Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante's 'Neapolitan Novels'. Covers reproduced by permission of Europa Editions


Elena Ferrante is one of the best-known Italian writers working today, bringing the contemporary Italian novel to a global audience. She is known for her treatment of women’s psychology, her depictions of the city of Naples, and as a writer of the mother-daughter bond in 20th-century Italian culture. Her work has been widely translated, and has been adapted for radio, film and television, and theatre. The 'Neapolitan Novels' alone have sold 13,000,000 copies in over 40 countries.

Ferrante writes under a pseudonym, a decision which has been the subject of considerable controversy. For this reason, biographical details about ‘Elena Ferrante’ are difficult to come by and remain unconfirmed. From the snapshots of herself which she provides in various of her non-fictional writings, we can tentatively infer that she was born and raised in Naples but does not now reside there, and that she is a mother of daughters, studied Classics, had a prior non-literary career, and that writing has been a preoccupation throughout her life. Ferrante is deliberately careful about revealing biographical information. Her reticence is owed to a personal theory of authorship she has embraced, namely that the works of a writer should speak for themselves, without the public intervention of the author to guide their interpretation or introduce them to readers. On this topic she writes:

'I believe that today it’s a mistake to fail to protect writing by guaranteeing it an autonomous space, far from the demands of the media and the marketplace. My own small cultural battle, now two decades long, is aimed mostly at readers. I think authors should be sought in the books they put their names to, not in the physical person who is writing or in his or her private life.' (Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey, 2016, 351)

All Ferrante’s work in Italian has been published by Edizioni e/o, a small Roman publishing house. Her first three novels – L’amore molesto (1992), I giorni dell’abbandono (2002), and La figlia oscura (2006) – , now sometimes collectively referred to as Cronache del mal d’amore, feature female narrators facing a crisis of identity (the death of a mother, infidelity and divorce, the transition phase when one’s own children become adults). Temporally concise and psychologically dense, Delia’s, Olga’s, and Leda’s stories stage a confrontation with a disturbed maternal past, a theme which Ferrante confirms as critical to her writing: ‘The roles of daughters and mothers are central to my books; sometimes I think I haven’t written about anything else’ (Frantumaglia, 251). Directly inspired by the third novel, La figlia oscura, in 2007 Ferrante published La spiaggia di notte, a short story illustrated by Mara Cerri. The tale of a doll abandoned on the beach at night, mirroring the doll with which Leda becomes obsessed in La figlia oscura, the book has a fairytale quality and is a children’s story, though some of the disturbing themes and nightmarish imagery may suggest that Ferrante is writing also for adults.

Elena Ferrante’s early work has been recognised by scholars of Italian women’s writing as innovative and exciting (see below Benedetti 2007; Giorgio 2002; Lucamante 2008; Milkova 2013; Sambuco 2012). It was also appreciated within Italian literary circles: L’amore molesto won the 1992 Premio Procida-Isola di Arturo-Elsa Morante and was shortlisted for the Premio Strega, Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, in the same year. From 2005, the early novels began to appear in English translation by prize-winning literary translator Ann Goldstein. These were published by Edizioni e/o’s sister company in New York, Europa Editions. The Days of Abandonment (2005) was followed by Troubling Love (2006) and The Lost Daughter (2008). The translation of La spiaggia di notte, The Beach at Night, came later, in 2016, once Elena Ferrante had become a household name.

Though she writes pseudonymously, Ferrante is by no means anonymous: she has given countless interviews and has responded with candour to the queries of journalists and readers. In 2003, the first edition of La frantumaglia appeared, a collection of letters and interviews which is now a key point of reference for criticism of Ferrante’s works. In it, she details aspects of her philosophies of writing and authorship, and a vision of feminine psychic life which has become central to how her works are interpreted. The collection has appeared in two subsequent editions, in 2007 and 2016 ‒ the latter being released in English as Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey simultaneously with the Italian edition ‒, containing further correspondence, interviews, and discussion generated by the publication and global success of the so-called ‘Neapolitan Novels’.

The series of four novels, published in Italian between 2011 and 2014 under the collective title L’amica geniale and in English, also translated by Goldstein, between 2012 and 2015 as the ‘Neapolitan Novels’, became international best-sellers and sparked the phenomenon now known as ‘Ferrante Fever’. The international recognition was in part generated by a 2013 article for The New Yorker by James Wood, in which he argued that Elena Ferrante was the author of ‘remarkable, lucid, austerely honest novels’ that deserved to be better known. L’amica geniale [My Brilliant Friend], Storia del nuovo cognome [The Story of a New Name], Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta [Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay], and Storia della bambina perduta [The Story of the Lost Child] detail the tumultuous relationship of two friends growing up in Naples in the post-war years, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo, as they are variously united and divided by the game of life. The 'Neapolitan Novels' span over 60 years and allude to elements of the political and social upheaval of the 20th century. They also confront the central themes of mother-daughter relationships and female identity-construction which characterised Ferrante’s earlier novels. The Story of the Lost Child, the final instalment of the series, was one of The New York Times’ 10 best books of 2015 (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/02/books/review/best-books-of-2015.html). Elena Ferrante was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2016 (https://time.com/collection-post/4299844/elena-ferrante-2016-time-100/).

As her popularity increased, speculation about Ferrante’s identity has become increasingly frenzied. Various theories have emerged during the years in which Ferrante has been active, but the peak of the controversy surrounding her absence from the public sphere came in 2016, with the publication of an article by Claudio Gatti for Il Sole 24 Ore claiming to have unearthed the ‘true’ Ferrante (https://st.ilsole24ore.com/art/cultura/2016-10-02/elena-ferrante-tracce-dell-autrice-ritrovata-105611.shtml?uuid=ADEqsgUB&refresh_ce=1). The report, of dubious ethical character, generated a considerable backlash, but remains a hypothesis. Readers and critics of Elena Ferrante were largely united in their confirmation that to seek to expose the ‘real’ author behind the novels in this way was not only an invasion of individual privacy, but a blatant disregard of the mode of authorship which Ferrante has adopted (see Alfano 2016 and Winterson 2016).

In 2018, Ferrante was invited to become a weekly columnist for The Guardian. These columns, accompanied by the illustrations of Andrea Ucini and translated once more by Goldstein, address topics including pregnancy and maternity, writing, love, fear, and death. The articles were collected in L’invenzione occasionale in 2018, which appeared in English in 2019 as Incidental Inventions. In them, Ferrante offers further brief glimpses of her personality and her life. In her latest novel, La vita bugiarda degli adulti (2019) [The Lying Life of Adults, 2020], she returns once more to Naples and to the perspective of the female narrator. La vita bugiarda is a stark exploration of the conflicted emotional life of a teenager, Giovanna Trada, as she struggles with the lies involved in forming a coherent identity and the hypocrisy of the adults who surround her.

Elena Ferrante is an exciting and much-discussed contemporary author whose work continues to expand the possibilities for writing the female subject in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It is pleasing to note, as Goldstein’s recent translations of Anna Maria Ortese’s Neapolitan Chronicles (New York: New Vessel Press, 2018) and Elsa Morante’s Arthur’s Island (New York: Liveright, 2019) indicate, that the global appeal of Ferrante’s work appears to be leading to the recognition of other significant Italian women writers of the 20th century beyond national borders.



L’amore molesto (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 1992)

I giorni dell’abbandono (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2002)

La figlia oscura (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2006)

La spiaggia di notte (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2007)

L’amica geniale (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2011)

Storia del nuovo cognome (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2012)

Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2013)

Storia della bambina perduta (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2014)

La vita bugiarda degli adulti (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2019)


Essays and Correspondence

La frantumaglia (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2003; 2007; 2016)

L’invenzione occasionale (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2019)


English Translations of Ferrante’s Work

The Days of Abandonment, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2005)

Troubling Love, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2006)

The Lost Daughter, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2008)

My Brilliant Friend, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2012)

The Story of a New Name, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2013)

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2014)

The Story of the Lost Child, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2015)

The Beach at Night, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2016)

Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2016)

Incidental Inventions, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2018)

The Lying Life of Adults, trans. by Ann Goldstein (New York: Europa, 2020)



Carotenuto, Angelo: ‘La scrittrice geniale. Amiche mie, siete libere’. Interview with Elena Ferrante (il Venerdì di Repubblica, 1595, 12 ottobre 2018, pp. 16-22)

Elle: ‘The Elena Ferrante Interview’, trans. by Ann Goldstein (Elle, 29 August 2020). Available online at https://www.elle.com/culture/books/a33834141/elena-ferrante-interview-the-lying-life-of-adults/

Emre, Merve: ‘We Tell a Story and Try to Do Our Best’. Interview with Elena Ferrante (Elena Ferrante, 7 November 2018). Available online at http://elenaferrante.com/category/interview/

Fiori, Simonetta: ‘Elena Ferrante’s Interview: “I have to lie to tell the truth”’ (La Repubblica: Robinson, 9 December 2019). Available online at https://www.repubblica.it/robinson/2019/12/02/news/_i_have_to_lie_to_tell_the_truth_-242458739/

Jacob, Didier: ‘In a Rare Interview, Elena Ferrante Describes the Writing Process Behind the Neapolitan Novels’ (Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2018). Available online at https://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-elena-ferrante-interview-20180517-htmlstory.html


Adaptations for Radio, Television, Theatre and Cinema, and Documentaries

L’amore molesto, dir. by Mario Martone (Lucky Red, 1995) [film]

I giorni dell’abbandono, dir. by Roberto Faenza (Jean Vigo Italia, 2005) [film]

Elena Ferrante–The Neapolitan Novels, dir. by Celia de Wolff (BBC Radio 4 Extra, 14-25 September 2020) [radio play]

Ferrante Fever, dir. by Giacomo Durzi (Malìa; Rai Cinema, 2017) [documentary]

My Brilliant Friend, dir. by Melly Still (Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, 25 February-2 April 2017; National Theatre, London, 12 November 2019-22 February 2020) [play]

My Brilliant Friend, dir. by Saverio Costanzo (HBO, 2018-2020) [TV series]

The Lost Daughter, dir. by Maggie Gyllenhaal (Endeavor Content, 2021, forthcoming) [film]

The Lying Life of Adults, read by Juliet Aubrey (BBC Radio 4, 31 August-11 September 2020) [audio book]



Monographs, Edited Books, and Special Issues of Journals

Bojar, Karen: In Search of Elena Ferrante: The Novels and the Question of Authorship (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2018)

Bullaro, Grace Russo and Love, Stephanie [eds]: The Works of Elena Ferrante: Reconfiguring the Margins (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

Buonanno, Elda: La Frantumaglia: Elena Ferrante’s Fragmented Self (Berlin: Verlag Dr Müller, 2009)

Chihaya, Sarah, Emre, Merve, Hill, Katherine and Richards, Jill: The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism (New York: Columbia UP, 2020)

Crispino, Anna Maria and Vitale, Marina [eds]: Dell’ambivalenza. Dinamiche della narrazione in Elena Ferrante, Julie Otsuka e Goliarda Sapienza (Rome: Iacobelli, 2016)

de Rogatis, Tiziana: Elena Ferrante. Parole chiave (Rome: Edizioni e/o, 2018)

—: Elena Ferrante’s Key Words, trans. by Will Schutt (New York: Europa, 2019)

de Rogatis, Tiziana, Milkova, Stiliana and Wehling-Giorgi, Katrin [eds]: Elena Ferrante in a Global Context (MLN, Special Issue,136, 1, January 2021, forthcoming)

Milkova, Stiliana: Elena Ferrante as World Literature (London; New York: Bloomsbury, February 2021, forthcoming)

Panetta, Maria and Traina, Giuseppe [eds]: Nuove ricerche su Elena Ferrante (Rome: Diacritica Edizioni, 2019). Available online at http://diacritica.it/wp-content/uploads/6.-Nuove-ricerche-su-Elena-Ferrante-a-cura-di-G.-Traina-e-M.-Panetta.pdf

Pinto, Isabella: Elena Ferrante: Poetiche e politiche della soggettività (Milan: Mimesis, 2020)

Scarinci, Viviana: Elena Ferrante (Milan: Doppiozero, 2015) [ebook]

Tuzzi, Arjuna and Cortellazzo, Michele A.  [eds]: Drawing Elena Ferrante’s Profile. Workshop Proceedings, Padova, 7 September 2017 (Padua: Padua UP, 2018)


Book Chapters and Journal Articles

Alfano, Barbara: ‘The Fact of the Matter: Ethics and Materiality in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ (Italian Quarterly, 52, 203-206, 2015 [copyright 2018], pp. 24-41)

—: ‘Il mondo vero: Etica e materia nella tetralogia napoletana di Elena Ferrante’ in AATI Online Working Papers. Proceedings of the AATI Conference, Naples (Italy), 22-25 June 2016. Available online at https://bancheri.utm.utoronto.ca/aati-online/wpapers/viewer.html?file=../papers/c719f61386dcc540893df8f3bfa03362.pdf

Alfonzetti, Giovanna: ‘Il dialetto “molesto” in Elena Ferrante’ in Dialetto e società ed. by Gianna Marcato (Padua: Cleup, 2018, pp. 305-314)

Alsop, Elizabeth: ‘Femmes Fatales: “La fascinazione di morte” in Elena Ferrante’s L’amore molesto and I giorni dell’abbandono’ (Italica, 91, 3, 2014, pp. 466-485)

Benedetti, Laura: ‘Struggling with the Mother’ in The Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007, pp. 94-113)

—: ‘Il linguaggio dell’amicizia e della città: L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante tra continuità e cambiamento’ (Quaderni d’italianistica, 33, 2, 2012, pp. 171-187)

—: ‘Elena Ferrante in America’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 111-117)

Binik, Oriana: ‘“Carriere devianti” smarginate: da Elena Ferrante al processo di desistenza dal crimine’ (Rassegna italiana di criminologia, 12, 2, 2018, pp. 141-149).

Bokopoulus, Natalie: ‘We Are Always Us: The Boundaries of Elena Ferrante’ (Michigan Quarterly Review, 55, 3, Summer 2016, pp. 396-419).

Bullaro, Grace Russo: ‘The Era of the “Economic Miracle” and the Force of Context in Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 15-44).

Caffè, Emanuela: ‘Staging a Word: Overcoming and Recovering Familial Bonds in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ (Carte Italiane, 12, 1, 2019, pp. 105-124). Available online at https://escholarship.org/uc/item/89d1s175

Caputi, Mary: ‘“The Known Footsteps of My Mother”: The Power of the Abyss in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ (Theory & Event, 23, 3, 2020, pp. 641-663)

Cardone, Lucia: ‘Sensibili differenze. L’amore molesto da Ferrante a Martone’ in Filmare il femminismo. Studi sulle donne nel cinema e nei media ed. by Lucia Cardone and Sara Filippelli (Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2015, pp. 95-104)

Carvalho, Richard: ‘Smarginatura and Spiragli: Uses of Infinity in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet’ (Allegoria, 77, 2018, pp. 94-111)

Caserta, Silvia: ‘World Literature and the Italian Literary Canon: From Elena Ferrante to Natalia Ginzburg’ (Modern Languages Open, 1, 2019, pp. 1-18)

Cavanaugh, Jillian R.: ‘Indexicalities of Language in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels: Dialect and Italian as Markers of Social Value and Difference’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 45-70)

Collina, Beatrice: ‘L’amicizia geniale: origini di un successo. Louisa May Alcott e Elena Ferrante’ (Montesquieu.it, 11, 2019, pp. 1-13). Available online at https://montesquieu.unibo.it/article/download/10044/9850/33018

Conti, Eleonora: ‘Abiti madri e figlie ne L’amore molesto di Elena Ferrante’ (Lettera Zero, 1, 2015, pp. 103-113)

—: ‘Smarginature: lo scarto tra vita e scrittura ne L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Lettera Zero, 4, 2017, pp. 69-78)

Coronato, Rocco: ‘L’amica poco congeniale. Elena Ferrante contro l’immedesimazione’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 118-122)

Dahlman, Roberta Colonna: ‘Strategie di narrazione retrospettiva nel romanzo I giorni dell’abbandono di Elena Ferrante’ in Edito, inedito, riedito: saggi dall’XI Congresso degli italianisti scandinavi, Università del Dalarna, Falun, 9-11 June 2016 ed. by Vera Nigrisoli Wärnhjelm, Alessandro Aresti, Gianluca Colella, and Marco Gargiulo (Pisa: Pisa UP, 2017, pp. 199-212)

de Rogatis, Tiziana: ‘L’amore molesto di Elena Ferrante. Mito classico, riti di iniziazione e identità femminile’ (Allegoria, 69-70, 2014, pp. 273-308)

—: ‘Elena Ferrante e il Made in Italy. La costruzione di un immaginario femminile e napoletano’ in Made in Italy e cultura ed. by Daniele Balicco (Palermo: Palumbo, 2016, pp. 288-317)

—: ‘Metamorfosi del tempo. Il ciclo dell’Amica geniale’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 123-137)

—: ‘Metamorphosis and Rebirth: Greek Mythology and Initiation Rites in Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 185-206)

—: ‘Cerimoniale iniziatico e strutture rituali ne L’amore molesto, I giorni dell'abbandono e La figlia oscura di Elena Ferrante’ in Nel nome della madre. Ripensare le figure della maternità ed. by Daniela Brogi, Tiziana de Rogatis, Franco Cristiana and Lucinda Spera (Bracciano: Del Vecchio, 2017, pp. 71-92)

—: ‘L’amore molesto, I giorni dell’abbandono e La figlia oscura di Elena Ferrante: riti di passaggio, cerimoniali iniziatrici e nuove soggettività’ in Femminismo e femminismi nella scrittura italiana dall’Ottocento al XXI secolo ed. by Sandra Parmeggiani and Michela Prevedello (Florence: SEI, 2018, pp. 99-120)

—: ‘La vita bugiarda degli adulti di Elena Ferrante’ (la Repubblica, 29 November 2019, p. 48)

De Rooy, Ronald: ‘Identità, memoria e passato nell’opera di Patrizia Valduga e Elena Ferrante’ in La forma del passato: questioni di identità in opere letterarie e cinematografiche italiane a partire dagli ultimi anni ottanta ed. by Sabina Gola and Laura Rorato (Berne: Peter Lang, 2007, pp. 159-170)

degli Esposti, Chiara: ‘Wandering Women: Feminist Urban Experiences in Simone de Beauvoir and Elena Ferrante’ (Annali d’Italianistica, 37, 2019, pp. 153-175)

Di Martino, Loredana: ‘Addressing Each Other’s Eyes Directly: From Adriana Cavarero’s “Relating Narratives” to Elena Ferrante’s Intersectional Ethics of Narrative Relations’ (gender/sexuality/italy, special themed section ‘Beside, Besides, and B-sides: Collaborations as Feminist and Decolonizing Practices’, 7, 2020, forthcoming)

Donnarumma, Raffaele: ‘Il melodramma, l’antimelodramma, la Storia: sull’Amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 138-147)

Elwell, Leslie: ‘Breaking Bonds: Refiguring Maternity in Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante: Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 237-269)

Faienza Lucia: ‘La possibilità di dire “io”: un confronto tra Christa Wolf ed Elena Ferrante’ (Il capitale culturale: Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage, 20, 2019, pp. 341-363)

Falotico, Caterina: ‘Il ciclo dell’Amica geniale tra autobiografia, storia e metaletteratura’ (Forum Italicum, 49, 1, 2015, pp. 92-118)

Ferrara, Enrica Maria: ‘Performative Realism and Post-Humanism in The Days of Abandonment’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante: Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 129-157)

—: ‘Elena Ferrante e la questione dell’identità’ (Oblio, 26-27, 2017, pp. 47-55) 

—: ‘L’identità postumana di Elena Ferrante, ovvero l’esplosione della pentola di rame ne L’amica geniale’ (Carte allineate: recensioni e testi, 57, June 2017). Available online at http://cartescoperterecensionietesti.blogspot.com/2017/06/enrica-maria-ferrara-lidentita.html

—: ‘Posthumanism and Identity in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ in Posthumanism in Italian Literature and Film ed. by Enrica Maria Ferrara (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 93-116)

Fusillo, Massimo: ‘Sulla smarginatura. Tre punti-chiave per Elena Ferrante’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 148-153)

Gallippi, Franco: ‘Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. In Search of Parthenope and the “Founding” of a New City’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins, edited by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 101-127)

—: ‘L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante: alla ricerca di Parthenope’ (Rivista di Studi Italiani, 35, 1, 2017, pp. 207-229)

Gambaro, Elisa: ‘Il fascino del regresso: Note su L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Enthymema, 11, 2014, pp. 168-181)

—: ‘Splendori e miserie di una duplice affabulazione’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 154-165)

—: ‘L’andirivieni di un braccialetto’. Review of La vita bugiarda degli adulti (L’indice dei libri del mese, 1, 14 January 2020, p. 2). Available online at https://www.lindiceonline.com/letture/elena-ferrante-la-vita-bugiarda-degli-adulti/

Geue, Tom: ‘Elena Ferrante as the Classics’ (Melbourne Historical Journal, 44, 2, 2016, pp. 1-31). Available online at https://theamphoraissue.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/the_amphora_44-2_2016_tom_geue.pdf

Ghezzo, Flora and Sara Teardo: ‘On Lila’s Traces: Bildung, Narration, and Ethics in Elena Ferrante’s L’amica geniale’, trans. by Ramsey McGlazer (MLN, 134, 1, 2019, pp. 172-192). Available online at https://muse.jhu.edu/article/722572/pdf

Gibbons, Alison: ‘The “Dissolving Margins” of Elena Ferrante and the Neapolitan Novels: A Cognitive Approach to Fictionality, Authorial Intentionality, and Autofictional Reading Strategies’ (Narrative Inquiry, 29, 2, 2019, pp. 391-417)

Giorgio, Adalgisa: ‘The Passion for the Mother: Conflicts and Idealizations in Contemporary Italian Narratives by Women’ in Writing Mothers and Daughters: Renegotiating the Mother in Western European Narratives by Women ed. by Adalgisa Giorgio (New York: Berghahn, 2002, pp. 119-154)

Glynn, Ruth: ‘Decolonising the Body of Naples: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ (Annali d’Italianistica, 37, 2019, Urban Space and the Body ed. by Silvia Ross and Giulio Giovannoni, pp. 261-288)

Haaland, Torunn: ‘Between Past and Present, Self and Other. Liminality and the Transmission of Traumatic Memory in Elena Ferrante’s La figlia oscura’ in Transmissions of Memory. Echoes, Traumas, and Nostalgia in Post-War Italian Culture ed. by Patrizia Sambuco (Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson UP, 2018, pp. 143-160)

Kirsch, Adam: ‘Starting from Home: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ in The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century (New York: Columbia Global Reports, 2016)

Kobilj Cuic, Sanja: ‘Rompere il tabù: il tema dell’abbandono dei figli in Una donna di Sibilla Aleramo e La figlia oscura di Elena Ferrante’ (Raudem – Revista de estudios de las mujeres, 3, 2015, pp. 252-267). Available online at http://ojs.ual.es/ojs/index.php/RAUDEM/article/view/630

Lee, Alison: ‘Feminine Identity and Female Friendships in the “Neapolitan” Novels of Elena Ferrante’ (British Journal of Psychotherapy, 32, 4, 2016, pp. 491-501)

Librandi, Rita: ‘Una lingua silenziosa: immaginare il dialetto negli scritti di Elena Ferrante’ (Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny, 66, 2, 2019, pp. 385-398). Expanded version, by the same title, in Più di sacro che di profano: alcuni esempi di scritture femminili (Florence: Franco Cesati, 2020, pp. 169-188)

—: ‘Contrasti e alleanze di italiano e dialetto nella scrittura e nella “vita adulta” di Elena Ferrante’ in Più di sacro che di profano: alcuni esempi di scritture femminili (Florence: Franco Cesati, 2020, pp. 189-209)

Lombardi, Giancarlo: ‘Scambi d’identità: il recupero del corpo materno ne L’amore molesto’ (Romance Languages Annual, 10, 1999, pp. 288-291)

Love, Stephanie V.: ‘“An Educated Identity”: The School as a Modernist Chronotope in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante: Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie V. Love (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 71-97).

Lucamante, Stefania: ‘The Prison-House of Marriage: Simone de Beauvoir and Elena Ferrante Discuss Abandonment’ in A Multitude of Women: The Challenges of the Contemporary Italian Novel (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 80-108)

—: ‘For Sista Only? Smarginare l’eredità delle sorelle Morante e Ramondino, ovvero i limiti e la forza del post-femminismo di Elena Ferrante’ in Sorelle e sorellanza nella letteratura e nelle arti ed. by Claudia Cao and Marina Guglielmi (Florence: Franco Cesati, 2018, pp. 315-334)

—: ‘Undoing Feminism. The Neapolitan Novels of Elena Ferrante’ (Italica, 95, 1, 2018, pp. 1-19)

Maksimowicz, Christine: ‘Maternal Failure and Its Bequest: Toxic Attachment in the Neapolitan Novels’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 207-236)

Mandolini, Nicoletta: ‘Telling the Abuse: A Feminist-Psychoanalytic Reading of Gender Violence, Repressed Memory, and Female Subjectivity in Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 271-292)

Marchais, Nathalie: ‘Madre o Donna? Figure femminili in conflitto nei romanzi di Elena Ferrante’ (Ecritures, 2, 2006, pp. 45–57)

Marlow-Mann, Alex: ‘The Tears of Naples’ Daughters: Re-interpreting the sceneggiata in Mario Martone’s L’amore molesto’ (The Italianist, 29, 2, 2009, pp. 199-213)

Milkova, Stiliana: ‘Mothers, Daughters, Dolls: On Disgust in Elena Ferrante’s La figlia oscura’ (Italian Culture, 13, 2, 2013, pp. 91-109)

—: ‘Artistic Tradition and Feminine Legacy in Elena Ferrante’s L’amore molesto’ (California Italian Studies, 6, 2016, pp. 1-15). Available online at https://escholarship.org/uc/item/15s5c850

—: ‘Elena Ferrante’s Visual Poetics: Ekphrasis in Troubling Love, My Brilliant Friend, and The Story of a New Name’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie V. Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 159-182)

—: ‘The Translator’s Visibility or the Ferrante-Goldstein Phenomenon’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 166-173)

—: ‘Il minotauro e la doppia Arianna: spazio liminale, labirinto urbano e città femminile ne L’amica geniale’ (Contemporanea, 15, 2018, pp. 75-86)

Mullenneaux, Lisa: ‘Burying Mother’s Ghost: Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love’ (Forum Italicum, 41, 1, 2007, pp. 246-250)

Paoli, Federica: ‘Dell’accettazione e del rifiuto: immagini e figure del materno da Elena Ferrante a Vanessa Ambrosecchio’ (Bollettino di italianistica, 2, 2005, pp. 159-172)

Parisi, Luciano: ‘Trauma e riparazione nell’Amore molesto di Elena Ferrante’ (Studi novecenteschi, 93, 2017, pp. 167-188)

Pesca, Carmela: ‘The Narrative Function of Clothing in Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love’ (Altrelettere, 19 October 2017). Available online at https://www.altrelettere.uzh.ch/article/view/al_uzh-35

Pinto, Isabella: ‘Intervista ad Adriana Cavarero. Filosofia della Narrazione e scrittura del sé: primi appunti sulla scrittura di Elena Ferrante’ (TestoeSenso, 17, 2016, pp. 1-14).

—: ‘Lavoro operaio, lavoro di cura e femminilizzazione del lavoro nella tetralogia de L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (L’ospite ingrato. Rivista online del Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca Franco Fortini, 3-4, 2018, pp. 302-309). Available online at http://www.ospiteingrato.unisi.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/3-4.19.-PINTO.pdf

—: ‘Elena Ferrante: Storie di affinità postumane’ (DWF. Sister of the Revolution. Letture politiche di fantascienza, 1-2 (121-122), 2019, pp. 74-81)

—: ‘Storia della bambina perduta di Elena Ferrate: Il desiderio di narrare oltre la dichotomia autore/lettore’ in Nuove ricerche su Elena Ferrante ed. by Maria Panetta and Giuseppe Traina (Rome: Diacritica Edizioni, 2019, pp. 123-154) Available online at http://diacritica.it/wp-content/uploads/6.-Nuove-ricerche-su-Elena-Ferrante-a-cura-di-G.-Traina-e-M.-Panetta.pdf

—: ‘“Discorso indiretto libero” e “soggettiva libera indiretta”: leggere Elena Ferrante attraverso Pier Paolo Pasolini. Prime note sulla “narratrice traduttrice”’ (L’ospite ingrato. Rivista online del Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca Franco Fortini, 7, 2020, pp. 49-66). Available online at http://www.ospiteingrato.unisi.it/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/7.4.-PINTO.pdf

Pinto, Isabella, Milkova, Stiliana, and Cavarero, Adriana: ‘Storytelling Philosophy and Self Writing – Preliminary Notes on Elena Ferrante: An Interview with Adriana Cavarero’ (Narrative, 28, 2, 2020, pp. 236-249)

Porciani, Elena: ‘Da Napoli al cliché. Note sull’Amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 174-178)

Reyes Ferrer, Maria: ‘La funzione dello specchio nel romanzo I giorni dell’abbandono di Elena Ferrante’ (Quadernos de Filologia Italiana, 23, 2016, pp. 221-236)

Ricciardi, Alessia: ‘Can the Subaltern Speak in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels?’ (Estetica: studi e ricerche, 7, 2, 2017, pp. 293-312)

Ricciotti, Adele: ‘Un confronto tra Elena Ferrante e Anna Maria Ortese: la città di Napoli, la fuga, l’identità’ (Zibaldone. Estudios italianos, 4, 2, July 2016, pp. 111-122)

Riccobono, Rossella: ‘Fantasising the Self, Fantasising the Other: Memory and Revisions in Mario Martone’s L’amore molesto’ (Italica, 87, 3, 2010, pp. 441-461)

Risi, Alessia: ‘Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels: Retelling History through Gendered Fiction’ (Journal of Romance Studies, 18, 3, January 2018, pp. 317-340)

Sambuco, Patrizia: ‘Elena Ferrante’s L’amore molesto: The Renegotiation of the Mother’s Body’ in Corporeal Bonds: The Daughter-Mother Relationship in Twentieth-Century Italian Women’s Writing (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012, pp. 129-151)

—: ‘Construction and Self-Construction in Elena Ferrante’s Gendered Space’ in Beyond the Piazza: Public and Private Spaces in Modern Italian Culture ed. by Simona Storchi (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2013, pp. 115-127)

Santovetti, Olivia: ‘Lettura, scrittura e autoriflessione nel ciclo de L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 179-192)

—: ‘Melodrama or Metafiction? Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ (The Modern Language Review, 113, 3, 2018, pp. 527-545)

—: ‘“Io non ci sto”: Elena Ferrante, the Theme of Erasure, and the Smarginatura as Poetics of Resistance’ in Resistance in Italian Culture from Dante to the 21st Century ed. by Ambra Moroncini, Darrow Schecter, and Fabio Vighi (Florence: Franco Cesati, 2019, pp. 281-294).

Schwartz, Cecilia: ‘Ferrante Feud: The Italian Reception of the Neapolitan Novels before and after their International Success’ (The Italianist, 40, 1, 2020, pp. 122-142). Available online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02614340.2020.1738122

Sciubba, Jessica: ‘Blurring Bodily Boundaries: On the rione’s Abjective Agency in Ferrante’s Cycle of L’amica geniale’ (Annali d’Italianistica, 37, 2019, Urban Space and the Body ed. by Silvia Ross and Giulio Giovannoni, pp. 503-525)

Segnini, Elisa: ‘Local Flavour vs Global Readerships: The Elena Ferrante Project and Translatability’ (The Italianist, 37, 1, 2017, pp. 100-118)

Small, Pauline: ‘Mario Martone’s L’amore molesto: Desperately Seeking Delia’ (The Italianist, 19, 1, 1999, pp. 299-317)

Sotgiu, Elisa: ‘Elena Ferrante e il femminismo della differenza. Una lettura dell’Amica geniale’ (Allegoria, 76, 2017, pp. 58-76)

Todesco, Serena: ‘Città come corpo, madre, mondo: soggettività e abiezione dello spazio urbano al femminile in Elena Ferrante e Anna Maria Ortese’ in Studi sull’immaginario italiano. Una prospettiva interdisciplinare ed. by Eliana Moscarda Mirković (Novate Milanese (MI): Prospero Editore, 2019, pp. 75-87)

Turchetta, Gianni: ‘Dal rione al mainstream. L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ in Tirature ’16. Un mondo da tradurre ed. by Vittorio Spinazzola (Milan: Mondadori, 2016, pp. 104-111)

Tuzzi, Arjuna and Michele A. Cortellazzo: ‘What Is Elena Ferrante? A Comparative Analysis of a Secretive Bestselling Italian Writer’ (Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 33, 3, September 2018, pp. 685-702)

Van Ness, Emma: ‘Dixit Mater: The Significance of the Maternal Voice in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels’ in The Works of Elena Ferrante. Reconfiguring the Margins ed. by Grace Russo Bullaro and Stephanie Love (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 293-312)

Villarini, Andrea: ‘Riflessioni sociolinguistiche a margine de L’amica geniale di Elena Ferrante’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 193-203)

Wehling-Giorgi, Katrin: ‘Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels: Writing Liminality’ (Allegoria, 73, 2016, pp. 204-210)

—: ‘“Ero separata da me”: Memory, Selfhood, and Mother-Tongue in Goliarda Sapienza and Elena Ferrante’ in Goliarda Sapienza in Context: Intertextual Relationships with Italian and European Culture ed. by Alberica Bazzoni, Emma Bond, and Katrin Wehling-Giorgi (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2016, pp. 215-230)

—: ‘Playing with the Maternal Body: Violence, Mutilation, and the Emergence of the Female Subject in Ferrante’s Novels’ (California Italian Studies, 7, 1, 2017, pp. 1-15). Available online at https://escholarship.org/content/qt02d156h0/qt02d156h0.pdf

—: ‘Violence, Language and the Maternal Body: Negotiating Resistance in Goliarda Sapienza’s and Elena Ferrante’s Works’ in Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy: Essays for Sharon Wood ed. by Simona Storchi, Marina Spunta, and Maria Morelli (Leicester: Troubador, 2017, pp. 63-75)

—: ‘Rethinking Constructs of Maternity in the Novels of Elena Ferrante and Alice Sebold’ (Women: A Cultural Review, 30, 1, 2019, pp. 66-83)

Zagaglia, Elena: ‘Tutta la letteratura è infanzia. Su Elena Ferrante’ (Encyclopaideia, 23, 53, 2019, pp. 106-113). Available online at https://encp.unibo.it/article/view/9358

Zarour Zarzar, Victor Xavier: ‘The Grammar of Abandonment in I giorni dell’abbandono’ (MLN, 135, 1, 2020, pp. 327-344)


Selected Articles in Online Magazines

Alfano, Barbara: ‘The Honest Truth: Ferrante’s Frantumaglia’ (Arcade. Literature, the Humanities, & the World, 22 October 2016): https://arcade.stanford.edu/content/honest-truth-ferrantes-frantumaglia

Carvalho, Richard: ‘Innocence Redeemed’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020): https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/innocence-redeemed/

de Rogatis, Tiziana: ‘The Truth That Lies Behind the Lies’, trans. by Serena Todesco (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020): https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/the-truth-that-lies-behind-the-lies/

Falkoff, Rebecca: ‘To Translate is to Betray: On the Elena Ferrante Phenomenon in Italy and the US’ (Public Books, 25 March 2015): https://www.publicbooks.org/to-translate-is-to-betray-on-the-elena-ferrante-phenomenon-in-italy-and-the-us/

Ferrara, Enrica Maria: ‘Reviewed: The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante’ (RTE Culture, 15 September 2020): https://www.rte.ie/culture/2020/0909/1164200-reviewed-the-lying-life-of-adults-by-elena-ferrante/

Granacki, Alyssa: ‘The Lying Life of Narrators’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020): https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/the-lying-life-of-narrators/

Halla, Barbara: ‘Under His Watchful Eye: Family and Power in “The Lying Life of Adults”’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020): https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/under-his-watchful-eye-family-and-power-in-the-lying-life-of-adults/

Kurnick, David: ‘Ferrante, in History’ (Public Books, 15 December 2015): https://www.publicbooks.org/ferrante-in-history/

—: ‘Alone with Language’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020): https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/alone-with-language/

McCarter, Stephanie: ‘Elena Ferrante’s Virgil. Rewriting the Aeneid in the Neapolitan Novels’ (Eidolon, 17 November 2016): https://eidolon.pub/elena-ferrantes-vergil-2f6babd05f16

Milkova, Stiliana: ‘Framing by Fragmentation: Elena Ferrante’s “Incidental Inventions”, Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein’ (Reading in Translation, 11 November 2019): www.readingintranslation.com/2019/11/11/self-construction-by-fragmentation-elena-ferrantes-incidental-inventions-translated-from-italian-by-ann-goldstein/

—: ‘Ferrante Breaks the Frame’ (Public Books, 9 September 2020): https://www.publicbooks.org/ferrante-breaks-the-frame/

Moro, Carlotta: ‘The Gospel According to Elena Ferrante’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020: https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/the-gospel-according-to-elena-ferrante/

Tay, Rachel: ‘Elusions and Disillusions’ (Reading in Translation, 31 August 2020):https://readingintranslation.com/2020/08/31/elusions-and-disillusions/

Winterson, Jeanette: ‘The Malice and Sexism Behind the “Unmasking” of Elena Ferrante’ (The Guardian, 7 October 2016): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/07/unmasking-elena-ferrante

Wood, James: ‘Women on the Verge: The Fiction of Elena Ferrante’ (The New Yorker, 14 January 2013): https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/21/women-on-the-verge


Compiled by Rebecca Walker (St Andrews)