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From the New York Times–bestselling author of My Brilliant Friend, this novel of a deserted wife’s descent into despair—and rage—is “a masterpiece” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
The Days of Abandonment is the gripping story of an Italian woman’s experiences after being suddenly left by her husband after fifteen years of marriage. With two young children to care for, Olga finds it more and more difficult to do the things she used to: keep a spotless house, cook meals with creativity and passion, refrain from using obscenities. After running into her husband with his much-younger new lover in public, she cannot even refrain from assaulting him physically.
In a “raging, torrential voice” (The New York Times), Olga conveys her journey from denial to devastating emptiness—and 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.
“Intelligent and darkly comic.” —Publishers Weekly
“Remarkable, lucid, austerely honest.” —The New Yorker
Once an aspiring writer, Olga traded literary ambition for marriage and motherhood; when Mario dumps her after 15 years, she is utterly unprepared. Though she tells herself that she is a competent woman, nothing like the poverella (poor abandoned wife) that mothers whispered about in her childhood, Olga falls completely apart. Routine chores overwhelm her; she neglects her appearance and forgets her manners; she throws herself at the older musician downstairs; she sees the poverella's ghost. After months of self-pity, anger, doubt, fury, desperation and near madness, her acknowledgments of weaknesses in the marriage feel as earned as they are unsurprising. Smoothly translated by New Yorker editor Goldstein, this intelligent and darkly comic novel which sat atop Italian bestseller lists for nearly a year, has been translated into 12 languages and adapted for an Italian film slated for 2006 release conveys the resilience of a complex woman. Speculation about the identity of the pseudonymous Ferrante, whose previous novel is scheduled for 2006 release by Europa, has reached Pynchon-like proportions in Italy.