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The Days of Abandonment [Paperback]

By Elena Ferrante (Author) & Ann Goldstein (Translator)
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Item description for The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante & Ann Goldstein...

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.

Publishers Description
"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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante & Ann Goldstein has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 07/11/2005 page 59
  • New York Times - 09/25/2005 page 27
  • Booklist - 09/15/2005 page 31
  • New Yorker (The) - 10/31/2005 page 87
  • Library Journal - 10/15/2005 page 44

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Item Specifications...

Pages   188
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2005
Publisher   Europa Editions
Age  18
ISBN  1933372001  
ISBN13  9781933372006  

Availability  0 units.

More About Elena Ferrante & Ann Goldstein

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008) and the Neapolitan Quartet (Europa 2012-2015). She is also the author of a children's picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night.

Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. Her translations for Europa Editions include novels by Amara Lakhous, Alessandro Piperno, and Elena Ferrante's bestselling My Brilliant Friend. She lives in New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Days of Abandonment?

The Days Of Abandonment  Aug 26, 2008
Thank For Sending My Book Is Very Good Condition And Shipment Time Was Great Didn't Take Only A Few Days Thanks Again, Darla Arreola Sacramento , Calif
A harrowing tale of dementia  Jan 13, 2008
"The Days of Abandonment" begins with Mario walking out on Olga, his wife of fifteen years, and their two children. It's an act which devastates Olga, who narrates this account of her 'days of abandonment.' At first the absurdity of the situation is something to preoccupy her, the question of 'Why?' It's not the first time that Mario has been tempted to leave Olga but this time there is another woman, and it's not quite as out of nowhere as she had first thought.
"The Days of Abandonment" is a detailed, personal account of Olga's now shattered life. Her mind wanders, she snaps at her children and at the people she encounters and her life becomes a mess.
The author uses a number of devices, such as the difficulty of establishing communication but the story is presented convincingly: it reads as thoroughly authentic. "The Days of Abandonment" is harrowing because Olga is not a very good mother, she does not act very nicely to almost anyone she deals with. In particular, the ups and downs Olga experiences show that the author has a sound knowledge of the human psyche.
Intense.  Feb 10, 2007
This is an intense tale of a woman plunged into despair by her husband's announcement he is leaving her, and her eventual recovery. It is a tribute to Ferrante, that except for the long day the woman becomes what I would identify as clinically depressed, I found the book entertaining. It is certainly a book one remembers. Ferrante accomplishes this in two ways: Ferrante's language often delights; the woman, despite not being all that nice, is likable, honest, and has great powers of self analysis. As an example of Ferrante's language, "I stretched a taut wire that pierced the days and I slid softly along it". Readers who enjoyed this book might like Anita Brookner's "Leaving Home" (different topic but much in common). One little thing bothered me: if her husband knew for some time that he might leave her, why did he encourage her to quit the job she had gotten in Turin? After all, he is a calculating guy.
Not for the weak at heart  Sep 13, 2006
Unputdownable! A very intense, super-charged atmosphere!
Recounts four months in the life of a married mother after her husband leaves her abruptly for the love of a 20-year-old girl. The severe depression ensuing from her husband's betrayal and abandonment hits rock bottom. She is left to fend by herself, to take care of two kids and a dog. As in similar cases of acute depression, she becomes, sleepy, lethargic, disoriented, clumsy and neglectful of her self and her kids. She is transformed into the nemesis of her true self: angry, vulgar, ugly, dirty and, in a failed attempt at getting back at her husband, almost prostitutes herself with a stranger.
This is a roller-coaster of emotions, anger, childhood memories and soul searching episodes the reader feels suffocated and in desperate need of a breather. The characterization is superb and real, the protagonists are almost tangible.
Take a deep breath and plunge in.
Unprecedented  Aug 31, 2006
Everyone knows divorce is a terrible ordeal. When a marriage, a family, is suddenly ripped apart by the husband leaving for a younger woman, the suffering is horrific. It's one of the oldest of stories. Countless woman have experienced it. Those who do, look on others embarking on the path with pity and knowing. Women who've experienced this kind of break up know that the only way through it is, well, through it.

But no one talks about it. Probably because it hurts so damned much. Eventually, the mother and children get through the ordeal, each with their own private scars, but it just becomes a bad spot in the past, like a bruise on a banana.

Elena Ferrante talks about it. In Days of Abandonment, she goes into the home of Olga, Ilaria and Gianni and shows us what went on behind that closed door after Mario, husband and father, left them for Carla. The story is from Olga's point of view, and it is her anguish we feel most poignantly. But we see all of them, Olga, Ilaria, Gianni, even Otto the dog, swirling in the wake of Mario's departure. They plummet until it doesn't seem they can go any lower. Then they begin to heal.

The well-being of the mother and children can be measured by the way they view Carrano, their neighbor. When the story starts out, they see him through the eyes of Mario. Mario didn't like Carrano, and his observations were taken in by the rest of the family without question. After Mario leaves, Carrano goes through a remarkable series of transformations. He starts out sullen, unattractive and rude and migrates through lechery, incompetence to being a source of comfort.

Ferrante accomplishes all of her magic by showing us the transformations of Olga's outside world as she goes from shock to despair and up through the dregs to find her strength.

A fantastic book about an occurrence all too common but little understood. The book is difficult to read because the subject matter is so painful and displayed so graphically. But well worth taking the opportunity to become acquainted with this marvelous Italian talent.

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