This book invites readers into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early standalone novels and the four installments of My BrilliantFriend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of over 20 years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing.
In these pages Ferrante answers many of her readers’ questions. She addresses her choice to stand aside and let her books live autonomous lives. She discusses her thoughts and concerns as her novels are being adapted into films. She talks about the challenge of finding concise answers to interview questions. She explains the joys and the struggles of writing, the anguish of composing a story only to discover that that story isn’t good enough. She contemplates her relationship with psychoanalysis, with the cities she has lived in, with motherhood, with feminism, and with her childhood as a storehouse for memories, impressions, and fantasies. The result is a vibrant and intimate self-portrait of a writer at work.
Reviews, News & Interviews:
Frantumaglia offers a chance to consider [Ferrante's] strange, spectral presence in the world of letters. Elaine Blair, The New York Times Book Review
In Frantumaglia there are some outstanding passages of literary criticism, feminist theory, film studies, sociology and philosophy. As a reader one longs to forget the gossip about her identity and just appreciate her as a critical thinker. The Sunday Times