Elena Ferrante Archive

A Defense of Writerly Obsessions

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Every writer has obsessions. These range from overarching themes, like the exploration of Jewish identity that characterizes many a Philip Roth novel, to extremely, sometimes bizarrely, specific motifs. Where some would criticize this repetition as a dearth of original ideas, such lifelong attempts to work through fixations can be

Elena Ferrante & the Condition of a Woman’s Body

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In corporeal and metaphysical terms, Ferrante’s girls and women are made porous and penetrable, pervious and vulnerable, in ways that raise questions regarding the contemporary status of a woman’s body, and the modes of resistance we might fashion in changing its position.

The Domino Effect of Maleness in Literary Criticism

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Studies consistently show that women read more than men, and that the publishing industry is dominated by (white) women. So why, then, are male writers still reviewed in prestigious publications at far higher rates than women?

Why Does Cover Design Matter?

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In the space of a second spent looking at a book’s cover, we reach certain conclusions about its content. An internalized pool of knowledge built on years of reading experience gives us a clue as to how serious/funny/strange the book is likely to be.

The Arc of Joan Didion and Annie Dillard

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In my mind, Joan Didion and Annie Dillard are linked, two sides to the same coin, one the yin to the other’s yang. This is unfair to both women.

Mistresses, Written by Women

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The affair in Lorrie Moore’s story, “How to Be an Other Woman,” starts with a meet cute on a bus: “A minute goes by and he asks what you’re reading. It is Madame Bovary in a Doris Day biography jacket.” Moore’s story is more playful than Flaubert’s, but she

The Three Percent 10 Years Later: An Interview With Chad Post

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Since Chad Post, founding publisher of Open Letter Books, created The Three Percent blog in 2007, the term the “three percent” has become a household one to highlight the percentage of translated books published in the United States.

Lessons from a Year in Translation

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That number is low, but looks good next to the fact that only about 3% of all the books published in the US are translations, a number that grows even smaller if you focus on literary fiction (roughly 0.7%).

Reading Frantumaglia After the Unmasking of Elena Ferrante

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It’s been impossible to ignore the furor surrounding the revelation of Elena Ferrante’s identity last month. Some consider it an inevitability, yet the majority of her fans seem to feel that it is enough to have been given the gift of her writing, without expressly violating her wishes.

Anonymity, Truth, and Authenticity: the Ferrante Papers

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I’ll admit that I do believe in knowing about the author when I’m reading a book. The limits of an approach that is basically all about the text, and nothing but the text – so that taking into account biographical or historical elements, in short replacing the text within