Reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels with the Grain. The View of a Female Academic from Southern Italy

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

1 Citation (SciVal)


The global success of Elena Ferrante’s quadrilogy L’amica geniale, known in Anglophone countries as the Neapolitan Novels, has recently directed the interest and debates of critics, and the more general public, to the question of why it appeals to readers of different ages and genders from very different cultures. This chapter elucidates the quartet’s transformative potential, an all-important concern in view of both Ferrante’s phenomenal success globally and the common understanding that ‘reading does have an impact on who we are and what we will become’. Ferrante has succeeded in something that is not easy to achieve, combining creativity, complexity and readability: her work occupies that middle ground between high literature for the elites and popular culture for the masses, which can trigger desires and promote change by addressing that middlebrow readership that is receptive to the cognitive and emotional reading experience that such a literature has the power to spark.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in Transition
Subtitle of host publicationCrossing Boundaries, Crossing Borders
EditorsMaria-José Blanco, Claire Williams
Place of PublicationNew York & Abingdon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000383300
ISBN (Print)9780367443061
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021
EventWomen in Transition — Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries - King's College London & St Peter's College Oxford, London & Oxford, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Sept 201822 Sept 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Comparative Literature


ConferenceWomen in Transition — Crossing Borders, Crossing Boundaries
Abbreviated titleWomen in Transition
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
CityLondon & Oxford
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels with the Grain. The View of a Female Academic from Southern Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this