The nerve of Netflix announcing this when we can’t even read the book yet. Or go to a butcher and request just the right amount of sliced mortadella for that nearly stale loaf of bread in our pantry. (Jealous of all of the native Italians.) The streaming service announced today that Elena Ferrante’s newest literary outing, The Lying Life of Adults, will be adapted into a miniseries. The novel, which has been delayed in the United States until September due to the coronavirus pandemic, tells the story of Giovanna, who’s bouncing between two distinctive parts of Naples while transitioning from childhood to adolescence, a notoriously fabulous time to be a girl. “Adrift, she vacillates between these two cities,” the description teases, “falling into one then climbing back to the other.” Netflix and Ferrante’s publisher have both released the first few sentences of the novel as a treat:
Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything — the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words — remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story yet in fact are nothing, nothing of mine, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even she who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.
While cast or a premiere date have yet to be confirmed by Netflix, another Ferrante adaptation, My Brilliant Friend, was just renewed by HBO for a third season. We’ll be celebrating by mindlessly scrolling through Google Flight fares from JFK to FCO. And olive oil gelato. Always olive oil gelato.