Do we really need to know the autobiography (and name) of an unknown author?


It was too good to last. But surely the most tantalising literary mystery of our time should have been revealed in a better way? Not “outed” like a common municipal scam by going down the money trail. Italian journalist Claudio Gatti believes he did the right thing by identifying Rome-based literary translator Anita Raja as the writer Elena Ferrante, who has been almost universally acclaimed for her Neapolitan novels. She had, he believes, “relinquished her right to disappear behind her books and let them live and grow while their author remained unknown”.

Ferrante did no such thing. As the writer of novels that have sold in phenomenal numbers in Italy, and around the world, Ferrante’s success did not – as Gatti believes – set her up for an exposé. Read more

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