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The Days of Abandonment

Translated by Ann Goldstein

Rarely have the foundations upon which our ideas of motherhood and womanhood rest been so candidly questioned. This compelling novel 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.

Read a review of three of Ferrante’s novels—Troubling Love, The Days of Abandonment and The Lost Daughter—in the Sydney Morning Herald.

About the Author

Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of Neapolitan Novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional...

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Text publication date:
9 June 2015
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Praise for Elena Ferrante
andThe Days of Abandonment

‘Her novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.’

‘Everything Olga encounters becomes part of her pattern of thinking, and is accommodated as though it had always existed. This, rather than any graphic 'candour’, is what makes Ferrante’s writing extraordinary.‘

‘Ferrante puts hammer to flesh and invites her reader to penetrate the page.’

‘Every now and again, an author comes along who dares to remind us that the very pain of abandonment can ratchet us back a few evolutionary notches, knock us to the ground and leave us crawling, babbling like beasts.’

‘If that’s not a great literary novel, I don’t know what is.’

‘Ferrante is unflinching in drawing a mental landscape that is irrational and cruel…She writes like a rampage, her truth telling implacable and her fury kinetic. The tension in the pages is almost unbearable. The book is a startling treatise on how to stay alive when your world falls apart.’

‘Quite extraordinary – a deeply discomforting, visceral tale of a woman unraveling.’

‘Visceral, dizzying, terrifying—this slim book does more in 192 pages than most in double that.’

‘It is clear from the first page that this is the same Ferrante, and yet this book is more brutal, more raw, more honest, more unapologetic than the Neapolitan books…Bursting with Ferrante’s distinctive prose and her wise insight into the human condition.’

Other editions ofThe Days of Abandonment
  • The Days of Abandonment
    ISBN: 9781925095944
    15 April 2015
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