3/10/2016. BOOK REVIEW—MY BRILLIANT FRIEND BY ELENA FERRANTE
When I learned that Elena Ferrante (a pen name) refused to reveal any information about herself because she believed her novels should stand on their own, I wanted to applaud. As Mark Willen explained in his post on Late Last Night Books in July, Ferrante believes that “books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.” What a refreshing idea. I couldn’t wait to read My Brilliant Friend, the first novel in Ferrante’s Neapolitan tetralogy. Here’s what I found: the novel definitely stands on its own, but it’s almost as difficult to talk about as its enigmatic author.