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The Story of a New Name (2012)

by Elena Ferrante

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Neapolitan Novels (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6431214,216 (4.23)173
The second book, following last year's My Brilliant Friend, featuring the two friends Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their twenties. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the center of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the cruel price that this passage exacts.… (more)
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» See also 173 mentions

English (99)  German (6)  Dutch (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Set in a poor area of Naples in the 1960s Lena & Lila are now teenagers, trapped in their small macho world. Lila follows money & confines herself in an abusive marriage, while Lena chains herself to studying and climbing out of the ghetto. Both characters annoyed me, but because Ferrante made me care for them and I was rooting for thrm to break out of their prisons and find self-fulfilment.

These complex characters are so fully realised that this reads more like a searingly honest autobiography than a novel. Elena is jealous of her brighter, more vivacious friend, and masochistically stands back when Lila ‘steals’ the boy Elena has always loved.

The lives here are a constant struggle, and I could have done with some more shafts of sunlight. Yet this was an astonishingly forensic dissection of the complexities of friendship and the struggle to navigate through and build a life for oneself given the restraints of class, gender, background & education. ( )
  LARA335 | Nov 30, 2021 |
I am now officially hooked on this after blowing through about 300 pages on Saturday so I could finish by book club at 7:00pm. So much richness here in the characters and the frenemyship between the narrator and her friend. There was plenty to discuss. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
My favorite chunk is the last third of the book. It really took until then for it to be a page turner. I think the strongest part for me is the description of Lena getting to college and getting a bit of perspective on the wider world beyond the slum she grew up in.
This character see her own desire to please and be found smart/significant. She describes with self criticism her unwillingness to ask for what she want, but rather to pretend she didn't want it after all if she can't get it. I recognize that pattern and the self criticism as well.
I wonder if I'll like the third book better. ( )
1 vote Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
These books. Just overwhelmingly good. On to the next one! ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
Continuing from #1 (My Brilliant Friend), Ferrante keeps on doing what she does so well. Rich, emotional, vivid, tragic, complex. Looking forward to embarking on #3, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. ( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Every so often you encounter an author so unusual it takes a while to make sense of her voice. The challenge is greater still when this writer’s freshness has nothing to do with fashion, when it’s imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history. Elena Ferrante is this rare bird: so deliberate in building up her story that you almost give up on it, so gifted that by the end she has you in tears.
added by Laura400 | editNew York Times, Joseph Luzzi (Sep 27, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elena Ferranteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Damien, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krieger, KarinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laake, Marieke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nella primavera del 1966 Lila, in uno stato di grande agitazione, mi affidò una scatola di metallo che conteneva otto quaderni.
In the spring of 1966, Lila, in a state of great agitation, entrusted to me a metal box that contained eight notebooks.
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The second book, following last year's My Brilliant Friend, featuring the two friends Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their twenties. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the center of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the cruel price that this passage exacts.

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