The Lying Life of Adults
A BEST BOOK OF 2020
The Washington Post・O, The Oprah Magazine・TIME Magazine・NPR・People Magazine・The New York Times Critics・The Guardian・Electric Literature・Financial Times・Times UK・Irish Times・New York Post・Kirkus Reviews・Toronto Star・The Globe and Mail・Harper’s Bazaar
A POWERFUL NEW NOVEL set in a divided Naples by ELENA FERRANTE, the New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter. Soon to be a NETFLIX Original Series.
Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.
Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.
Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.
“What a relief it is when an author who has written a masterpiece returns to prove the gift intact.”—Dayna Tortorici, The New York Times Book Review
“[The Lying Life of Adults] is suspenseful and propulsive; in style and theme, a sibling to [Ferrante’s] previous books. But it’s also a more vulnerable performance, less tightly woven and deliberately plotted, even turning uncharacteristically jagged at points as it explores some of the writer’s touchiest preoccupations.”—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times
“Ferrante is a specialist in composure: the drama of achieving, losing, feigning, and regaining composure is central to her work.”—Elaine Blair, New York Review of Books
Exquisitely moody [ . . . ] A marvelously disconcerting novel of disillusionment.”—Merve Emre, The Atlantic
“Novels like The Lying Life of Adults do indeed contain wisdom [and] Ferrante lets us both share the intensity of this formative experience and be amused by it. As in the Neapolitan novels, and in much of the best first-person fiction, the relationship between telling one’s life story and understanding oneself is central. As long as it is as well-told as Ferrante’s version, it is a story we never tire of.”—Marion Winik, The Washington Post