BY THE NEW YORKER, OCTOBER 7, 2015
In the past few weeks, I’ve read some astonishing books: Lucia Berlin’s “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” a story collection that’s raw and funny and breathtakingly great; “The Visiting Privilege,” by the bright-bleak grand master of short stories, Joy Williams; and Álvaro Enrigue’s brilliant “Sudden Death,” which will be out in February and is about a tennis match between the Italian painter Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Quevedo, wherein they use a ball made out of Marie Antoinette’s hair. (It’s also about colonialism, utopias, and sex.) And I’ve been so distraught that there are no more Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante to come after the fourth, “The Story of the Lost Child,” that I’ve re-read the entire grand novel project.
All of the Elena Ferrante books have now sent me on to finally read the so-often-recommended to me Elsa Morante; I’m starting with “History” and “Arturo’s Island.”