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My Brilliant Friend ##TOP##



Now an HBO series: the first volume in the New York Times-bestselling "enduring masterpiece" about a lifelong friendship between two women from Naples (The Atlantic). Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Elena Ferrante's four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its main characters, the fiery and unforgettable Lila and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflicted friendship. This first novel in the series follows Lila and Elena from their fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between two women. "An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends." --Entertainment Weekly "Spectacular." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air "Captivating." --The New Yorker




My Brilliant Friend



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"My Brilliant Friend" is Ferrante's fourth novel, the first in a trilogy, and also obsessed by a most intimate relationship, a friendship. Elena Greco, the narrator, receives an urgent call from Rino, the son of an old friend. His mother, Lila, has disappeared, he says. Elena has known Lila Cerullo since they were little girls in the 1950s, both of them fierce and tortured inhabitants of a destitute Neapolitan neighborhood.


True to the nature of their fraught friendship, Elena will not allow Lila what she wants. She launches into meticulous history in a narrative that serves as an act of vengeance, a suitable form generated by their old neighborhood, which erupted with dirt and violence, old codes of behavior reinforced, helplessly.


Her friendship with Lila is its own world within an insular world, and like most girls' friendships, it trades in support, competition, confidences, example and that "continuous game of exchanges and reversals that, now happily, now painfully, made us indispensable to each other." This friendship tells her who she is and at the same time undoes what she knows of herself.


Ferrante, beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein, rises above "the confusion of the oral" and writes with a ferocious, intimate urgency that is a celebration of anger. Ferrante is terribly good with anger, a very specific sort of wrath harbored by women, who are so often not allowed to give voice to it. We are angry, a lot of the time, at the position we're in - whether it's as wife, daughter, mother, friend - and I can think of no other woman writing who is so swift and gorgeous in this rage, so bracingly fearless in mining fury.


One of Italy's most acclaimed authors, Elena Ferrante is not well-known in the U.S. My Brilliant Friend, the first in a trilogy, may change that. The setting is the outskirts of Naples in the 1950s, although the story begins in the present day, when 66-year-old Lenù receives a phone call from the son of her lifelong friend, Lila. Lenù casts her memory back half a century; their friendship begins when they confront Don Achille about stealing their dolls.


Although dogs and their owners predominate the collection, a loyal barn cat with a surprising best friend also makes her way into a starring role, and Katz pulls a fast one more than once on readers who make assumptions about a character's species. Katz's unornamented style makes his short fiction accessible to a younger audience, although occasional thematic elements are more appropriate to an adult audience. These moving tales will make readers smile, chuckle and occasionally wipe away a stray tear. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger, Infinite Reads


Antoine Verlaque is a powerful magistrate and a cigar connoisseur with a knack for saying just the wrong thing to his girlfriend, the lovely law professor Marine Bonnet. They're enjoying a weekend away when he gets a phone call from Commissioner Bruno Paulik. The head of the local university's theology department, Dr. Georges Moutte, has been found with his head bashed in. Antoine and Marine must head back to Aix-en-Provence in order to catch the killer. Could it be a colleague who wanted Moutte's prestigious post? Could it have been a student angling for the elite Dumas fellowship, which Moutte was about to grant to one lucky applicant? Or could the doyen's murder be related to his extensive collection of rare Gallé vases?


The foundation of Toobin's reportage is his interviews with the justices and more than 40 of their law clerks. The insights he gleans from these conversations, including the light they shed on the personal relationships among the justices (highlighted by the unlikely friendships between Antonin Scalia and his "Democratic" colleagues Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan) and their sharply divergent judicial philosophies, make for lively reading.


"Christmas miracle: cat saves humans from despair" isn't a new theme. In The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas, however, Julia Romp gives a well-known story new life by including it in a larger and more honest account of her life raising an autistic son. Romp was jobless and living in public housing when she had her son, George, who grew up struggling with communication and daily living. One day, when George is nine years old, a starving, mangy stray cat turns up in the garden shed. George dubs him "Ben," and the boy's first-ever genuine friendship is born.


Graffiti artist Beth Bradley's latest masterpiece gets her thrown out of school. Betrayed by her best friend and abandoned emotionally by her father, Beth runs away, only to be picked up by a Railwraith and plunged into a world she never knew existed. Filius Viae, aka "Son of the Streets," must somehow keep the increasingly powerful Reach, the Crane King and the face of urban sickness, from killing the City and enslaving its occupants. Beth manages to save Filius's life, and finds that she thrives on the danger. She joins him in his crusade to stop the Crane King from taking over before Filius's mother, the goddess Mater Viae, can return. To complicate matters, Beth's best friend becomes a pawn in Reach's army, and her father also gets caught up in this bizarre war for the heart of London.


In an uncanny twist, both 'Elenas' stumbled upon their parts almost completely by chance. Both Margherita Mazzucco, the older Elena, and Elisa Del Genio, the younger one, were absent from school on the day the auditions were held. After hearing about the auditions from friends, Margherita gave her a mother a flier she had found on the street and asked if she could check it out. Elisa wasn't even planning to get the part- her brother was auditioning for the role of Enzo and she was spotted by the director when she accompanied him.


"Hillary Huber's subtly shaded performance couldn't be better as she reveals the complexities that separate and connect the two women.... Huber's delivery of this well-plotted, absorbing story of friendship will leave listeners wanting more." (AudioFile)


I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.


Lenu's father allows her to continue her studies, while Lila is forced to drop out, but continues fervently (and furtively) reading and teaching herself. The girls are bound by their friendship even as their lives diverge. Their bond is all consuming, full of love and competition in equal measure, as complex and deep as any romance.


My Brilliant Friend centers around Elena Greco and her best friend, Rafaella Cerullo. After meeting during their early years of primary school in 1950, the two develop an up and down friendship that carries them well into adulthood. Set in Naples, the duo experience it all together. From elementary school beginnings, to high school heartaches, engagements, babies, successes, and defeats all spanning over sixty years, the two are in it for the long haul. Engulfed in a dangerous, gritty city that is home to the Mafia, political unrest, and social movements, the girls' friendship ebbs and flows just as often as their surroundings.


Making landfall in the United States on February 28, the third installment titled Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay has kept audiences hooked. Through riveting performances, stars Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace, who play Elena and Lila respectively, have woven a tale of the best friends during their adult lives in the 1970s. Through the eyes on Elena, viewers have followed the writer's upward climb as she now has a successful novel under her belt. Escaping the crime-filled streets of Naples, the young author has settled in Pisa in hopes of focusing on her career. Meanwhile, things are not so great for Lila. Leaving her husband behind, the young woman took her child and has been wearing herself thin as a factory worker in a horrendous environment. Back in contact, the two grapple with their different lives and the guilt that accompanies both.


Now an HBO series: the first volume in the New York Times -bestselling "enduring masterpiece" about a lifelong friendship between two women from Naples ( The Atlantic ). Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Elena Ferrante's four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its main characters, the fiery and unforgettable Lila and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflicted friendship. This first novel in the series follows Lila and Elena from their fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between two women. "An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends." -- Entertainment Weekly "Spectacular." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air "Captivating." -- The New Yorker 041b061a72


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