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The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante Ann Goldstein



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Faber & Faber
01 September 2020

My Brilliant Friend was a publishing sensation and a gift to readers worldwide. The Lying Life of Adults is the new novel from the author of the hugely popular Neapolitan Quartet. Shipping Australia-wide.


"Two years before leaving home, my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything - the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words - remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption."

Giovanna's pretty face has changed: it's turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?

She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.


See Also

BOOK 1 My Brilliant Friend
BOOK 2 The Story of a New Name
BOOK 3 Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
BOOK 4 The Story of the Lost Child
Translated by:  
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 135mm,  Width: 210mm, 
ISBN:   9781787702400
ISBN 10:   1787702405
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Lying Life of Adults

Modern, urgent, truthful. -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * The Telegraph * Elena Ferrante is an expert chronicler of adolescence and its many indignities, as well as its erratic, overwhelming passions. * The Observer * Ferrante is unbeatable at pulling you inside the mind of a teenage girl, making you see how everything that looks irrational from the outside - the moods, the silences, the jealousy, tears, fears and resentments - are utterly logical and reasonable. * The Times * Layer by layer, piece by piece, with her customary deftness, Ferrante builds up her story, introducing new characters and bits of information, as Giovanna's once safe and sane world becomes ever more slippery.... Ferrante has a voice very much her own. * The TLS * The most intense writing about the experiences and interior life of a girl on the cusp of adulthood that I have ever read. -- Isabel Berwick Exquisitely moody. -- Merve Emre * The Atlantic * Elena Ferrante is so good.... an astonishing, deeply moving tale of the sorts of wisdom, beauty and knowledge that remain as unruly as the determinedly inharmonious faces of these women. -- Lara Feigel * The Guardian * Ferrante's page-turner talent for suspenseful storytelling and scenes teeming with vivid characters finds terrific scope ... From this gorgeous and squalid two-tier city that haunts her imagination comes another compulsive novel. -- Peter Kemp * The Sunday Times * The accurate and evocative depiction of adolescence is also a significant factor in the fierce devotion inspired by the works of the Italian writer Elena Ferrante ... Ann Goldstein, who has translated all of Ferrante's works into English, does so again here with precision and poise. -- Miranda Collinge * Esquire * An incendiary portrait of the volcanic currents of sex and betrayal rumbling away beneath polite society. -- Anthony Cummins * The Mail on Sunday * Ferrante is a hypnotist. -- Frances Wilson * The Spectator * Compulsive. -- Alex O'Donnell * The Times * Ferrante is finally back. Her new novel, the first since her blockbusting Neapolitan Quartet finished, takes us back to Naples. * The Times * The Lying Life of Adults simply enriches a magnificent canon which began with Troubling Love nearly 30 years ago. There's not a weak page, let alone a weak novel, among the eight to date. -- David Nice * The Arts Desk * The Lying Life of Adults has the magnitude of great literature - from Balzac to Stendhal to the always beloved Proust. It is a necessary book. * Il Manifesto * A must for Ferrante fans. * The Times *

See Also