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Pointillism: The Prequel, and Other News

Author: Dan Piepenbring
Newspaper: Paris Review
Date: Mar 9 2017

Ties, a new novel by Domenico Starnone—putatively Elena Ferrante’s husband—reads like an addendum to her Days of Abandonment, Lili Loofbourow writes: “While Ferrante’s Days of Abandonment explores the layers of pain in the aftermath of the split, it lavishes particular attention on how humiliating it is to the wife to become generic at the moment when her grief is most acute. Everyone expects her to get over it and move on. Men leave. It’s what they do, friends tell her. In Ties, Starnone explores that dynamic from the other side. Aldo’s reconstruction explores the ways that casual indifference to abandoned women develops and the ways in which it can—however briefly—be annihilated. And it does so at the moment when the husband is most vulnerable to his own humiliating stereotype: He fears he has become an easy target, an old and foolish man.”