Writerly States

Katherine Hill on Saving Books, Literary Power, & Ferrante Fever (Part 4)

Katherine Hill is the author of The Violet Hour, a novel published by Scribner in 2013. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in n+1, The Guardian, and Bookforum, among other publications, and she has taught writing in the MFA Program at Arcadia University as well as prison programs via Princeton and PEN New England. She now serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Committee and is a regular book critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A graduate of Yale and the Bennington Writing Seminars, she lives in New York City.

Guernica Magazine

The Face of Ferrante

Katrina Dodson interviews Ann Goldstein


Last March, I began thinking constantly about a stranger named Ann Goldstein. Things like: What would Ann Goldstein do? I bet Ann Goldstein never has to look things up on grammar blogs. I wonder how Ann Goldstein felt about doing that sex scene.

Most readers who succumb to the phenomenon known as Ferrante Fever become obsessed with the Italian writer whose pen name is Elena Ferrante, and with the friends Elena and Lila, who form the center of Ferrante’s tetralogy known as the Neapolitan novels. I was no different, only my obsession also extended to Ferrante’s translator into English, Ann Goldstein. I fell under the spell of Ferrante-Goldstein just as I was working on line edits for my translation of The Complete Stories, by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Lispector, or Clarice, as she is known in Brazil, inspires a similarly passionate devotion and is now having her own moment of Lispectormania in English.

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