Annotations for Days of Abandonment


Baker & Taylor
When her husband Mario leaves her, Olga, left to care for two young children, enters a long period of self-doubt and pity, until she acknowledges the truth about her marriage.

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Blackwell North Amer
This novel that shocked audiences in Europe with its unsentimental and unyielding depiction of motherhood, marriage and solitude, tells the story of one woman's headlong descent into what she calls an "absence of sense" after being abandoned by her husband. Olga's "days of abandonment" become a desperate, dangerous freefall into the darkest places of the soul as she roams the empty streets of a city that she has never learned to love. When she finds herself trapped inside the four walls of her apartment in the middle of a summer heat wave, Olga is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal again.
First published in Italy in 2002, The Days of Abandonment went straight to the top of the bestseller lists and stayed there for almost a year. It has been translated into over a dozen languages and a movie adaptation of the novel, produced by Jean Vigo Productions, of Life Is Beautiful fame, and directed by Roberto Faenza, is due for release in September 2005.

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Penguin Putnam
"She is among the greatest Italian authors of recent years."-Corriere della Sera

"Ferrante dissects the personal microcosm so well, and with awesome lucidity and precision shows us the meanderings of a woman's mind, the suffering that accompanies being abandoned, and the awful rumbling of time passing."-El Mundo

"Elena Ferrante has given us a startlingly beautiful novel of exceptional and bold strength."-Il Manifesto

"Severe and rigorously unsentimental, packed full of passages written with dizzying intensity at a rare and acute pitch. Ferrante is at her best when her writing holds tight to those nagging, niggling obsessions that make up our mental landscapes."-La Stampa

A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.


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