Books of The Times: Review: Elena Ferrante Wants Privacy. Her New Book Implies Otherwise.


Patricia Wall/The New York Times

This month, an article by the Italian journalist Claudio Gatti was published, offering a theory about the identity of the real writer behind the pseudonym Elena Ferrante, based on “a monthslong investigation.”

Many readers of Ms. Ferrante’s work — myself included — were dismayed. Why was an investigative reporter sifting through financial and real estate papers in an effort to unmask the author, as if she were a politician or business owner under scrutiny for keeping secrets the public had a right to know? Is privacy no longer respected or possible in the age of the Kardashians, or must all artists with a popular following be turned into celebrities? And what if an artist believes that anonymity is essential for her creative process?

Ms. Ferrante’s…

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