Allora, tutti! Come in from the piazza, put down your panini, pause your shoemaking for just a second, and please imagine hearing this news from someone gesticulating wildly: A new Elena Ferrante novel is coming. To quote the emoji in the text I just sent my mother: Siren / Italian flag / ladies with bunny ears / doll / high heel / pizza / broken heart.
We don’t have a title yet, or an American pub date, but Europa Editions, Ferrante’s English-language publisher, tweeted the novel’s first two paragraphs:
Two years before leaving home my father told my mother that I was very ugly. It was spoken under his breath, in the apartment that, just married, my parents had bought on Rione Alto, on top of San Giacomo dei Capri.
Everything — the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a freezing February, those words — stood still. I on the other hand slid away and continue to slide even now, within these lines that want to give me a story while in fact they are nothing, nothing of mine, nothing that truly started or truly reached a conclusion: only a tangle that no one, not even the person writing right now, knows whether contains the proper thread of a story or is only a disheveled pain, without redemption.
Sounds like it’s going to be a real Nino (the despised ex in Ferrante’s beloved Neapolitan Novels): gorgeous, extremely Italian, and definitely going to hurt me.