sense and sensibility 1995

If you haven’t heard of author Elena Ferrante, there’s two things you should know about her: 1) her books are brilliant and 2) no one knows who she is. The Economist described her perfectly when they stated, “Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you have never heard of.”

Ferrante‘s identity is a mystery, which is part of her appeal. It causes readers to wonder, “Who is the woman behind these impressive literary arrangements?” All we know is that the author is from Naples and that she has a way with words. The same secretive persona can be ascribed to another popular author: Jane Austen. Accordingly, it only makes sense that Ferrante would solidify this connection in an artistic manner.

Today, October 14, The Folio Society will be releasing a new edition of Sense and Sensibility. While the release’s illustrations will make this a must-have piece for collectors, there’s an added surprise for readers who fall in love with this updated publication. Elena Ferrante herself will be writing the book’s introduction. She will focus on Austen’s anonymity and explore why this makes the author so fascinating. After all, Ferrante is the perfect person to examine this further.

“In her introduction to this edition, the best-selling Italian author Elena Ferrante – a notoriously private figure whose true identity remains unknown – suggests that Austen’s anonymity only makes her work more intriguing,” writes The Folio Society in a press release. Rather than simply writing about Austen’s private life, we wonder if Ferrante will pull information and ideas from her own experiences. In other words, will this give readers a better idea of who Ms. Ferrante really is?

Honestly, this sounds like the perfect combination: a beautiful edition of Sense and Sensibility that will keep your bookshelf looking lovely AND an introduction by an enigmatic woman. If Ferrante allows us to take a peak inside her hidden life, then that will only add to the experience. (We really hope that she does because the suspense is killing us.)

It turns out that October 14th will revolve around Jane Austen because The Folio Society will also be re-releasing her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen. This volume may not be every critic’s favorite book, but it has given us an inside look into Austen’s life and has satisfied our ever-present curiosity.

If you want to celebrate today as your very own Jane Austen Day, then definitely take a moment to peruse these new novels. And, while you’re at it, take a moment to investigate Elena Ferrante – if you haven’t already. (Seriously. You should add her name to the top of your reading list.)

When all is said and done, Ferrante and Austen are two women who confuse us, inspire us, and cause us to ask a million questions – all at the exact same time. That makes us even more excited to hear that these two names will be united in one beautiful book.

[Image via Columbia Pictures]