Frontlist | Two Indian authors in Elena Ferrante’s list of favourite books
Elena Ferrante listed her favourite 40 books by female authors and Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ and ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy made it to the list.
Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym for the bestselling author of the Neapolitan novels. Her series started with ‘My Brilliant Friend’ in 2012 and ended with ‘The Story of the Lost Child’ in 2015. Originally written in Italian, the series has been translated and is an international bestseller. The author has written 11 books, the most recent one, ‘The Lying Life of Adults’, having just been released in English this year.
Though she is internationally renowned and was even a part of TIME 100 Most Influential People in 2016, Ferrante is incredibly private. She values her anonymity and insists it is a precondition for her work.
Recently she shared a list with bookshop.org, a website that allows one to order from independent bookshops in the UK. The list is of 40 twentieth-century female writers. She described it as, “Stories of women who have two feet in the 1900s, or one in the following century.” The list includes 2 Indian origin authors.
‘Interpreter of Maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiri is a compilation of nine short stories. All of the tales explore the lives of American Indians or Indians who are learning to navigate between their Indian culture and habits and the “New World”.
The other book is ‘The God of Small Things’, which was the debut novel of Arundhati Roy, a world renowned author and activist. It follows the story of twins who are raised in their mothers home after their father leaves the mother and the stigma they grew up with and how it shaped them. It won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997
Most of Ferrante’s picks are stories that give an insight into lives of people in other countries and their experiences.
Here is the full list:
‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
‘The Blind Assassin’ by Margaret Atwood
‘The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree’ by Shokoofeh Azar, translated by Anonymous
‘Malina’ by Ingeborg Bachmann, translated by Philip Boehm
‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’ by Lucia Berlin
‘Outline’ by Rachel Cusk
‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion
‘A Girl Returned’ by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated by Ann Goldstein
‘Disoriental’ by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover
‘The Lover’ by Marguerite Duras, translated by Barbara Bray
‘The Years’ by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison Strayer
‘Family Lexicon’ by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by Jenny McPhee
‘The Conservationist’ by Nadine Gordimer
‘Fates and Furies’ by Lauren Groff
‘Motherhood’ by Sheila Heti
‘The Piano Teacher’ by Elfriede Jelinek, translated by Joachim Neugroschel
‘Breasts and Eggs’ by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd
‘The Fifth Child’ by Doris Lessing
‘The Passion According to GH’ by Clarice Lispector, translated by Idra Novey
‘Lost Children Archive’ by Valeria Luiselli
‘Arturo’s Island’ by Elsa Morante, translated by Ann Goldstein
‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison
‘Dear Life’ by Alice Munro
‘The Bell’ by Iris Murdoch
‘Accabadora’ by Michela Murgia, translated by Silvester Mazzarella
‘Le Bal’ by Irene Nemirovsky, translated by Sandra Smith
‘Blonde’ by Joyce Carol Oates
‘The Love Object: Selected Stories’ by Edna O’Brien
‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find’ by Flannery O’Connor
‘Evening Descends Upon the Hills: Stories from Naples’ by Anna Maria Ortese, translated by Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee
‘Gilead’ by Marylinne Robinson
‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney
‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith
‘Olive Kitteridge’ by Elizabeth Strout
‘The Door’ by Magda Szabò, translated by Len Rix
‘Cassandra’ by Christa Wolf, translated by Jan van Heurck
‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara
‘Memoirs of Hadrian’ by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated by Grace Frick