Translated by Ann Goldstein
Published by Europa Editions UK
The fourth and final instalment of the Neapolitan Novels series, The Story of the Lost Child is the dazzling saga of the friendship between two women: brilliant, bookish Elena and fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both women fought to escape the neighbourhood in which they grew up: a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Having moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books, Elena returns to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. Her entrepreneurial success draws her into closer proximity to the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighbourhood; she becomes the unacknowledged leader of the world she has always rejected. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, this story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty.
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. This is all we know about her. True to her belief that “books, once they are written, have no need of their authors”, Ferrante has stayed resolutely out of public view. She is the author of The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. Her Neapolitan novels include My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. She is also the author of Fragments, a collection of writings on reading, writing and absence, to be published in 2016.
Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alessandro Baricco, and Alessandro Piperno. She is the editor of the Complete Works of Primo Levi in English. She has been the recipient of several prizes including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN Renato Poggioli Prize, an award from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.