The Seattle Times

“THE LOST DAUGHTER” is hardly a parenting guide

 

By MISHA BERSON

May 23, 2008

The Lost Daughter

By ELENA FERRANTE

Europa, 160 pp., paperback, $14.95

 

If you are looking for uplifting bromides about the intimate mother-daughter bond, do not look to Elena Ferrante’s novels.

 

This superb and scary Italian writer, who chooses to remain anonymous by publishing her popular books under a pseudonym, has blown the lid off tempestuous parent-child relations in each of the three novels that have been translated into English for Europa Editions.

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The New Yorker

Books Briefly Noted

JUNE 9, 2008

THE LOST DAUGHTER

By Elena Ferrante

Translated by Ann Goldstein

In this brutally frank novel of maternal ambivalence, the narrator, a forty-seven-year-old divorcée summering alone on the Ionian coast, becomes obsessed with a beautiful young mother who seems ill at ease with her husband’s rowdy, slightly menacing Neapolitan clan. When this woman’s daughter loses her doll, the older woman commits a small crime that she can’t explain even to herself. Although much of the drama takes place in her head, Ferrante’s gift for psychological horror renders it immediate and visceral, as when the narrator recalls the “animal opacity” with which she first longed for a child, before she was devoured by pregnancy.

Booklist

bookgroupbuzz.booklistonline.com

 

Trapped in the Mind of a Woman

April 25th, 2008

I love her writing, she’s perfect for book clubs, and no one knows who she really is.

 

Elena Ferrante is currently a very popular Italian author whose identity remains unknown. Imagine, in this age of celebrity, an author who actually chooses to avoid the celebrity machine, and succeeds! Ferrante lives in Naples, and that’s all anyone knows about her, other than that her swift, elegant novels are intense little bullets of literature, electrifying experiences in which you become trapped in a woman’s mind.

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