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Elena Ferrante: Italian author’s next novel to be published in English next year

Fans of the enigmatic author can get their hands on her latest book in November 2019 - but only in Italian.

Elena Ferrante: Italian author's next novel to be published in English next year
Will Elena Ferrante's new novel match the success of My Brilliant Friend? Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

English-speaking fans of Italian author Elena Ferrante must wait until next June to read her latest novel, to be published in Italian in November.

So far publishers have released only an intriguing title and provocative opening lines to whet their literary appetites.

“La Vita Bugiarda Degli Adulti” hits Italian bookstores on November 7, but its English version, translated as “The Lying Life of Adults” only comes out on June 9, 2020.

Few details about the new novel are known — fitting for the best-selling author writing under a pseudonym whose real identity still remains shrouded in mystery.

Ferrante's four-volume series “Neopolitan Novels,” of which the first, “My Brilliant Friend” appeared in 2012 in English, sold over 10 million copies around the world and was translated into more than 40 languages, thrusting the writer into the spotlight.

On Monday, the new book's Italian publishers Edizioni posted on Twitter the novel's cover photograph in black and white depicting two outstretched hands.

In the new novel, Ferrante returns to Naples, the atmospheric backdrop to her famous series, but the work no longer centres on that saga's two gifted heroines, friends but also rivals in the post-war southern Italian city.

The opening lines of “The Lying Life of Adults” were released a few weeks ago by the publishers: “Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly.”

In 2016 an Italian journalist claimed, after conducting an investigation into financial records, that the true identity of Ferrante was that of Rome-based translator Anita Raja.

Ferrante's publishers have neither confirmed nor denied that theory.

“My Brilliant Friend” was also adapted for a television series co-produced by Italy's national broadcaster Rai and US cable television network HBO.

READ ALSO: Five must-read novels that will transport you to Italy

 

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BOOKS

Star Italian author Elena Ferrante has a new novel out in November

Prepare for a fresh outbreak of 'Ferrante fever': bestselling Italian author Elena Ferrante has written a new book and it's coming out in November.

Star Italian author Elena Ferrante has a new novel out in November
Will Elena Ferrante's new novel match the success of My Brilliant Friend? Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

“We are happy to announce that Elena Ferrante's new novel will be in bookshops on 7th November 2019,” the enigmatic writer's Italian publisher, Edizione E/O, tweeted on Monday.

The title of the hotly anticipated new work has not yet been released. All we know is that, like Ferrante's bestselling Neapolitan Quartet, it is set in Naples.

The opening lines, released as a teaser in both Italian and English, are sure to whet fans' appetite:

READ ALSO: Five must-read novels that will transport you to Italy

Little has been heard from the writer known as Ferrante – believed, though not confirmed, to be Rome-based writer Anita Raja – since an Italian journalist “unmasked” her in 2016, as her novels about two friends growing up in poverty in post-war Naples sold millions of copies worldwide. 

She is known to have advised on the TV adaptation of her bestselling four-part series, an Italian-American co-production that debuted last year. The second instalment, covering book two of the quartet, is expected to air early next year.

READ ALSO: Six Italian series worth watching beyond My Brilliant Friend

Ferrante has published one book since the runaway success of the Neapolitan Novels, a non-fiction collection of columns written for the Guardian newspaper that was published earlier this year in Italian as Incidental Inventions (L’invenzione occasionale).

It's not known when her latest novel will be published in English, but given the success of her previous work a translation is sure to be a priority for her English-language publisher, Europa Editions, and long-time translator Anne Goldstein.

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