The condition is referred to as Ferrante Fever and has been spreading aggressively and rising to boiling point over the past year. Elena Ferrante’s tetralogy, the Neapolitan Novels, starting with My Brilliant Friend and ending with The Story of the Lost Child (September 2015), has caused a very special kind of frenzy. For those who have somehow avoided everything to do with them: the novels are written from the perspective of Elena Greco (nicknamed Len ) as she attempts to document her whole life, from childhood through to old age, in order to defy the wishes of her lifelong friend Lila, who has attempted to disappear completely, and capture in words every detail of her, their friendship, their lives and their rough Naples neighbourhood. The resulting books seem to have hit some deep nerve in the collective psyche and have swept up the reading world.
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