In addition to her bestselling Neapolitan novels, the mysterious Elena Ferrante has written a book for children aged 6-10.
The Beach at Night (Europa Editions; ISBN 9781609453701; Dec. 6, 2016; it may not yet be on wholesaler sites), reports The Wall Street Journal, will hit shelves later this year,
“Star translator,” Ann Goldstein, who translated Ferrante’s blockbuster adult titles into English will translate this tale as well.
Previously published in Italy in 2007, sales were tepid, reportsWSJ, but Ferrante’s U.S. publisher, Europa, says that was before she became a household name and booksellers were “perplexed” by how to position it.
All that has changed, prompting the re-release in America.
The Beach at Night is a spinoff of an earlier Ferrante novel, The Lost Daughter, which includes a scene of an adult stealing a doll from a child during a seaside vacation. Abandoned rather than stolen in the new book, the doll is left alone to face the terrors of the night in Ferrante’s newest.
Is that a story that will work for young readers? According to the WSJ, Ferrante, known for her often dark adult novels, “doesn’t sugarcoat things for young readers.”
The British trade publication, The Bookseller offers this summary:
“Celina [the lost doll] is having a terrible night, one full of jealousy for the new kitten, Minù, feelings of abandonment and sadness, misadventures at the hands of the beach attendant, and dark dreams. But she will be happily found by Mati, her child, once the sun rises.”