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Elena Ferrante names her 40 favourite books by female authors

List by pseudonymous author of beloved Neapolitan novels includes Zadie Smith, Sally Rooney and several Italian classics

Elena Ferrante, the bestselling pseudonymous Italian author behind My Brilliant Friend, has named her favourite 40 books by female authors around the world, with Toni Morrison, Sally Rooney and Zadie Smith all making the cut.

The author, whose quartet of Neapolitan novels has sold 13m copies worldwide, has published her list on Bookshop.org, the online store that recently launched in the UK and gives a proportion of sales to independent booksellers. Ferrante’s UK publisher, Europa Editions, is returning their 10% sales commission from Ferrante’s list to Bookshop.org so it can be shared among the 300 independent bookshops that have signed up to the site so far.

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