Elena Ferrante's famed Neapolitan Novels are beloved for celebrating the friendship between two women coping with life's tumults, and now a screen adaption is coming together. A television miniseries documenting the story of Lila and Lenu will hit TVs, laptops and other devices next year, if all goes as planned, and HBO will be airing the first installment, My Brilliant Friend, in the U.S.

The cable network announced its involvement in the Italian adaptation of Ferrante's bestselling and devastating tetralogy today. "Through her characters, Elena and Lila, we will witness a lifelong friendship set against the seductive social web of Naples, Italy," HBO Programming president Casey Bloys said. "An exploration of the complicated intensity of female friendship, these ambitious stories will no doubt resonate with the HBO audience."

Last year, Variety revealed that Italian production company Wildside was working on the project: "The plan is for each of Ferrante’s four tomes"—My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave, Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child—"all centered around an intense female friendship set against Italian societal changes from the 1950s to the present, to become an eight-episode series, for a total of 32 episodes dedicated to the multilayered feminist epic of Lena and Lila." Fandango's Domenico Procacci, who has since come on board, says, "Having HBO in the production structure now is exciting: They’ve done some of the best series ever, and their presence is a guarantee, for everyone, of absolute attention to quality."

As of now HBO will air the first 8 episodes, and according to Variety the Italian director Saverio Costanzo (Private, Hungry Hearts) will direct, and Jennifer Schuur (Big Love, Hannibal) will serve as executive producer.

The series, which starts filming in Rome this year in hopes of a 2018 airdate, will be filmed in Italian. Costanzo said that Lena and Lila "are characters that each one of us can inhabit no matter what country you are from. They are so well told, in such detail, that we can all identify with them and their desire to emancipate themselves….Elena Ferrante has managed to tell in the first person things that are very intimate, risky, that we all feel but that you need plenty of courage to admit."

Ferrante had been writing under a pen name (conducting her interviews through her publisher), and an Italian journalist controversially "unmasked" her identity last year through financial sleuthing. The New Yorker's Alexandra Schwartz summed up her feelings about that, as a fan:

Like many—maybe most—enthusiastic Ferrante readers, I have no interest in knowing who the writer who publishes her novels under the name Elena Ferrante is. I don’t care. Actually, I do care: I care about not finding out. There are so few avenues left, in our all-seeing, all-revealing digital world, for artistic mystery of the true kind—mystery that isn’t concocted as a publicity play but that finds its origins in the writer’s soul as a prerogative of his or her ability to create. That kind of mystery has a corresponding point in the soul of the receptive reader. To fall in love with a book, in that way that I and so many others have fallen in love with Ferrante’s, is to feel a special kinship with its author, a profound sort of mutual receptivity and comprehension. The author knows nothing about you, and yet you feel that your most intimate self has been understood. The fact that Ferrante has chosen to be anonymous has become part of this contract, and has put readers and writer on a rare, equal plane. Ferrante doesn’t know the details of our lives, and doesn’t care to. We don’t know those of hers. We meet on an imaginative neutral ground, open to all.

Here's a Ferrante explainer, if you need one: