Bare realities. #myfriendsarereading … Elena Ferrante [Las Deudas del Cuerpo]

My friend A.R.C. has been away from London these past few months, and very missed at that. Here’s a little bit about her and what she’s been reading in recent days.

Reader: A.R.C, Female, 26, lives in Spain/London
Citizenship/nationality: Spanish-born, citizen of the world
Book: Las Deudas del Cuerpo (note from A.R.C.: ‘literally translates as “The Body’s Debts”, which I think is a far better title’), English title: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
Photo sent from: Madrid, Spain

Why did you pick this book; Why should we read it? I was planning on never reading these books but was given them as a gift and I’m actually really enjoying them. The series narrates the story of the lives and friendship between two Italian women, but it’s also about much more than that. I’m not a fan of the writing style, but I think this book can be the source of meaningful conversations and can provide a lot of food for thought.

Editor’s note: In the aftermath of the public outing of the true identity of critically acclaimed and bestselling author Elena Ferrante, it has been predicted that the series would most likely receive more attention. The story is slowly being shelved, but the outrage remains; hanging like the scent of a dead pig’s dry leg. Yet, the stories she has penned are indeed flying off the shelves.

There is inescapable irony in Ferrante’s rare focus on womanhood and her oeuvre giving her characters the depth and complexity that their male counterparts have long been afforded causing her to be hunted down. Many have noted the paradox between the extravagance of Kim Kardashian’s brand and the anonymity of Ferrante. Ultimately, both were robbed of and criticised for their contrasting core characteristic: lavishness and modesty, respectively. Elena Ferrante is now not only a symbolic voice in terms of gender representation in books, but also the every day woman’s right to choose how she positions her image within society. 


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