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From the author of My Brilliant Friend
"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.
|Publisher:||Europa Editions, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.32(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.57(d)|
About 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Days of Abandonment is the second novel by Italian author, Elena Ferrante. When Mario announces after dinner that he intends to leave Olga after fifteen years of marriage, she at first believes this is another “absence of sense”, as Mario referred to his infatuation with fifteen-year-old Carla, five years earlier. She tries to discuss things calmly, as they have always done: “I hated raised voices, movements that were too brusque. My own family was full of noisy emotions, always on display, and I felt that I was inside a clamorous life and that everything might come apart because of a too piercing sentence, an ungentle movement of the body”. Olga had given up her own ambition to become a writer (“I was young, I had pretensions. I didn’t like the impenetrable page, like a lowered blind. I liked light, air between the slats. I wanted to write stories full of breezes, of filtered rays where dust motes danced… I loved writers who made you look through every line, to gaze downward and feel the vertigo of the depths, the blackness of inferno”) to support Mario and care for their children. Now, suddenly alone, abandoned with just her two young children, Olga spirals through anger into deep despair. She alienates friends: “…so even the very few people who still tried to help me withdrew in the end: it was difficult to put up with me. I found myself alone and frightened by my own desperation”; she questions who and what she is: “…perhaps I would understand better why he had gone and why I, who had always set against the occasional emotional confusion the stable order of our affections, now felt so violently the bitterness of loss, an intolerable grief, the anxiety of falling out of the web of certainty and having to relearn life without the security of knowing how to do it” Olga reaches a crisis point, descending into a dangerous mental and physical state: “I had only to quiet the view inside, the thoughts. They got mixed up, they crowded in on one another, shreds of words and images, buzzing frantically, like a swarm of wasps…”, she behaves in a completely uncharacteristic manner, before she eventually gains a new sense of herself: “Perhaps I remained beautiful even if my husband had rolled up the sense of my beauty into a ball and thrown it into the wastepaper basket, like wrapping paper”. Ferrante certainly knows how to convey the myriad of emotions, the stages of loss that accompany a marital breakdown. Readers should be prepared for the explicit language that reflects the depth of Olga’s anger. This dark tale, filled with marvellous descriptive prose, has a hopeful ending. A powerful read. 4.5 stars
Like The Bell Jar but with shrinking instead of growing relevant insights as book progresses
Her writing is amazing.
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.
hang on to the end. It's worth it.
Why is she naked?