Man Booker Shortlist: Elena Ferrante On Using A Pseudonym

This month the winner of the prestigious Man Booker International Prize will be announced. Weekend is featuring all six of the shortlisted books before the winner is made public.

This week we look at one of the hot favourites: The Story Of The Lost Child by Italian writer Elena Ferrante. It’s the final part of a series known as the Neapolitan Quartet, about the sixty-year friendship between Elena, a successful writer, and Lila, her friend from childhood. Elena Ferrante refuses to have a public profile, but she does communicate via email and agreed to an exchange with the BBC. Her answers have been voiced by an actress.

Her writing is extremely intimate and emotionally honest. But she herself is pseudonymous. Weekend’s Julian Worricker asked why she keeps such a distance between life and work?