Elena Ferrante to write weekly Guardian column

Elena Ferrante to write weekly Guardian column

Elena Ferrante is to write a weekly newspaper column for the Guardian’s new look Weekend magazine starting on Saturday (20th January).

The regular column will cover the pseudonymous Italian novelist’s thoughts “on life, love, childhood, ageing, the female experience and everything in between”. Her inaugural column will focus on her first love.

According to a Guardian report, the author of the bestselling Neapolitan series said she was “attracted to the possibility of testing myself” with a regular column describing the experience “a bold, anxious exercise in writing”. The pieces will be translated by Ferrante’s regular collaborator Ann Goldstein.

The reclusive Italian author’s four-part series, published by Europa Editions, 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. 

The announcement follows the launch of the Guardian in tabloid format on Monday (15th January). In addition to the refreshed Weekend magazine, the paper will also include the Review section revamped as a “beautiful and stylish books magazine”. Other sections include food magazine, Feast, as well as Travel and the listings supplement Guide.

Melissa Denes, editor of Weekend, revealed she was "thrilled to be working with Elena Ferrante on her first newspaper column” and described it as “a new adventure for her and for Guardian Weekend magazine.”

“Every week, she will be writing a personal piece, covering subjects from sex to ageing to the things that make her laugh. I can't wait to see where she will take us," Denes said.

Weekend has been redesigned as part of the Guardian’s move to tabloid format with the first new look issue appearing on Saturday (20th January).

In October 2016, Italian journalist Claudio Gatti claimed to have found the true identity of Ferrante, alleging it was freelance translator Anita Raja, once the co-ordinator for an imprint of writers at Ferrante's Italian publisher Edizione e/o. The revelation was met with frustration from the literary community, although booksellers reported the media attention would be likely increase sales of the series.

In March last year, it was announced that the first novel in thrseries, My Brilliant Friend, would to be adapted into an eight-episode Italian drama series for HBO and Italian state broadcaster Rai with Ferrante writing the screenplay.

The series have sold 583,321 copies altogether making £5.96m through Nielsen BookScan, with My Brilliant Friend shifting 263,146 copies in paperback.