Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym of an Italian novelist who has been publishing novels since 1992. Ferrante prefers to remain anonymous and does not disclose her identity as a matter of principle. She wants her stories to establish themselves in the literary field without the author's influence.
Some information about her life takes from La Frantumaglia (2016), a book that publishes a few interviews and letters from Ferrante to publishers. Ferrante was born and raised in Naples, surrounded by two sisters, her mother a seamstress. At university, she studied classical philology. In addition to her literary work, Ferrante is involved in research, translation, and teaching.
In 2016, Marco Santagata, a professor at the University of Pisa, published a paper suggesting that he had determined the author behind the alias "Ferrante." Santagata based his theory on careful analysis of the author's writing style and details about Pisa, the city mentioned in one of the novels. He also noted that the author showed a deep understanding of Italian politics.
Using this evidence, the professor concluded that the author must have lived in Pisa but left before 1966, and he suggested that Neapolitan professor Marcella Marmo was the most likely candidate for the true identity of Ferrante. However, both Marmo and the publisher have denied this claim.
Ferrante's debut novel, L'amore Molesto (1992), made her famous in her homeland. The book was nominated for the prestigious Italian book awards by Strega and Artemisia. In 1995, director Mario Martone adapted the story into the Italian film of the same name, released in the UK as Nasty Love and in the US as Troubling Love.
In 2002, Ferrante published her second novel, The Days of Abandonment. The plot revolves around an Italian woman residing in Turin whose husband abruptly leaves her after fifteen years together. Translated by editor Ann Goldstein, The Days of Abandonment was Ferrante's most popular book in English before the Neapolitan Novels.
The Neapolitan Novels series, which includes four novels, My Brilliant Friend (2012), The Story of a New Name (2013), Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014), and The Story of the Lost Child (2015), brought her worldwide success.
In 2016, Time magazine listed Elena Ferrante as one of the world's most influential people. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018 and is in its third season.
Her most recent novel, The Lying Life of Adults (2020), is a New York Times bestseller. In 2022 Elena Ferrante published a collection of original essays on reading and writing, In the Margins.
The drama series "The Lying Life of Adults," based on the same title novel, was released by Netflix in January 2023.