by Rana Asfour
(Tadah! The modern literary world's most famous mystery has been resolved with the very public unmasking of the true identity of Elena Ferrante, author of the much celebrated 'My Brilliant Friend' as well as the entire Neopolitan series as that of Italian translator Anita Raja.
The news splashed out onto media platforms when Italian journalist Claudio Gatti, a writer for the New York Review of Books as well as Il Sole 24 Ore decided to go public with the information. In true modern espionage fashion, Gatti has revealed that he was able to identify Ferrante by the significant payments that had been made to her by the company, which appeared proportionate to the success of her books.
Asked in an email interview for the Gentlewoman earlier this year why she protected her anonymity, Ferrante said it was partly to shield the Neapolitan community from which she drew her inspiration. But there were other reasons, too.
'The wish to remove oneself from all forms of social pressure or obligation. Not to feel tied down to what could become one’s public image. To concentrate exclusively and with complete freedom on writing and its strategies,' she wrote.
Many have criticised the revealing of the writer with some labelling it as 'disgusting journalism'. In a series of angry tweets, author JoJo Moyes wrote that Raja must have had good reason to revert to a pseudonym and that it wasn't the public's 'right' to know her.
The journalist has since defended his decision to publish his findings regarding Raja's identity explaining that not only was Ferrante a public figure and the public had a right to know who she was but that as a journalist he was only doing his job. For more on that HERE.