Elena Ferrante is best known for her Neopolitan novels, a quartet of books that brought her literary fame on both sides of the Atlantic. But in her next book, the author is trying something entirely new: children’s literature. Her first children’s book, The Beach at Night, will be published in English this year.
To be fair, the book isn’t exactly new – it’s been around in 2007, but only Italian readers (who know it as La spiaggia di notte) have been able to get their hands on it. According to The Guardian, in a significant move, Ferrante is now entering the children’s market in English-speaking countries like the United States and United Kingdom.
The Beach at Night is the scary story of a doll named Celina who is left behind by her owner after a day at the beach. The stranded doll has to contend with spooky nighttime visitors, including a beach attendant and his pal “Big Rake,” who are working together to build a bonfire out of discarded beach objects. Celina has to survive the “endless” night alone.
Celina is the same doll that appears in Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter. But, happily for parents, the doll and the author are just about the only thing those two books have in common. The Beach at Night may be spooky, but it ends up being much more cheerful than the typical Ferrante novel.