Ann Goldstein (translator)

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Ann Goldstein (born June 1949) is an American editor and translator from the Italian language. She is best known for her translations of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet.

Early life[edit]

Ann Goldstein grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey. She attended Bennington College, in Vermont, where she read Ancient Greek.[1] She then studied comparative philology at University College, London.[2]


After her graduation, in 1973, Goldstein began work at Esquire magazine as a proof-reader. In 1974, she joined the staff of The New Yorker, working in the copy department and becoming its head in the late 1980s.[1]

From 1987, Goldstein edited John Updike's literary reviews contributed to the New Yorker.[3]

During her time at The New Yorker, Goldstein, along with some colleagues, began taking Italian lessons.[4] Over a period of three years, from 1987, they studied the language and read all of Dante's works. In 1992, Goldstein received Chekhov in Sondrio, a book by Aldo Buzzi, an Italian writer, and she attempted to translate an essay from it. This became Goldstein's first translation publication, coming out in the Sept. 14, 1992, edition of the New Yorker.[5]

In 2004, Goldstein was asked by Europa Editions, a new imprint, to submit a translation of passages from Elena Ferrante's The Days of Abandonment. Her sample was judged the best among the submissions, and she was offered the contract to translate the book.[1]

In 2015, a three-volume publication of the complete works of Primo Levi came out, edited by Goldstein. The effort of obtaining translation rights took six years,[6] while its compilation and translation took seventeen years,[7] and it was acclaimed by critics. Goldstein oversaw the team of nine translators and translated three of Levi's books.[1]

In addition to translating, Goldstein is currently the head of the Copy Department for The New Yorker.[4]


Jennifer Maloney in The Wall Street Journal writes in 2016:

"Translators rarely achieve celebrity status. But as Ms. Ferrante’s star has risen, so too has Ms. Goldstein’s. Her English translations of the four books in Ms. Ferrante’s Neapolitan series have sold more than a million copies in North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Ms. Goldstein ... is now one of the most sought-after translators of Italian literature."[8]

Robert Weil, editor-in-chief and publishing director of Liveright, has said of Goldstein, “Her name on a book now is gold."[8]

Selected works[edit]


  • Elsa Morante (2019). Arturo's Island. Liveright. ISBN 978-1631493294.
  • Alessandro Baricco. Silk: A Story of War. Canongate. ISBN 978-8129118189.
  • Rita Charbonnier. Mozart's Sister. Crown. ISBN 978-0307346780.
  • Giancarlo De Cataldo. The Father and the Foreigner. Europa. ISBN 978-1933372723.
  • Elena Ferrante. My Brilliant Friend. Europa. ISBN 978-1609450786.
  • Elena Ferrante. The Story of a New Name. Europa. ISBN 978-1609451349.
  • Elena Ferrante. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Europa. ISBN 978-1609452339.
  • Elena Ferrante. The Story of the Lost Child. Europa. ISBN 978-1609452865.
  • Elena Ferrante. Troubling Love. Europa. ISBN 978-1933372167.
  • Elena Ferrante. The Days of Abandonment. Europa. ISBN 978-1933372006.
  • Helena Janeczek. The Girl with the Leica. Europa. ISBN 978-1-60945-547-7.
  • Amara Lakhous. The Hoax of the Little Virgin in Via Ormea. Europa. ISBN 978-1609453091.
  • Giacomo Leopardi. Zibaldone. Penguin. ISBN 978-0141194400.
  • Primo Levi. The Truce. Liveright. ISBN 978-0871404565.
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini. The Street Kids. Europa. ISBN 978-1609453084.
  • Pia Pera. Lo's Diary. Fox Rock. ISBN 978-0964374010.
  • Serena Vitale. Pushkin's Button. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1857029376.




  1. ^ a b c d Jennifer Maloney (January 20, 2016). "Ann Goldstein: A Star Italian Translator". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ a b c "Ann Goldstein". Guggenheim Foundation.
  3. ^ Ann Goldstein (March 20, 2009). "Remembering Updike". The New Yorker.
  4. ^ a b "Ann Goldstein on Translating Elena Ferrante and the Inner Workings of The New Yorker | Literary Hub". Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  5. ^ Karina Dodson (January 15, 2016). "The Face of Ferrante". Guernica.
  6. ^ Edward Mendelson (November 23, 2015). "'The Complete Works of Primo Levi'". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Hillel Italie (September 28, 2015). "Primo Levi complete: $100 book runs 3,000 pages with a Toni Morrison introduction". Associated Press.
  8. ^ a b Maloney, Jennifer (2016-01-20). "Ann Goldstein: A Star Italian Translator". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  9. ^ "Ann Goldstein". PEN America.