In each interview in this volume, Ferrante repeats her conviction that an author’s duty ends with writing a meaningful book. One of the many pleasures of this book is the increasing feistiness of her replies ... American readers hungry for every Ferrante sentence they can get will find many here in which she lowers her knife through the bread of life with the same startling force as she does in her novels.
This is a fascinating volume, as ever beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein. At times, it is as absorbing as Ferrante’s extraordinary fictions and touches on troubling unconscious matter with the same visceral intensity. For those who can’t wait for the next Ferrante fiction to sink into, it provides a stopgap. There are perhaps one or two interviews with wordy interviewers too many. But occasional repetitions are outweighed by the insights into Ferrante’s writing process, her love of story above the fine, polished style so prized in contemporary Italian fiction.
...the publication of Frantumaglia turns out to be a hugely misguided endeavor on the part of both Ms. Ferrante and her publishers. It’s a padded, often self-indulgent volume that undermines her stated belief that 'books, once they are written, have no need of their authors' ... Elsewhere, she sounds pretentious and self-important ... Such self-conscious and stilted statements stand in stark contrast to the visceral immediacy of Ms. Ferrante’s novels.