More than 60 bookstores across the country staged #FerranteNightFever events last week, a focal point of the November 1 launch in the U.S. of two new titles by Elena Ferrante--Frantumaglia: An Author's Journey and the children's book The Beach at Night. Publisher Europa Editions provided participating bookstores with a kit with event ideas, discussion questions, posters, buttons and bookmarks.
Some of the most striking events took place in the New York area. At Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, a lively discussion was moderated by novelist and critic Darcey Steinke and featured actor/filmmaker John Turturro, Ferrante scholar Giancarlo Lombardi and literary biographer/critic Judith Thurman. An international, SRO crowd heard the group discuss Ferrante's work in the context of the Italian literary landscape; Naples as a fertile territory for storytelling; the film adaptation of Troubling Love; feminism in Ferrante's work (and why it's important for men to read these novels), and a comparison of the reception of Ferrante's work in Italy and the U.S.
|At McNally Jackson: Ann Goldstein, Dayna Tortorici, Roxana Robinson|
On Tuesday, McNally Jackson in New York City hosted a panel consisting of novelist Roxana Robinson, Dayna Tortorici from n+1 and Ann Goldstein, translator of Ferrante's work, moderated by Europa Editions editor-in-chief Michael Reynolds, which considered Ferrante's books (Frantumaglia in particular), her literary influences and her thematic concerns.
On Friday at Astoria Bookshop in Queens, another SRO crowd heard novelists Siddhartha Deb and Elissa Schappell, journalist Jennifer Maloney and translator Ann Goldstein--also moderated by Michael Reynolds--discuss Ferrante's importance as a feminist writer and her writerly style (her tight sentences and "virile" writing), her approach to class and poverty and the political nature of her work.
Finally on Saturday, Reynolds moderated a panel at BookCourt in Brooklyn with authors Stacey D'Erasmo and Summer Brennan, New Yorker features editor Emily Stokes, National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas and Ann Goldstein, which focused on Ferrante's writing, how each participant discovered her work and what they find important about it and more. The q&a included an impassioned discussion of the role of dialect in Ferrante's books.