Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre's favorite book recommendations of all time.



A Writer's Journey

Named one of The Guardian's -Best Books of 2016-
From the author of My Brilliant Friend
This book invites readers into Elena Ferrante's workshop. It offers a glimpse into the drawers of her writing desk, those drawers from which emerged her three early standalone novels and the four installments of My Brilliant Friend, known in English as the Neapolitan Quartet. Consisting of over 20 years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing.
In these pages...
Recommended by Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre, and 1 others.

Sarah Chihaya and Merve EmreFerrante is an enchanting describer of myth. To me, the most incredible parts of Frantumaglia are when she’s telling the story of Ariadne or the story of Dido. She has a fixation with weaving women, and that to me is the most interesting through-line of the book. She claims that her mother was a dressmaker, and there are these unbelievably luminous passages describing what it was like to... (Source)

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The Days of Abandonment

A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. 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. less
Recommended by Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre, and 1 others.

Sarah Chihaya and Merve EmreIt’s the most suffocating book I can think of—an incredibly claustrophobic novel in that it’s literally about a woman who’s trapped in her apartment with her children and her dying German shepherd … It’s the fictional exercise of being trapped in your home, the self you’ve constituted. It’s the opposite of home invasion; it’s the opposite of how most fiction works. There’s something so... (Source)

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The Lost Daughter

From the author of The Days of Abandonment, The Lost Daughter is Elena Ferrante's most compelling and perceptive meditation on womanhood and motherhood yet. Leda, a middle-aged divorce, is alone for the first time in years when her daughters leave home to live with their father. Her initial, unexpected sense of liberty turns to ferocious introspection following a seemingly trivial occurrence. Ferrante's language is as finely tuned and intense as ever, and she treats her theme with a fierce, candid tenacity. less
Recommended by Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre, and 1 others.

Sarah Chihaya and Merve EmreThe Lost Daughter tells the story of a 50-year-old literature professor named Leda who takes herself on a melancholy beach vacation, where she sees a mother and daughter playing together on the beach. Leda’s own daughters are grown, and she’s struck, instantaneously and illogically, with a kind of jealous attraction to the connection between this mother and daughter. The little girl leaves her... (Source)

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The Beach at Night

Elena Ferrante returns to a story that animated the novel she considers to be a turning point in her development as a a writer: "The Lost Daughter." But this time the tale takes the form of a children's fable told from the point of view of the lost (stolen!) doll, Celina. Celina is having a terrible night, one full of jealousy for the new kitten, Minu, feelings of abandonment and sadness, misadventures at the hands of the beach attendant, and dark dreams. But she will be happily found by Mati, her child, once the sun rises.
Accompanied by the oneiric illustrations of Mara Cerri, "The...
Recommended by Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre, and 1 others.

Sarah Chihaya and Merve EmreThe Beach At Night is a children’s book—or it’s supposed to be a children’s book. It’s really horrifying. The book is about a doll that gets left on the beach at night by her owner, a little girl who’s gotten a new little kitten and is much more interested in playing with the little kitten now than she is in playing with the doll. Many vicious things happen to the doll on the beach at night.... (Source)

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The Neapolitan Novels Boxed Set

Recommended by Sarah Chihaya and Merve Emre, and 1 others.

Sarah Chihaya and Merve EmreI think one of the things that’s so interesting about these books is that we’re supposed to interrogate what friendship is. Because friendship is not nice—a lot of the time. (Source)

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