Kristian Wilson – Nov 27, 2018
The first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels made its screen debut this month when My Brilliant Friend hit the airwaves as an HBO miniseries. If you can’t get enough of Elena and Lila, but you’ve devoured both the HBO episodes and Ferrante’s novels, I’ve got 15 books for you to read after My Brilliant Friend leaves you in the lurch.
Written by the mysterious, pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante, the Neapolitan novels center on Elena and Lila: two girls who form a lifelong friendship as children in 1950s Naples. The series concluded in 2015 with its fourth installment, The Story of the Lost Child, which brings Elena and Lila’s relationship into the present day. My Brilliant Friend and the other Neapolitan novels deal with themes of growing up poor, girlhood, mid-20th century life and politics, automation, feminist awakenings, and sexuality.
The 15 books on the list below are perfect for My Brilliant Friend fans. Not only do they share thematic elements with the Neapolitan novels, but these books are also poignant, feminist reads that even readers who have never heard of Elena Ferrante may enjoy. Check out my recommendations below, and share your favorite My Brilliant Friend readalikes with me on Twitter!