Evening Standard

Londoner’s Diary: Sex, drugs and a locked library at the Savile

Prize could unmask Elena Ferrante

To the Kensington Orangery last night, where the champagne flowed for the Man Booker International Prize. As there wasn’t a name tag ready and waiting, The Londoner was tempted to claim to be nominee Elena Ferrante, author of the quartet of books known at the Neapolitan novels, the last of which, The Story of the Lost Child, is shortlisted for the prize.

Ferrante’s identity is a closely guarded secret and was a much discussed topic of the evening. For The Economist’s books and arts editor, Fiammetta Rocco, the prize has diplomatic possibilities. “If you believe what unites us is stronger than what divides us,” she said, “this is the prize for you.”

The big question now is: if Ferrante wins, will she be appear incognito at the prizegiving?