The Sidney Morning Herald

Elena Ferrante lines up for the Man Booker International Prize

Elena Ferrante's novel, The Story of the Lost Child.

The underlying question about this year’s shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize is whether the real Elena Ferrante will stand up to receive the prize if The Story of the Lost Child, the final novel in her Neapolitan quartet, is named the winner of the £50,000 ($92,000) prize. Will she even attend the presentation?

Because Elena Ferrante, of course, is a pseudonym for the writer who has entranced millions of readers in her native Italy and around the world with her quartet about two female friends in Naples. And it is a pseudonym that has been protected rigorously by her Italian publishers, Edizioni E/O. In Australia her books are published by Text.

Whoever she is, Ferrante is on the shortlist along with Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, who is listed for A Strangeness in My Mind. The other four novelists up for the prize, which will be announced in London on May 16, are: Jose Eduardo Agualusa (A General Theory of Oblivion); Han Kang (The Vegetarian); Robert Seethaler (A Whole Life); and Yan Lianke (The Four Books). The latter is also published in Australia by Text.

Elena Ferrante's novel, The Story of the Lost Child.
Elena Ferrante’s novel, The Story of the Lost Child.Photo: Supplied

The author must share the prize with the translator of the winning novel. Interestingly, 28-year-old Deborah Smith, the translator of South Korean Han Kang’s novel, only started learning Korean when she was 21.

Boyd Tonkin, chair of the judges, said: “Our selection shows that the finest books in translation extend the boundaries not just of our world – but of the art of fiction itself.” More than 150 books were entered for the prize.

Read more:
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook



Shortlist announced for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, including Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Alert! The shortlist for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize has been revealed.

Six books are in contention for the prize, including Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa.

The shortlist was whittled down from a longlist of 13. Six languages are represented, with four countries – Angola, Austria, South Korea and Turkey – appearing for the first time.

Following the 2015 Man Booker International Prize, where eight out of 10 finalists had been originally published in a language other than English, the Booker Prize Foundation announced last year that the Man Booker International would in future be awarded to fiction in translation.

Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000 (about R20,000) while the £50,000 (about R1-million) prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.

The winner will be announced on 16 May.

Continue reading

The Women’s Review of Books

The Story of the Lost Child Reviewed by Lisa Mullenneaux

Passions run high when you’re talking about the fiction of the pseudonymous Italian author Elena Ferrante, particularly the four- volume coming-of-age series that begins with My Brilliant Friend (2012). “She just nails it,” said a woman in her sixties, who was in the audience for a crowded panel on Ferrante at the PEN World Voices festival last May. To judge from the number attending the event, the quartet has a special resonance for those of us who rode the second wave of feminism in the 1970s and who write for a living.

For starters, we are the age of the narrator Elena Greco (Lenù) and her best friend Raffaella Cerullo (Lila), who sprout like weeds in the cement jungle of postwar Naples and fight for and with each other for sixty years. Secondly, the Neapolitan novels describe an artist’s progress from early success to bad reviews to professional stature—yet the story of Lenù, the writer, is not like any other account of an artist’s development that I have ever read. The “anxiety of influence,” or the “writer in the writer,” to use the literary critic Harold Bloom’s term, is not one of Lenù’s literary forebears, but Lila. As The Story of the Lost Child, the final book in the series, makes clear, the two friends are better together than apart.

Continue reading

The Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker International Prize 2016 Shortlist Announced

13 April 2016

The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the shortlist of six books in contention for the 2016 Prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000, while the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.

The 2016 Man Booker International Shortlist 

Title (imprint) Author (nationality) Translator (nationality)

A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker), José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), Daniel Hahn (UK)

The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions), Elena Ferrante (Italy), Ann Goldstein (USA)

The Vegetarian (Portobello Books), Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith (UK)

A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Ekin Oklap (Turkey)

A Whole Life (Picador), Robert Seethaler (Austria), Charlotte Collins (UK)

The Four Books (Chatto & Windus), Yan Lianke  (China), Carlos Rojas (USA)

Continue reading

The Bookseller

Ferrante, Pamuk shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize

Reclusive Italian writer Elena Ferrante and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk have been named on the six-strong Man Booker International Prize shortlist.

Three titles from independent publishers feature on the list: Ferrante’s The Story of The Lost Child, the final novel in her Neapolitan quartet, translated by Ann Goldstein (Europa); Pamuk’s A Stranger in My Mind, translated from Turkish by Ekin Oklap (Faber); and Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith (Portobello).

Two books come from Penguin Random House: the Angolan writer Jose Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion, translated by Daniel Hahn (Harvill Secker); and Chinese writer Yan Lianke’s The Four Books, translated by Carlos Rojas (Chatto). Picador has the final title, Austrian writer Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life, translated by Charlotte Collins.

The Man Booker International Prize combined with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize last year, and as of this year, rewards a single book rather than the author’s oeuvre. The winning author and translator will split the £50,000 prize, which will be awarded on 16th May.

Boyd Tonkin, chair of the judging panel, commented: “This exhilarating shortlist will take readers both around the globe and to every frontier of fiction. In first-class translations that showcase that unique and precious art, these six books tell unforgettable stories from China and Angola, Austria and Turkey, Italy and South Korea. In setting, they range from a Mao-era re-education camp and a remote Alpine valley to the modern tumult and transformation of cities such as Naples and Istanbul. In form, the titles stretch from a delicate mosaic of linked lives in post-colonial Africa to a mesmerising fable of domestic abuse and revolt in booming east Asia. Our selection shows that the finest books in translation extend the boundaries not just of our world – but of the art of fiction itself. We hope that readers everywhere will share our pleasure and excitement in this shortlist.”

The Telegraph

Elena Ferrante makes Man Booker International shortlist

Six books are shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize

The pseudonymous Italian author of the bestselling Neapolitan Novels has reached the shortlist of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates global fiction in English translation.

Elena Ferrante, whose statement that “books, once they are written, have no need of their authors” has not prevented endless speculation as to her identity, is shortlisted for The Story of the Lost Child, the final instalment of her compelling tetralogy which follows Elena and Lila, two girls from a poor neighbourhood of Naples, across six decades. The series has recently begun development for a TV series; although she was nominated for Italy’s prestigious Strega prize, this would be the first major international prize that Ferrante, the author of seven novels, has won.

Continue reading

The Guardian

‘Exhilarating’ Man Booker International shortlist spans the world

Six books, set in locations including Istanbul and the Austrian Alps, during periods as mixed as the great famine in China and the Angolan civil war, telling stories of a female friendship in Camorra-controlled Naples and of a Korean wife’s transformative rebellion, have been announced as the finalists for the 2016 Man Booker International prize.

The Nobel prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, pseudonymous Italian author Elena Ferrante, Chinese dissident Yan Lianke, Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa, Austrian Robert Seethaler and South Korean Han Kang have all been shortlisted for the award, which celebrates the finest global fiction translated into English. The winner will receive £50,000, to be split evenly between author and translator.

Continue reading

The Brain Curry…!!!


4 STARS ****

“Being nominated for the Man Booker is well deserved and if we take into account the entire series, I think she is a definite front runner. I wish her all the best!”

And so, finally I come to the end of this saga.Reading the #NeapolitanBooks has been like a journey almost – of which, sometimes I was a part, and sometimes I was  a removed observer. Ferrante writes very well, her range is remarkable, her expansive web of characters, feelings, emotions and personalities is captivating. Her writing comes from a depth that makes you feel certain that this is her story or a major part of it is a ‘fictionalised’ autobiography – – – and somewhere, possibly the very personal nature of the story compels her to protect her own identity as well as of those who may be easily identifiable from the book.

Continue reading

The Toronto Star

Found in translation

Literature in translation shows us how much we have in common with those in other countries — and how radically different people’s imaginations can be

Literature in translation shows us how much we have in common with those in other countries — and how wonderfully, radically different people’s imaginations can be. Here are five literary works that have recently been published for the first time in English; they’ve been championed by critics and excited readers too.

The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante (translated by Ann Goldstein)

Nine books and twenty-four years into her career, Ferrante (we still don’t know the author’s real identity) is becoming a literary household name on the strength of her Neapolitan Novels and this, the series’ fourth book, has just been longlisted for the Booker International. Her tales of female friendship, class conflict, and domestic strife strike chords with readers in many languages, and speculation about her identity is a global parlour game. At a time when authors supposedly need to sell themselves, her popularity is a curious and happy exception.

Independent Publisher

THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD has won the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) GOLD MEDAL in Literary Fiction

2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Results

Congratulations and sincere thanks to the independent authors and publishers who participated in our 20th annual, 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards contest.

Here are the gold, silver and bronze medalists in our 80 National categories.

For the Regional, E-Book, and Outstanding category medalists, click the links below.

Congratulations to the medalists!


GOLD: The Story of the Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions)

SILVER: Hesitation Wounds, by Amy Koppelman (The Overlook Press)

BRONZE (tie): Juventud, by Vanessa Blakeslee (Curbside Splendor)

How to Grow an Addict, by J.A. Wright (She Writes Press)

The Man Booker Prize

The Story of the Lost Child Interview

Elena Ferrante tells us about her belief that ‘books, once they are written, have no need of their authors’, and translator Ann Goldstein reveals what she would say to someone pursuing the identity of Elena Ferrante.

This is the sixth in our series of Man Booker International Prize 2016 longlisted author and translator interviews.


Elena Ferrante, author of The Story of the Lost Child

What has it been like to be longlisted?

Very pleasing. I feel a great relief every time my books are warmly welcomed into another language. I am grateful to Ann Goldstein for the care she takes with them.


Can you give us a taste of your longlisted novel The Story of the Lost Child?

It’s the final chapter of a story that accompanies its characters from childhood to old age. While Lena, despite a thousand disappointments and compromises, continues to the end to view her own life as blessed with luck, Lila experiences an absolute pain that removes meaning from her life.


Is there an author from Italy who you think should be translated into English?

I can think of a long list of talented authors – contemporary Italian literature is very interesting – and I can’t decide, also because I don’t know if the texts I have found most interesting have already been translated or not. So I will limit myself to mentioning the last two books I have read: Valeria Parrella’sTroppa importanza all’amore, and Marina Bellezza by Silvia Avallone.


Tell us more about your belief that ‘books, once they are written, have no need of their authors’…

A book always contains and safeguards its author.  When it’s finished, it’s as if the very ability to write is engulfed.  It’s not easy to bring it back to the light, it’s always a gamble. Those who write then, once they have stopped writing, become, like Proust’s Bergotte, unimportant, disappointing even.  For me publishing means deciding to send books into the public arena and counting on the self-sufficiency of the writing.  It’s useless, perhaps out of place, to look for readers: if the books deserve them, they will surely find them.

Continue reading

The Times of India

Elena Ferrante: Man or woman, we love you!

Lopamudra Ghatak | TNN | Mar 30, 2016, 02.56 PM IST


♦ Once you start reading Ferrante’s series, the story-teller’s gender becomes incidental as the plot gains control.
♦ In each of the characters, the hero or the heroine is a multitude of layers, a vicissitude of emotions and a bundle of contradictions. That explains why not a single character in the series is flat – every one of them is a round-up of the good, the bad and also the ugly.

Italian writer Elena Ferrante is in contention for this year’s Man Booker prize for her book, ‘The Story of The Lost Child’. If the author of the Neapolitan series – the last one in the line which has made the nomination – then it will be a surprise in ways more than one.For one, the world doesn’t know what Ferrante really looks like. And it seems that when the writer did ink the deal with the publishers for this and her other books, there was one condition: the writer’s job would be finished with the writing, and beyond that there would be no contribution to publicity or marketing for the book.

We may have heard of reclusive writers and authors who are loners, wanting to remain disconnected. But in an age where personal branding often Trumps (ah, yes, we all know that one) over substance, such shy writers come as as a surprise who want the world to simply appreciate their craft and not their (individual) form.

Continue reading

Fiction Advocate

Imaginary Friends

socal mansion

In high school my friends and I daydreamed about the big house we’d all buy together when we grew up. It would be a big house in Southern California, and every day would be a continuation of our glorious days of summer: dinner parties, Frisbee, car washes, greasy sandwiches, bonfires at the beach. We each had a role: handyman, cook, that guy who does all the spreadsheets.

Perhaps you all know how this ends. Perhaps it is hardly surprising for me to tell you that we are scattered now, that many of us no longer talk at all. I never told them this, but I didn’t want to live in California anyway.

To say we grew apart is a cheap explanation. It leaves much out. Growing apart—what does that mean? Why do some friendships grow and others grow apart? Where is the line between breathing space and total disconnection?

I read the first volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet over the span of three weeks, a pace that accelerated as my sense of urgency increased with each cliffhanger. The second volume took one week; the third, three days; and the last, I read between two p.m. and midnight one weekday afternoon starting with the first free moment I had at work.

Continue reading


Will Elena Ferrante Win Against a Loaded Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist?


The Story of the Lost Child

Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child is the frontrunner for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, but if it wins, it will have to beat out a longlist of some of the best translated fiction in the world, one that includes excellent novels by revered and award-winning writers like Marie NDiaye and Kenzaburō Ōe, alongside international up-and-comers like Eka Kurniawan and Fiston Mwanza Mujila. It should be said that the shortlist, announced yesterday, is among the most impressive in world literature, although the its gender imbalance among authors (if not translators) is still disappointing.

The 2016 edition of the prize is especially noteworthy because of its change in format. Last July, the Man Booker Prize announced that its biennial international edition would merge with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which would create an annual prize that awards a single book rather than an author’s entire oeuvre. The 2015 winner, László Krasznahorkai, won for his entire literary output, including the novels The Melancholy of Resistanceand Seiobo There Below.

This year’s panel of five judges is now tasked with whittling down a longlist of 13 books to a shortlist of five, to be announced on April 14. The shortlisted authors and translators will each receive £1,000. On May 16, the Man Booker International Prize will announce its winning book. The author and translator of the work will be split a £50,000 award.

Continue reading