• Date and time: Wednesday 9 June 2021, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Book tickets

Event details

Elena Ferrante's novels have found an audience of passionate and engaged readers around the world. Ferrante is probably the best-known Italian writer of literary fiction alive today, whose work is renowned for its intense depiction of female friendship and women's intellectual lives.

Join us as we celebrate and discuss Ferrante’s work with the novels’ English translator Ann Goldstein, journalist Isabel Berwick of the Financial Times and Merve Emre of the University of Oxford.  

Ann is a New York-based translator, who has been translating Ferrante’s novels into English for over 16 years; Merve is co-author of The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism, while Isabel recently wrote a review for the FT of Ferrante’s latest novel The Lying Life of Adults.

Through our panel discussion, discover why the pseudonymous Ferrante’s work – including the four volumes of the ‘Neapolitan Novels’ - has gained the writer such a legion of loyal fans across the globe.


This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar and you’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before it takes place. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Image credit: flickr.com, 20-Mar Hooked by Ellan Macdonald


Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner.  In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.   

About the speakers

Isabel Berwick is the Financial Times's Work and Careers Editor, overseeing its coverage of leadership, management, office life and the present - and post-pandemic future- of work. In addition, she is a regular fiction reviewer for the FT books pages. Isabel joined the FT in 1999 from the Independent on Sunday, where she was the Business Editor. 

Merve Emre is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017), The Ferrante Letters (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019), and The Personality Brokers (Doubleday: New York, 2018), which was selected as one of the best books of 2018 by the New York Times, the Economist, NPR, CBC, and the Spectator. She is the editor of Once and Future Feminist (Cambridge: MIT, 2018) and a centennial edition of Mrs. Dalloway, forthcoming from Liveright. In 2019, she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize, and her work has been supported by the Whiting Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, where she is a Fellow (2020-2021). She is currently finishing a book called Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities and starting a book called Woman: The History of an Idea.  Merve is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books.

Ann Goldstein is a former editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Alessandro Baricco, and is the editor of the Complete Works of Primo Levi in English. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and awards from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


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