Released in Italy in November 2019, the English version of La Vita Bugiarda Degli Adulti was originally set to come out in June of this year. But the coronavirus pandemic delayed the publication of the highly-anticipated novel.
Here’s a preview of what to expect:
“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.”
Not surprisingly, reviews have been good. “A girl, a city, an inhospitable society: Ferrante’s formula works again!” says Kirkus Reviews. The Atlantic and The Washington Post are among the many publications that have published in-depth reviews.
I tore through all four books of the Neapolitan Quartet in about two weeks. So I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have some new Ferrante to read.
There’s also going to be some new Ferrante to watch. Following the success of HBO’s television adaptation of My Brilliant Friend, The Lying Life of Adults is also set to become a TV series, this time on Netflix.
Personally, I’m less excited about the series – I prefer my own visions of Ferrante’s characters that I formed while reading her novels. But I know that a lot of italophiles will be excited to see Ferrante’s Naples depicted again on screen.