THE NEAPOLITAN NOVELS, the best-selling series by Elena Ferrante, is set for an eight-part television adaptation. HBO has partnered with RAI, Italy’s public broadcasting company, to make a drama of the critically acclaimed books, to be directed by Saverio Costanzo.
The first of Ferrante’s fictional Neapolitan Novels, My Brilliant Friend, focuses on the early friendships and family life of two girls, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo, in Naples in the Forties. The subsequent stories follow Greco and Cerullo through their lives.Best Bookshops In London: The Eyes On Events Edit
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“They are characters that each one of us can inhabit no matter what country you are from,” Costanzo said of the books, reports Variety. “They are so well told, in such detail, that we can all identify with them and their desire to emancipate themselves. Ferrante has managed to tell in the first person things that are very intimate, risky, that we all feel but that you need plenty of courage to admit.”
The director went on to reveal that he is approaching the making of the television adaptation “as if I were making a big movie. For me the difference between TV and cinema is very subtle, today’s great TV series are cinematographic”.
It will be filmed in Italian and then air with English subtitles on HBO in the United States. A release date has not yet been confirmed, but production is slated to begin this summer.The Best Podcasts To Listen To Now
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It is not the first dramatisation of Ferrante's work - a theatre production based on the books, currently on stage at the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames, has received plaudits from critics.
Last October a literary storm was created when the identity of Ferrante - which is a pseudonym the author uses to publish her work - was allegedly revealed by an Italian reporter, who was criticised for intruding on the writer's privacy.