A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.
The identity of Elena Ferrante is not known. She has managed to keep her identity hidden since the publication of her first books, despite the fact that she now has a world-wide reputation. We can assume that she is from Naples or the Naples region and this article indicates that she is a mother. This article says She seems once to have been married; she may have lived in Greece. This article (in Italian) claims she was born in 1943. Apparently she claims that all that matters is the book and not the author and she may well be right. In 2016, a journalist claimed to have identified her as the German-Italian translator, Anita Raja, wife of the Italian novelist, Domenico Starnone. A later study suggested that Starnone himself may well be the author.