A view of Mt. Vesuvius from Naples, the Italian city that is the setting for Elena Ferrante's novel "My Brilliant Friend."

A view of Mt. Vesuvius from Naples, the Italian city that is the setting for Elena Ferrante's novel "My Brilliant Friend."

The “Neapolitan novels” are a series of four books written by Italian author Elena Ferrante (who publishes under a pseudonym). The books trace the fierce, decades-long friendship between Lila and Elena, two working class girls from Naples. The English translations of her books began rolling out in 2012. Since then, Ferrante developed somewhat of a cult following that unexpectedly pushed her books onto bestseller lists.

Much to the delight of loyal Ferrante fans, HBO has just adapted the first book in the series, “My Brilliant Friend,” for the small screen.

In 2015, for a Readers’ Review, Diane discussed “My Brilliant Friend.”

Guests

  • Maureen Corrigan Book critic, NPR's Fresh Air; author, "So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures"
  • Laura Benedetti Professor of contemporary Italian culture, Georgetown University; author of "The Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy" and of the novel "Un Paese Di Carta"
  • Louis Bayard Author, "Roosevelt's Beast." His other books include "The Pale Blue Eye," "The School of Night" and "Mr. Timothy." He teaches fiction writing at The George Washington University.

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