The pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has made a dazzling career out of four phantasmagoric, disorienting novels about people undone by routine adversity. It’s rumored that the famously reclusive avantgarde genius is actually the novelist and screenwriter Domenico Starnone. No matter: everyone should read anything with her name on it. “My Brilliant Friend,” her latest, is no exception, although it is exceptional. It’s her most accessible novel to date and her most ambitious.
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