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      The Lying Life of Adults

      The Lying Life of Adults

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      Soon to be a NETFLIX Original Series.

      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.

      “There’s no doubt [the publication of The Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year.”—ELLE Magazine

      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.


      The New York Times Book Review・Vogue・Entertainment Weekly・ELLE Magazine・BuzzFeed・The Millions・The Seattle Times・USA Today・Town & Country・Thrillist・Publishers Weekly・Library Journal・Harper’s Bazaar・ BookPage・Literary Hub・BBC Culture


      ★ “A girl, a city, an inhospitable society: Ferrante’s formula works again!”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

      ★ “Ferrante’s ability to draw in her readers remains unparalleled. [ . . . ] The novel simmers with overt rage toward parental deception, teachers’ expectations and society’s impossible ideals of beauty and behavior.”—BookPage (Starred Review)

      ★ “Fans of Ferrante’s first two Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friend (2012) and The Story of a New Name (2013), will especially revel in Giovanna’s confessional, perceptive, gut-wrenching, and often funny narration of what she calls her ‘arduous approach to the adult world.’”—Booklist (Starred 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

      “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

      “Yes, this book lives up to its author’s reputation, and then some. […] Giovanna’s fate, containing elements both expected and unexpected, makes her one of this year’s most memorable heroines.”—Bethanne Patrick, The Boston Globe

      “Giovanna’s coming-of-age story is gripping, but what makes this novel indelible is Ferrante’s voice. As in her other novels, she convinces the reader to feel she’s the only person to ever reveal the complete truth. The Lying Life of Adults reads like an intimate confession or urgent confidence, and it will leave the reader as shaken and invigorated as it does its young protagonist.”—Jenny Shank, Minneapolis Star Tribune

      “Ferrante makes Naples come alive in her latest literary feat.”—Newsweek

      “Ferrante is still Ferrante — her characters have wide-spanned souls and so does Naples, exuding the smells of the sea and gasoline and baking crust.”—Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times

      “Ms Ferrante’s unique style—again superbly captured by Ann Goldstein’s translation—is as urgent as ever, proceeding by confrontation and volcanic self-revelation, with little traditional description.”—The Economist

      “Prepare to be obsessed all over again.”—Town and Country

      “A wild shuffle of moments exhilarating and torturous, The Lying Life of Adults reads like a distillation of adolescence itself.”—Lauren Mechling, Vogue

      “[The Lying Life of Adults] has a timeless quality—the turmoil, judgment and bewildering choices that girls face as their bodies morph and their minds begin to explore independent thought are eternal.”—Belinda Luscombe, TIME Magazine

      The Lying Life of Adults should absolutely be at the top of your TBR list this September and should come as no surprise that an original series has already been picked up by Netflix.”—Barnes & Noble Reads

      “Ferrante’s books deal with subject matter that in the hands of a lesser writer could be soap opera or pulp. Marriage, divorce, affairs, domestic and child abuse, class issues, sex, even organized crime—they’re all there, but in the hands of a writer whose work transcends genre.”—Lewis Beale, The Daily Beast

      “Ferrante’s depiction of pubescent angst leaps off the page, never flinching away from the agony of minor humiliations […] Ferrante knows exactly how to tell a story.”—Claire Fallon, Huffington Post

      The Lying Life of Adults shares with Ferrante’s great Neapolitan novels the sly knack of undercutting whatever straightforward thing it seems to be saying on its surface. Or perhaps, like Giovanna heading out on her journey down to Pascone, we each of us find in Ferrante’s fiction exactly what we’re seeking.”—Laura Miller, Slate

      “Ferrante’s prose is, as always, sharp and intimate, her imitations loaded […] In a very different way than ever before, Ferrante has fashioned a knotty polemic about class and the shelters it provides. The kind of truth Costanza hides [is] not ‘difficult.’ It is simply debased and shameful, and the novel is sufficient for it.”—The AV Club

      The Lying Life of Adults is a gripping novel about coping with change and creating the closure you need to move forward.”—ForeWord Reviews

      “With the publication of The Lying Life of Adults, we see an author at her peak, deftly synthetizing the density of her first three novels with the sprawling quality of the Neapolitan Novels, all while managing to uncover complex and challenging human truths.”—Asymptote Magazine

      “As with all great fiction, the local touches on the universal, surely striking chords with everyone, male or female, who remembers the confusions, dangers, and temptations of adolescence. Another work of genius, in short […] The Lying Life of Adults simply enriches a magnificent canon which began with Troubling Love nearly 30 years ago. There’s not a weak page, let alone a weak novel, among the eight to date.”—The Arts Desk

      “An incendiary portrait of the volcanic currents of sex and betrayals rumbling away beneath polite society, it hints at more to come.”—The Daily Mail

      “Ferrante has a gift, perhaps even a genius, for making great literature out of melodrama.”—Judith Thurman, The New Yorker

      “A coming-of-age tale wherein one’s naiveté slowly gives over to awareness, Ferrante’s latest looks directly at class and the loss of innocence.”—AV Club

      “Ferrante’s narrative, in Ann Goldstein’s exemplary translation, conjures with pungent eloquence the confusion, excitement and danger of the journey towards adulthood.”—Evening Standard

      “In The Lying Life of Adults, Ferrante highlights the bitter and sometimes brutal insecurity of being a teenager. It’s the sort of coming-of-age story that captures the uncertainty we feel when we begin to see our parents and other grown-ups as real people—and flawed ones, at that.”—AFAR Magazine

      “Terrific.”—Constance Grady, Vox

      “An expert chronicler of young adulthood, Ferrante follows Giovanna’s life from age 12 to 16, charting her development from the sweet girl who adores her parents to a sulking, aggressive teenager who finds pleasure in self-abasement and making other people uncomfortable.”—PureWow

      “A mesmerizing character study of a troubled adolescent struggling to figure out where she fits in the world.”—AARP Magazine


      “Elena Ferrante is so good [. . . ] An astonishing, deeply moving tale of the sorts of wisdom, beauty and knowledge that remain as unruly as the determinedly inharmonious faces of these women.”—The Guardian

      The Lying Life of Adults is the most intense writing about the experiences and interior life of a girl on the cusp of adulthood that I have ever read. It is brilliant.”—Financial Times

      “Like Balzac’s Paris and Dickens’s London, Ferrante’s Naples [ . . . ] is a starkly divided metropolis. From this gorgeous and squalid two-tier city that haunts her imagination comes another compulsive novel.”—The Sunday Times

      “Somehow, Ferrante finds and asks the question that is at the heart of the adolescent experience, that underscores all the pettiness and the posturing and the bravado and the crippling self-doubt.”—Esquire (UK)

      “How bracing to be back in Ferrante’s Neapolitan world […] How exhilarating to engage once more with her textured depictions of family life, of friendships and loves striated by hate and the demon envy — all so vividly rendered into English through the skills of translator Ann Goldstein.”—Lisa Appignanesi, The Observer

      “[With Ferrante], there is a style, but it’s wrought so subtly that you don’t realize it’s there. It’s evinced in her latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, as clearly as in the Neapolitan novels.”—The Independent (Ireland)

      “Elena Ferrante makes a brilliant return to familiar territory.”—Sydney Morning Herald

      “Modern, urgent, truthful.”—The Telegraph

      “As you read, a vast panorama of characters slowly unfolds [. . .] a diverse and dynamic tableau of humanity. Once again, Elena Ferrante has not created a mere story but an entire world.”—Il libraio

      “Ferrante shows again how she is unbeatable at pulling you inside the mind of a teenage girl, making you see how everything that looks irrational from the outside—the moods, the silences, the jealousy, fears, tears and resentments—are utterly logical and reasonable.”—The Times (UK)

      The Lying Life of Adults brilliantly explores the maelstrom of adolescence.”—Le Figaro

      “Elena Ferrante's eighth novel offers a unique reflection on the psychology of adolescence and the transition to adulthood in a female body.”—FranceInfo

      “Ferrante’s characters are reminiscent of Russian dolls, each one containing another doll, then another, until the final, enigmatic one.”—La Croix

      “This Bildungsroman, in which disillusionment is key to Giovanna’s unwitting transformation from child to adult, succeeds above all thanks to the deep psychology of Ferrante’s characters and the realism of her descriptions.”—L’Echo

      “Ferrante uses her inimitable talent as a storyteller to render the psychological upheavals of her young heroine.”—BibliObs, “Our 21 Favorite Novels Since the Beginning of 2020”

      “With her mordant writing, the great and mysterious author plunges readers into the heart of the internal cyclone that is shaking a teenage girl. A brilliant Bildungsroman.”—Télérama

      “[The Lying Life of Adults] has the magnitude of great literature—from Balzac to Stendhal to the always beloved Proust [. . .] It is a necessary book, which shows women that today they have the capacity to be ‘truthful, fierce, compassionate,’ where Lila and Lenù—narrowly confined within the 20th century—could not, or could only to an extent.”—Il Manifesto

      “[The Lying Life of Adults] is highly addictive.”—ELLE (Italy)

      “Elena Ferrante is an expert chronicler of adolescence and its many indignities, as well as its erratic, overwhelming passions.”—The Observer

      “I picked up [The Lying Life of Adults] saying to myself that I would only read a few pages and then stop. Instead, I finished it all in one go, switching off my phone and withdrawing from the world. It is pure reading pleasure, brimming with Ferrante’s narrative intelligence, sincere characters, and signature themes.”—Nadia Terranova on Linkiesta

      “Reading a novel by Elena Ferrante is like coming home, like returning to those happy childhood moments—perhaps imaginary—when we asked mom or dad to tell us the same bedtime story over and over again. From the very first sentences, The Lying Life of Adults enfolds and absorbs readers in the same way.”—Vanity Fair (Italy)

      “In a story where truths are revealed and constantly overturned and characters inspire in equal measure love and hatred, Ferrante’s voice is at once reassuring, unsettling, mesmerizing.”—La Stampa

      “Like in the ‘Neapolitan quartet,’ Ferrante keeps us glued to the page, in awe of her capacity to create characters that have a life-like, almost physical quality—so much so that they keep resurfacing in our mind with stunning vitality even after the book is over.”—Rai Cultura

      “A great novel, extremely dense and complex, to be savored page by page. [Ferrante] brings us to vertigo-inducing heights before returning us, greatly enriched, to our daily lives.”—Critica Letteraria

      “Elena Ferrante is uniquely able to combine complexity and readability.” —Nicola Lagioia in La Stampa

      “Elena Ferrante brings readers back to a world—who knows if it is autobiographical or entirely fictional—that book- after-book we have come to think of as hers. Naples is there from the start, and, most importantly, so too are the indissoluble, complex, painful bond between children and their parents.”—La Repubblica

      “Ferrante has managed a seemingly impossible feat for those who spent many sleepless nights captivated by the intricate lives of Lila and Lenù: she makes us forget all about those two girls . . . From the first lines of the new novel, there’s only Giovanna.”—Libero

      “[In The Lying Life of Adults] the relationship between Giovanna and her paternal aunt Vittoria is powerful and intense.”—ANSA

      “[Ferrante’s] prose, deployed with almost tender wisdom, is musical and linear, and plays with atmosphere and dialogue to shed light on her characters’ hearts, on their greatest hopes and burning disappointments.”—Il Messaggero

      “In her signature way, Ferrante captivates the reader body and soul with a complex, layered, at times brutal novel, where once again the experience of womanhood is at the center of the story.”—Players Magazine

      “Painful, powerful, dark, and brutal—mostly because of the characters who surround Giovanna, the protagonist. Because she, at least, has one great, abiding quality: she cannot lie to herself.”—L’Osservatore Romano

      “Well worth the wait, [The Lying Life of Adults] is classic Ferrante: a gem for longtime fans and a perfect compendium of her signature themes and style for those reading her for the first time.”—Esquire (Italy), A Best Book of 2019

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