General Non-Fiction

La leggenda di Elena Ferrante

(The Legend of Elena Ferrante)

Garzanti, April 2021, pp.320

An audacious report on the hidden sources of the literary legend. This report does not reveal the true identity of the bestselling author about whom there have been many theories over the years, but is a story that incorporates and reworks details – some authentic, others imaginary – that make Elena Ferrante an event that stands out.

English sample available

A journey to the hidden sources of a literary legend that begins with Naples and the sounds, colours and reflections of a specific world and era: in the famous district at the back of the railway station in the 1950s. In following the echoes of this world, like the sound of the sea in a shell, Guadagni – a writer and journalist – explores the places, voices and lives that came together in the bestelling Quartet of My Brilliant Friend, walks through the council estates, the frightening tunnel that leads to the sea and the derelict industrial warehouses, and paints a gallery of great women who, by writing, working and fighting, formed the Italian 20th century.

Garzanti, April 2021, pp.320

  • “Guadagni’s engaging prose and expressive tone with echoes of Elena Ferrante accounts for her detailed exploration of the world created by ‘My Brilliant Friend’.” 

    Titti Marrone, Il Mattino

  • “Annamaria Guadagni will guide you through a thirty-year-old mystery.”

    Antonella Fiori, F

  • “A book about books – one that actually penetrates books in order to see further into the distance and clings to them so as not to lose them.”

    Marco de Marco, Corriere della Sera

  • “She looks for the truth on the essence of inspiration, on the source of that singular literary creature.”

    Il Foglio

Annamaria Guadagni

Annamaria Guadagni is an arts journalist. She has worked in publishing for a long time and writes for the daily “Il Foglio”. She has edited collections of essays and written a novel, L’ultima notte (1998).

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