Category Italian

Unlived Lives in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Valentino” and “Sagittarius,” Translated from Italian by Avril Bardoni

By Eric Gudas One refers, as a commonplace, to “the unlived life”; but fiction excels at dramatizing people’s myriad unlived lives. Natalia Ginzburg’s fiction links stifled hopes and ambitions with suppressed speech. The narrators of Ginzburg’s Valentino and Sagittarius: Two Novellas (1957), which New York Review Books Classics has just reissued in Avril Bardoni’s decades-old […]

The Truth that Lies Behind the Lies

Elena Ferrante’s new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, is intense and bitter.

The Lying Life of Narrators

It seems hardly coincidental that Ferrante, whose own “true” identity has been the object of intense scrutiny and speculation, chooses to underscore the act of crafting a fiction about oneself.

Innocence Redeemed

By Richard Carvalho The Lying Lives of Adults starts with a misunderstanding: Giovanna, the protagonist, is 12. She is well into puberty, having been menstruating for a year. Her breasts seem to her over-large encumbrances inviting men’s unwelcome interest, and her burgeoning body is a profound source of shame. She hears her father say, prompted […]

The Gospel According to Elena Ferrante

As she probes the association of God with forces of repression and domination, Giovanna condemns the patriarchal nature of her relationship with Andrea.

Alone With Language

By David Kurnick You could tell it like a fairy tale: a malevolent father who curses his daughter with ugliness; a comely prince who, some difficult years later, lifts the curse by praising the girl’s beauty. An enchanted bracelet, invested with mysterious power by the father’s hated and feared sister, who practices the “terrible arts” […]

Under His Watchful Eye: Family and Power in “The Lying Life of Adults”

The Lying Life of Adults is about the often-subtle ways men wield their power over women.

Elusions and Disillusions

Reading Elena Ferrante’s latest novel from this place of incertitude is consequently a puzzling, if not uncanny experience.

Live on August 31, 2020: Special Issue on Elena Ferrante’s New Novel “The Lying Life of Adults,” Translated by Ann Goldstein

Elena Ferrante and the Question of Gender, Pseudonyms, and Authorship

Mediterranean Crossings: Nadia Terranova’s “Farewell, Ghosts,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

A childhood home is an archive and a map. Nadia Terranova’s novel Farewell, Ghosts, in Ann Goldstein’s translation, summons the power of the house in order to dissect the relationship between self and space, memory and reality.