In Solidarity With Elena Ferrante

Feministani by Bina Shah

Like thousands of people around the world, I discovered the novels of Elena Ferrante this summer and was bewitched from the first page. “Reading” doesn’t describe what I did; “devoured” is the better word. I couldn’t put the novel down until I was at the last page, and then I immediately picked up the next one, like a chain smoker who wants the next cigarette before the first one is even finished (Here’s my Dawn article about the series, if you want to know more).

Did it matter that I didn’t know Elena Ferrante’s real identity? Of course not. But it bothered a lot of other people. Particularly men, who claimed that perhaps the author was actually a man, because how could a woman write so well and so evocatively about violence, poverty, and politics? There are pages and pages in the novels devoted to describing the political and…

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