The Wall Street Journal reports that Elena Ferrante will release a 38-page book aimed at readers aged 6-10. Like her Neapolitan novels, the book, titled “The Beach at Night,” offers a dark depiction of childhood. Read the WSJ in partial below, [the full version here.]
Called “The Beach at Night,” it is 38 pages long and aimed at readers aged 6 to 10. But the Italian author, whose best-selling Neapolitan novels present a brutal depiction of childhood, doesn’t sugarcoat things for young readers.
“The Beach at Night” is a spinoff of “The Lost Daughter,” one of the author’s lesser-known early novels, in which a teacher goes on vacation in a coastal town and steals a doll from a child. In “The Beach at Night,” the doll isn’t stolen. Instead, she is abandoned by her young owner to face nighttime terrors such as the Mean Beach Attendant of Sunset and his friend, the Big Rake.
The book includes 12 eerie color illustrations by Italian artist Mara Cerri.
“It’s certainly no scarier than a ‘Hansel and Gretel’,” said Michael Reynolds, editor in chief of Europa Editions, the U.S. publisher.
“A Beach Attendant arrives, I don’t like his eyes,” the doll says, according to a sample translation reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. “He folds up the big beach umbrellas, the chaises. I see the hairs of his mustache moving over his lips like lizards’ tails.”
*Image of Elena Ferrante book cover via tinycamels