The Story of the Lost Child

The Story of the Lost Childby Elena Ferrante

Paperback, 473 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Europa Editions (first published 2014)
Original Title: Storia della bambina perduta
ISBN 1609452860 (ISBN13: 9781609452865)

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Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives.

Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up—a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. In this final book, she has returned to Naples. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from the city of her birth. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Proximity to the world she has always rejected only brings her role as its unacknowledged leader into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable!

Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, the story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and every return will bring with it new revelations.

About the author

Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. Ferrante is the author of a half dozen novels, including The Lost Daughter (originally published as La figlia oscura, 2006). In 2012, Europa Editions began publication of English translations of Ferrante’s „Neapolitan Novels,“ a series about two perceptive and intelligent girls from Naples who try to create lives for themselves within a violent and stultifying culture. Critics have praised her for her „devastating power as a novelist“ and for a style that is“pleasingly rigorous and sharply forthright.“ Ferrante holds that „books, once they are written, have no need of their authors.“ 10th March 2016, The Story of the Lost Child was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction translated to English.

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25242224-the-story-of-the-lost-child

Work Like Any Other

cover image for Work Like Any Otherby Virginia Reeves

Hardcover, 262 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Scribner
ISBN 150111249X (ISBN13: 9781501112492)

Available at your local bookstore and also via Amazon.de and Amazon.com.

In this astonishingly accomplished, morally complicated, “exceptional and starkly beautiful debut” (Kevin Powers, National Book Award–nominated author of The Yellow Birds), a prideful electrician in 1920s rural Alabama struggles to overcome past sins and find peace after being sent to prison for manslaughter.

Roscoe T Martin set his sights on a new type of power spreading at the start of the twentieth century: electricity. It became his training, his life’s work. But when his wife, Marie, inherits her father’s failing farm, Roscoe has to give up his livelihood, with great cost to his sense of self, his marriage, and his family. Realizing he might lose them all if he doesn’t do something, he begins to use his skills as an electrician to siphon energy from the state, ushering in a period of bounty and happiness. Even the love of Marie and their child seem back within Roscoe’s grasp.

Then a young man working for the state power company stumbles on Roscoe’s illegal lines and is electrocuted, and everything changes: Roscoe is arrested; the farm once more starts to deteriorate; and Marie abandons her husband, leaving him to face his twenty-year sentence alone. Now an unmoored Roscoe must carve out a place at Kilby Prison. Climbing the ranks of the incarcerated from dairy hand to librarian to “dog boy,” an inmate who helps the guards track down escapees, he is ultimately forced to ask himself once more if his work is just that, or if the price of his crimes—for him and his family—is greater than he ever let himself believe.

Gorgeously spare and brilliantly insightful, Work Like Any Other is “a striking debut about love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt, and learning how to escape them…Virginia Reeves is a major new talent” (Philipp Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of The Son).

About the author

photo of Virginia ReevesVirginia Reeves is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at UT-Austin. Her debut novel, Work Like Any Other was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and Booklist recently named it to their Top 10 First Novels of 2016. After seven years in Austin, she recently returned to her hometown of Helena, Montana, with her husband, two daughters, and three-legged Pit Bull.

Photo credit: Suzanne Koett, via the author site