.”­—The New Yorker

The United Kingdom

“The Story of a New Name, like its predecessor, is fiction of the very highest order.”—Independent on Sunday
 
“My Brilliant Friend, translated by Ann Goldstein, is stunning: an intense, forensic exploration of the friendship between Lila and the story’s narrator, Elena. Ferrante’s evocation of the working-class district of Naples where Elena and Lila first meet as two wiry eight-year-olds is cinematic in the density of its detail.”—The Times Literary Supplement
 
“This is a story about friendship as a mass of roiling currents—love, envy, pity, spite, dependency and Schadenfreude coiling around one another, tricky to untangle.”—Intelligent Life
 
“Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you have never heard of. The Italian author has written six lavishly praised novels. But she writes under a pseudonym and will not offer herself for public consumption. Her characters likewise defy convention . . . Her prose is crystal, and her storytelling both visceral and compelling.”—The Economist
 
Ferrante is an expert above all at the rhythm of plotting: certain feuds and oppositions are kept simmering and in abeyance for years, so that a particular confrontation – a particular scene – can be many hundreds of pages in coming, but when it arrives seems at once shocking and inevitable.”— The Independent

Italy
 
“Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay evokes the vital flux of a heartbeat, of blood flowing through our veins.”––La Repubblica
 
“We don’t know who she is, but it doesn’t matter. Ferrante’s books are enthralling self-contained monoliths that do not seek friendship but demand silent, fervid admiration from her passionate readers . . . The thing most real in these novels is the intense, almost osmotic relationship that unites Elena and Lila, the two girls from a neighborhood in Naples who are the peerless protagonists of the Neapolitan novels.”—Famiglia Cristiana
 
“Today it is near impossible to find writers capable of bringing smells, tastes, feelings, and contradictory passions to their pages. Elena Ferrante, alone, seems able to do it. There is no writer better suited to composing the great Italian novel of her generation, her country, and her time than she.”—Il Manifesto
 
“Elena Ferrante is a very great novelist . . . In a world often held prisoner to minimalism, her writing is extremely powerful, earthy, and audacious.”—Francesca Marciano, author of The Other Language
 
“Regardless of who is behind the name Elena Ferrante, the mysterious pseudonym used by the author of the Neapolitan novels, two things are certain: she is a woman and she knows how to describe Naples like nobody else. She does so with a style that recalls an enchanted spider web with its expressive power and the wizardry with which it creates an entire world.” —Huffington Post (Italy)
 
“A marvel that is without limits and beyond genre.”—Il Salvagente

“Elena Ferrante is proving that literature can cure our present ills; it can cure the spirit by operating as an antidote to the nervous attempts we make to see ourselves reflected in the present-day of a country that is increasingly repellent.”—Il Mattino

“My Brilliant Friend flows from the soul like an eruption from Mount Vesuvio.”—La Repubblica

Australia
 
“No one has a voice quite like Ferrante’s. Her gritty, ruthlessly frank novels roar off the page with a barbed fury, like an attack that is also a defense . . . Ferrante’s fictions are fierce, unsentimental glimpses at the way a woman is constantly under threat, her identity submerged in marriage, eclipsed by motherhood, mythologised by desire. Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you’ll have some idea of how explosive these works are.”—John Freeman, The Australian
 
“One of the most astounding—and mysterious—contemporary Italian novelists available in translation, Elena Ferrante unfolds the tumultuous inner lives of women in her thrillingly menacing stories of lost love, negligent mothers and unfulfilled desires.”—The Age
 
“Ferrante bewitches with her tiny, intricately drawn world . . . My Brilliant Friend journeys fearlessly into some of that murkier psychological territory where questions of individual identity are inextricable from circumstance and the ever-changing identities of others.” —The Melbourne Review
 
“The Neapolitan novels move far from contrivance, logic or respectability to ask uncomfortable questions about how we live, how we love, how we singe an existence in a deeply flawed world that expects pretty acquiescence from its women. In all their beauty, their ugliness, their devotion and deceit, these girls enchant and repulse, like life, like our very selves.” —The Sydney Morning Herald
 
“The best thing I’ve read this year, far and away, would be Elena Ferrante…I just think she puts most other writing at the moment in the shade. She’s marvelous. I like her so much I’m now doing something I only do when I really love the writer: I’m only allowing myself two pages a day.” —Richard Flanagan, author of Book prize finalist, The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Spain
 
“Elena Ferrante’s female characters are genuine works of art . . . It is clear that her novel is the child of Italian neorealism and an abiding fascination with scene.”—El Pais

Kirkus Reviews
Roman à clef by the reclusive author who writes under the name Elena Ferrante (The Lost Daughter, 2008, etc.): a beautifully written portrait of a sometimes difficult friendship. Set, as is so much of her work, in her native Naples, Italy, Ferrante's latest is a study in the possibility of triumph over disappointment. Its narrator, Elena Greco, is the daughter of a man who has managed by dint of hard work to rise only to the lowly position of porter at the city government building. Elena is brilliant, but less so than her friend Raffaella Cerullo, called--confusingly, for readers without Italian--Lila or Lina depending on who is talking. Both women, born in the year of liberation, 1944, are ambitious, whip-smart, as at home in the pages of Aristotle as in the hills of their still-battered city. Their native milieu is poor and barely literate, but both have emerged from it, despite the distractions afforded by the boys they like and the violence occasionally visited by those whom they don't. Lina has always outpaced Elena in every way, not least intellectually; as Elena recalls, "I saw that after half a page of the philosophy textbook she was able to find surprising connections between Anaxagoras, the order that the intellect imposes on the chaos of things, and Mendeleev's tables." That chaos, in the first volume of the trilogy to which this volume belongs, sweeps Lina away from her ambitions toward a domesticity that seems almost arbitrary, while Elena, the very definition of a survivor, forges on. Lina, it appears, will always consider her the lesser of equals, someone who, Elena frets, "couldn't even imagine that I might change." Yet, as Ferrante recounts, it is late-blooming Elena whose turn it is to flourish, despite setbacks and false starts; this second book closes with her embarking on what promises to be a brilliant literary career and with the hint that true love may not be far behind. Admirers of Ferrante's work will eagerly await the third volume.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609451349
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Series:
Neapolitan Novels Series , #2
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
9,424
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Story of A New Name

Book Two of the Neapolitan novels


By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

Europa Editions

Copyright © 2012 Edizioni E/O
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60945-134-9


CHAPTER 1

1.

In the spring of 1966, Lila, in a state of great agitation, entrusted to me a metal box that contained eight notebooks. She said that she could no longer keep them at home, she was afraid her husband might read them. I carried off the box without comment, apart from some ironic allusions to the excessive amount of string she had tied around it. At that time our relationship was terrible, but it seemed that only I considered it that way. The rare times we saw each other, she showed no embarrassment, only affection; a hostile word never slipped out.

When she asked me to swear that I wouldn't open the box for any reason, I swore. But as soon as I was on the train I untied the string, took out the notebooks, began to read. It wasn't a diary, although there were detailed accounts of the events of her life, starting with the end of elementary school. Rather, it seemed evidence of a stubborn self-discipline in writing. The pages were full of descriptions: the branch of a tree, the ponds, a stone, a leaf with its white veinings, the pots in the kitchen, the various parts of a coffeemaker, the brazier, the coal and bits of coal, a highly detailed map of the courtyard, the broad avenue of stradone, the rusting iron structure beyond the ponds, the gardens and the church, the cut of the vegetation alongside the railway, the new buildings, her parents' house, the tools her father and her brother used to repair shoes, their gestures when they worked, and above all colors, the colors of every object at different times of the day. But there were not only pages of description. Isolated words appeared, in dialect and in Italian, sometimes circled, without comment. And Latin and Greek translation exercises. And entire passages in English on the neighborhood shops and their wares, on the cart loaded with fruit and vegetables that Enzo Scanno took through the streets every day, leading the mule by the halter. And many observations on the books she read, the films she saw in the church hall. And many of the ideas that she had asserted in the discussions with Pasquale, in the talks she and I used to have. Of course, the progress was sporadic, but whatever Lila captured in writing assumed importance, so that even in the pages written when she was eleven or twelve there was not a single line that sounded childish.

Usually the sentences were extremely precise, the punctuation meticulous, the handwriting elegant, just as Maestra Oliviero had taught us. But at times, as if a drug had flooded her veins, Lila seemed unable to bear the order she had imposed on herself. Everything then became breathless, the sentences took on an overexcited rhythm, the punctuation disappeared. In general it didn't take long for her to return to a clear, easy pace. But it might also happen that she broke off abruptly and filled the rest of the page with little drawings of twisted trees, humped, smoking mountains, grim faces. I was entranced by both the order and the disorder, and the more I read, the more deceived I felt. How much practice there was behind the letter she had sent me on Ischia years earlier: that was why it was so well written. I put everything back in the box, promising myself not to become inquisitive again.

But I soon gave in—the notebooks exuded the force of seduction that Lila had given off since she was a child. She had treated the neighborhood, her family, the Solaras, Stefano, every person or thing with ruthless accuracy. And what to say of the liberty she had taken with me, with what I said, with what I thought, with the people I loved, with my very physical appearance. She had fixed moments that were decisive for her without worrying about anything or anyone. Here vividly was the pleasure she had felt when at ten she wrote her story, The Blue Fairy. Here just as vivid was what she had suffered when our teacher Maestra Oliviero hadn't deigned to say a single word about that story, in fact had ignored it. Here was the suffering and the fury because I had gone to middle school, neglecting her, abandoning her. Here the excitement with which she had learned to repair shoes, the desire to prove herself that had induced her to design new shoes, and the pleasure of completing the first pair with her brother Rino. Here the pain when Fernando, her father, had said that the shoes weren't well made. There was everything, in those pages, but especially hatred for the Solara brothers, the fierce determination with which she had rejected the love of the older, Marcello, and the moment when she had decided, instead, to marry the gentle Stefano Carracci, the grocer, who out of love had wanted to buy the first pair of shoes she had made, vowing that he would keep them forever. Ah, the wonderful moment when, at fifteen, she had felt herself a rich and elegant lady, on the arm of her fiance, who, all because he loved her, had invested a lot of money in her father and brother's shoe business: Cerullo shoes. And how much satisfaction she had felt: the shoes of her imagination in large part realized, a house in the new neighborhood, marriage at sixteen. And what a lavish wedding, how happy she was. Then Marcello Solara, with his brother Michele, had appeared in the middle of the festivities, wearing on his feet the very shoes that her husband had said were so dear to him. Her husband. What sort of man had she married? Now, when it was all over, would the false face be torn off, revealing the horribly true one underneath? Questions, and the facts, without embellishment, of our poverty. I devoted myself to those pages, for days, for weeks. I studied them. I ended up learning by heart the passages I liked, the ones that thrilled me, the ones that hypnotized me, the ones that humiliated me. Behind their naturalness was surely some artifice, but I couldn't discover what it was.

Finally, one evening in November, exasperated, I went out carrying the box. I couldn't stand feeling Lila on me and in me, even now that I was esteemed myself, even now that I had a life outside of Naples. I stopped on the Solferino bridge to look at the lights filtered through a cold mist. I placed the box on the parapet, and pushed it slowly, a little at a time, until it fell into the river, as if it were her, Lila in person, plummeting, with her thoughts, words, the malice with which she struck back at anyone, the way she appropriated me, as she did every person or thing or event or thought that touched her: books and shoes, sweetness and violence, the marriage and the wedding night, the return to the neighborhood in the new role of Signora Raffaella Carracci.


2.

I couldn't believe that Stefano, so kind, so in love, had given Marcello Solara the vestige of the child Lila, the evidence of her work on the shoes she had designed.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Story of A New Name by Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein. Copyright © 2012 Edizioni E/O. Excerpted by permission of Europa Editions.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for Elena Ferrante and The Neapolitan Novels

“Everyone should read anything with Ferrante’s name on it.” —The Boston Globe
 
“Ferrante’s novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.” —James Wood, The New Yorker
 
“One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue
 
“Amazing! My Brilliant Friend took my breath away. If I were president of the world I would make everyone read this book. It is so honest and right and opens up heart to so much. Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can’t look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn’t know books could do this!” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge
 
“Elena Ferrante will blow you away.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
 
 
“Ferrante’s emotional and carnal candor are so potent." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“I like the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, a lot. I've been reading all her work and all about her.” — John Waters, actor and director
 
“"Elena Ferrante tackles girlhood and friendship with amazing force.”— Gwenyth Paltrow
 
“Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you’ve never heard of”— The Economist
 
“[Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels] don’t merely offer a teeming vision of working-class Naples, with its cobblers and professors, communists and mobbed-up businessmen, womanizing poets and downtrodden wives; they present one of modern fiction’s richest portraits of a friendship.” —John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR
 
“Ferrante’s freshness has nothing to do with fashion…it is imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history.” The New York Times Book Review
 
“Elena Ferrante’s THE STORY OF A NEW NAME, book two in her Naples series. Two words. Read it.” —Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer
 
“Ferrante writes with a ferocious, intimate urgency.” —Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death: A Memoir
 
The Days of Abandonment is a powerful, heartrending novel.” —Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Lowlands
 
“I am such a fan of Ferrante’s work, and have been for quite a while.” —Jennifer Gilmore, author of The Mothers
 
“No one has a voice quite like Ferrante's. Her gritty, ruthlessly frank novels roar off the page with a barbed fury, like an attack that is also a defense…Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you'll have some idea of how explosive these works are.” —John Freeman, The Australian
 
“The women’s fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of the poignant book” — Publisher’s Weekly
 
"An engrossing, wildly original contemporary epic about the demonic power of human (and particularly female) creativity checked by the forces of history and society." The Los Angeles Review of Books
 

Meet the Author

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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The Story of a New Name 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
RANYC More than 1 year ago
I'm heartbroken that I have to wait until September for the next book in the series (I understand there are 4 altogether). These are wonderful, original, and  very powerful works that introduce the reader to a world and characters that is alien and familiar at the same time. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives you great insights of what life was like for a girl in southern Italy in the 50s and 60s. Very well written .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unforgettable series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ferrante has the ability to use a strong narration to tell the story of interesting characters. Lots of talent. I always looked forward to getting back to to my reading. There were many powerful pages with great insights for the reader. On the other hand I found that I often had trouble identifying the large number of characters who often had nicknames. This was after i had already read My Brilliant Friend. I was also often bothered by an overblown emotional quality to social interactions. I had difficulty identifying with many characters. They seemed distorted and exaggerated.