The Guardian

Waterstones managing director James Daunt on Elena Ferrante: “Utterly brilliant.”

James Daunt, chief executive of Waterstones

The Waterstones boss reserves a special mention for Elena Ferrante, the pseudonym of an Italian author who has written four books about female friends growing in Naples.

“Utterly brilliant,” Daunt says. “One of those books that if you read Catherine Cookson you love it and if you read the most literary of books, you love it. There are very few books that have that compelling narrative drive that somebody who just wants a page turner on the beach can read and is satisfying intellectually. That in translation came out six, seven, eight years ago now and has been one of those word of mouth things. It has finally hit the tipping point where it goes and becomes a huge bestseller.”