Elena Ferrante is as mysterious as she is beloved. Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels quartet, which follows the turbulent friendship of two Italian women from childhood on, became a sensation in the States upon its English translations through the publisher Europa Editions. The series’ first installment, My Brilliant Friend, recently received an HBO adaptation, and a new season based on the second volume, The Story of a New Name, is underway. Yet the true identity of the writer behind the quartet has been a secret since the beginning of her career—and despite the best efforts of academics and superfans alike, the answer seems no closer. We may never know Ferrante’s real name, but what we do know now is the name and release date of her next book: The Lying Life of Adults will arrive on June 9, 2020, via Europa, following its Italian release on Nov. 7, 2019. The Lying Life of Adults will be her first new novel in five years, as The Story of the Lost Child, the final Neapolitan Novel, came out in 2015.
Europa has also shared the first lines of the book, which they initially tweeted last month, before a title or release date were available. The novel’s opening paragraph suggests that The Lying Life of Adults will, like the Neapolitan Novels, follow an insightful, troubled young woman through life in Naples:
Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything—the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words—remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.
The Lying Life of Adults will be translated by Ann Goldstein, who translated the Neapolitan quartet, as well as a number of lesser-known Ferrante works for Europa. If June 2020 seems a long ways away, Europa and Goldstein have got you covered with a non-fiction Ferrante collection, Incidental Inventions, out Nov. 19, which compiles a year of Guardian columns by the author on a variety of subjects ranging from climate change to her thoughts on the film adaptations of her novels. Stay tuned for more details on The Lying Life of Adults.