Culture Street

Italian journalist Claudio Gatti has revealed the true identity of author Elena Ferrante in the New York Review of Books.

Elena Ferrante has been writing under a pseudonym since 1992 when her first novel Troubling Love was released. She came to prominence in 2011 when My Brilliant Friend, the first of her four book Neapolitan series was released. Her books have sold over two million copies worldwide.

mybrilliantfriend

Her identity was confirmed as Anita Raja, an Italian translator, living in Rome. The outing of her identity sparked an outcry of disgust on social media.

Caitlin Moran –
Agree one BILLION percent with ?@DeborahJaneOrr being FURIOUS about the unmasking of Elena Ferrante

Holly Seddon –
All Elena Ferrante owed readers was her books, not her identity. This hounding and unearthing is unnecessary, unfair and unedifying.

Jojo Moyes –
Maybe Elena Ferrante has very good reasons to write under a pseudonym. It's not our 'right' to know her.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Gatti defended his reasoning behind the revelation.

"I did it because she was a very much public figure."

It does seem that Raja’s ability to remain anonymous for so long has been the envy of her fellow authors.

Author Lionel Shriver acknowledged that the revelation was inevitable but applauded Raja’s desire for anonymity.
“I an era when everyone seems to want to be a celebrity, the desire to remain invisible is downright refreshing. Nevertheless, when you turn your identity into a mystery, you incentivise the curious to unearth you. So she was bound to be discovered in due course.”

You can buy My Brilliant Friend here in Australia and here in the UK.

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