A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.
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The second book, following My Brilliant Friend, features the two friends Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their twenties. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the center of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the cruel price that this passage exacts.
Third in a series that began with My Brilliant Friend, this novel was an international best seller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Readers have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship. In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons.
Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, both are adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet somehow this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief, for Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable!
L’amica geniale comincia seguendo le due protagoniste bambine, e poi adolescenti, tra le quinte di un rione miserabile della periferia napoletana, tra una folla di personaggi minori accompagnati lungo il loro percorso con attenta assiduità. L’autrice scava intanto nella natura complessa dell’amicizia tra due bambine, tra due ragazzine, tra due donne, seguendo passo passo la loro crescita individuale, il modo di influenzarsi reciprocamente, i buoni e i cattivi sentimenti che nutrono nei decenni un rapporto vero, robusto. Narra poi gli effetti dei cambiamenti che investono il rione, Napoli, l’Italia, in più di un cinquantennio, trasformando le amiche e il loro legame. E tutto ciò precipita nella pagina con l’andamento delle grandi narrazioni popolari, dense e insieme veloci, profonde e lievi, rovesciando di continuo situazioni, svelando fondi segreti dei personaggi, sommando evento a evento senza tregua, ma con la profondità e la potenza di voce a cui l’autrice ci ha abituati…