The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Alex Southey learned a lot more about female friendships after reading this Elena Ferrante bestseller

The Toronto musician is reading the novel My Brilliant Best Friend by Elena Ferrante.
Alex Southey is an Ontario-based singer-songwriter and musician. (Europa Editions, Steven Medeiros)

Alex Southey is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter. The independent Canadian musician is known for a raw musical mix of synth strings and acoustic guitar. 

His third full-length album …And the Country Stirred, was released in 2021. Southey is also a fan of books and stopped by The Next Chapter to talk about the book he's reading. 

"I am reading My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. The novel follows two young women growing up in 1950s Naples. It concerns itself with the sexism and racism of the time, the nuances of the community and more. It's an insight into life elsewhere. 

The writing is so true to the human experience.

"I was seeing someone at the time for the majority of the time that I was reading the book. I would text her or text my sister and just constantly ask, 'Is this how female friendships are? Are they this complex? Can one single look or gaze be a betrayal?' 

"Obviously, because it's art and because it's a story, it needs these dramatic turns that will not always be in the normal lives of women — but it was interesting to hear from my girlfriend at the time and my sister about how true to the nuances of female friendship the books are.

"This caught my attention. The writing is so true to the human experience."

Alex Southey's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Listen to the song Friends and Dinner by Alex Southey


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