In the Margins, a glimpse into Elena Ferrante’s writing process

3 April 2022

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing is a must read for fans of Italian author Elena Ferrante. In four essays, she writes about becoming an author, her influences, and struggles, which included developing a voice, which Johanna Thomas-Corr, writing for The Guardian, notes:

Ferrante has been acclaimed for her “singular”, “uncompromising” voice, and her “ruthless” honesty. But what emerges from the first lecture, Pain and Pen, is just how cramped and conflicted she felt trying to develop this voice. It was an agonising negotiation between a “compliant” style of writing that stayed “diligently within the margins” and a more “impetuous” approach, which allows “unexpected truth” to spill out on to the page.