My Brilliant Friend Archive

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.

Writing People Reading Books: Tracking the Elusive Reader

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A writer is first – perhaps foremost – a reader. Why, then, is it rare to find our characters reading? It’s not that we don’t find books given a special place in fiction. Writers love writing about books.

On Intimacy: Elena Ferrante & Stacey D’Erasmo

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It seems as though people do not want to believe that fiction can be intimate—that is: detailed, personal, private, sacred, something with which readers feel closely acquainted or familiar. It is especially surprising if it is also broad, and that one book can accomplish both apparently astounds reviewers.

Ways of Beginning

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New Year’s Eve has always struck me as sort of a strained holiday. The newness it represents feels invisible to me, no matter the countdowns and music and noisemakers piled on it—a threshold in the air, a line that’s there because we say it is. I’m always so aware

A Family Tree of Books You Need a Family Tree to Read

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Let’s start with One Hundred Years of Solitude, to prove after last time that I do, in fact, love Gabriel García Márquez, and because where else would I start? By me, there is no better family novel than One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel is nominally the story