The cover of Elena Ferrante's eagerly awaited new novel, The Lying Life of Adults, has been revealed.
Designed by Emanuele Ragnisco, the orange and purple cover features a glimpse of protagonist Giovanna's face.
Ragnisco and Europa Editions publisher Eva Ferri considered 36 different versions of the final image. Ragnisco said: "As I do for each book cover (especially when a book is so highly anticipated), I didn’t follow any pre-established method in designing the cover for The Lying Life of Adults. We considered five different graphic options: text only; a black and white photo; an illustration; a bold graphic; and a colour photo. We then produced 36 different versions and proofs.
"I believe a good cover must put the text of the book at the center of the design project, and be based on a close collaboration between the author, the publisher and the designer, to ensure that the 'soul' of the project remains the book and the story it tells. In this respect, the constant input offered by Eva Ferri of Europa has been invaluable to this project. Eva has impeccable taste. We have known each other for 30 years and work wonderfully together. The creative vision behind this cover is hers."
Europa Editions will publish Ann Goldstein’s translation on 9th June 2020, with The Lying Life of Adults marking Ferrante's first novel for five years. The novel, set in Naples, tells the story of Giovanna’s life up to the age of 16.
The author of the bestselling four-part Neapolitan series has sold 715,201 books for £7.48m, through Nielsen, with 2011's My Brilliant Friend (Europa) her bestseller at 309,216 copies sold in paperback in the UK. It's also the second bestselling book in her native Italy since records began. Published by indie Europa Editions, the Neapolitan series follows Elena Greco and her friend Raffaella Cerullo, who she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set against a dangerous and vibrant Naples, the story spans 60 years of their lives as Elena tries to unravel the mystery of her friend.
Ferri added: "The challenge was to design a jacket which conveys the spirit of the book without saying too much about its protagonist. For the author and for us it was very important that Giovanna’s face should remained concealed. During the course of the story we get to know her, but as Giovanna herself is not sure about her own appearance, whether she is ugly or beautiful, nor should be the reader. Her self-image morphs, is fragmented, we only get glimpses of it, and we can’t claim to know it. This is why we didn’t want to present a clear image of Giovanna on the cover, but only a fragment of her face, her gaze returning ours, willfully frustrating the reader’s desire for a straightforward answer. The bold contrasting colours aim to portrait adolescence, and its adventurous transition into the world of adults."