The final novel in the Neapolitan series brings an astonishing literary achievement to a close
Published: 30 August 2015
Back in 1991, the Italian writer who goes by the pseudonym Elena Ferrante declared to her publisher: “I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.” And while Ferrante’s identity remains a secret, her seven novels have indeed found readers — hundreds of thousands of them — in Italy and beyond. The decision was partly self-protective (her novels certainly feel like intimate personal revelations) and partly an austere aesthetic one: she believed that critics and readers should attend to the work itself, not to the “aura of the author”.