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Ferrante's Influence:

The Success of Modern-Day Female Authors in Italy

In today’s edition of Il caffè di oggi, we will examine the recent international success of Italian women fiction novelists. This discussion was most recently addressed in the New York Times article 'The Ferrante Effect’: In Italy, Women Writers Are Ascendant, by Anna Momigliano.

Times are changing for women authors in Italy. In the last two years, nearly half of Italy’s top twenty bestselling fiction novels were written by women. In 2019, the Premio Strega, Italy’s top literary award, was given to a female author.

It is possible that we can attribute the current success of Italian female authors to other international women writers translated into Italian, such as Chicago-native, Jennifer Egan. Their popularity has sparked courageous Italian authors such as Veronica Raimo to address once-taboo issues including sexism and gender roles.

Not only are Italian novelists gaining popularity in their own country, but also internationally. In addition to selling eleven million copies world-wide, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels have been made into a noteworthy HBO series. Thanks to Ferrante’s popularity, several once-overlooked titles are being translated into English, years after their publication. One of these novels is Beyond Babylon, by Somali-Italian author Igiaba Scego. Scego’s title explores immigration, race, and identity as seen through the eyes of two women.

Although Ferrante's influence has paved the way for many female Italian authors, it is important for us to continue to support their voices. In doing so, please consider using this time at home to curl up on the couch with some of the novels below.

Titles by female Italian authors that have been translated into English: 

- Elena Ferrante, Neapolitan Novels (HBO Series)
- Veronica Raimo, The Girl at the Door
- Helena Janeczek, The Girl with the Laica
- Donatella Di Pietrantonio, A Girl, Returned
- Igiaba Scego, Beyond Babylon

- Nadia Terranova, Goodbye Ghosts

Support local booksellers carrying one or all of the titles above:

- Moon Palace Books

- Next Chapter Booksellers

- Magers & Quinn

- Bookshop.org
The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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