Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante is the pseudonymous Italian author of several novels, the most famous of which is the four-volume series known as the Neapolitan Novels. Her true identity remains unknown, and she has chosen to remain anonymous throughout her career.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. My Brilliant Friend

    This novel tells the story of two friends, Elena and Lila, growing up in a poor neighborhood in Naples, Italy in the 1950s. Their intense, complicated friendship is marked by competition, mutual respect, and deep affection. As they navigate the challenges of adolescence, including family drama, academic struggles, and romantic entanglements, their bond is tested and transformed. The narrative explores themes of female friendship, social class, education, and the struggle for personal autonomy in a patriarchal society.

    The 1014th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Neapolitan Novels

    "The Neapolitan Novels" is a four-part series that explores the intricate and lifelong friendship between two women from Naples, Italy. The series spans several decades, beginning in the 1950s, and provides a detailed examination of the women's lives, struggles, and the societal pressures they face. The narrative delves into themes of identity, friendship, love, violence, and socio-political changes in post-war Italy. The series is known for its rich character development and vivid portrayal of female friendship.

    The 4112th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Troubling Love

    This novel follows a woman who returns to Naples after her mother's mysterious death, determined to understand the enigmatic life her mother led. As she delves into her mother's past, she uncovers a web of secrets and discovers more about her own identity in the process. The narrative explores themes of mother-daughter relationships, identity, and the power of the past.

    The 5224th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Days Of Abandonment

    The novel follows Olga, a woman in her late thirties, who is abruptly abandoned by her husband after fifteen years of marriage. Struggling to cope with the sudden betrayal and the collapse of her family life, Olga descends into a state of emotional turmoil and despair. As she grapples with her intense feelings of anger, jealousy, and confusion, she must also navigate the practical challenges of single parenthood. The story delves deeply into her psychological unraveling and eventual journey towards self-discovery and resilience.

    The 5341st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Story Of The Lost Child

    In the final installment of the Neapolitan Novels, the complex and evolving friendship between Elena and Lila reaches its culmination against the backdrop of a changing Naples. As both women navigate personal and professional challenges, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, revealing deep-seated emotions and long-held secrets. The narrative explores themes of identity, ambition, and the enduring impact of their bond, ultimately portraying a poignant and intricate portrait of female friendship and the passage of time.

    The 7058th Greatest Book of All Time