In the Margins

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What to expect

Four new and revelatory essays by the author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter

In 2020, Claire Luchette in O, The Oprah Magazine described the beloved Italian novelist Elena Ferrante as “an oracle among authors.” Here, in these four crisp essays, Ferrante offers a rare look at the origins of her literary powers. She writes about her influences, her struggles, and her formation as both a reader and a writer; she describes the perils of “bad language” and suggests ways in which it has long excluded women’s truth; and she proposes a choral fusion of feminine talent as she brilliantly discourses on the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Ingeborg Bachmann, and many others.

Here is a subtle yet candid book by “one of the great novelists of our time” about adventures in literature, both in and out of the margins.

Critics Review

  • “Razor-sharp…A candid look into Ferrante’s development of not only her craft but also her life-long passion for literature.”

  • “The doyenne of Italian literature pores over her toolbox, discovering that reinvention is the name of her game.”

    Oprah Daily
  • “Vivid and concise…This book is a true treasure and could provide an important guide for other marginalized writers looking for their own voices.”

    New York Journal of Books
  • “Narrator Hillary Huber’s sumptuous voice brings out the poignancy of the four thought-provoking essays…Huber’s performance is a short but lavish listening experience for lovers of letters and literature. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

  • “The essays of In the Margins are illuminating and beguiling as they peek into the literary craft of a writer at the height of her powers.”

    ForeWord Reviews
  • “An intimate self-portrait and an essential read.”

    AV Club

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