The Telegraph

Elena Ferrante: how to see an invisible author

Secret sharer: detail from an illustration, by Mara Cerri, from Elena Ferrante’s new book for children, The Beach at Night

A month after being ‘identified’ in the foreign press, why does the novelist Elena Ferrante remain out of sight?

Last month, the invisible author Elena Ferrante was apparently exposed by an Italian investigative journalist, whose article was published in a number of countries simultaneously. Claudio Gatti claimed that Ferrante – whose four Neapolitan Novels have sold millions of copies worldwide – was in fact a half-German translator named Anita Raja.

He cited as evidence bank records that showed transfers of large sums of money around the time of Ferrante’s greatest successes from her publisher to Raja (the novels were originally published, in Italian, between 2011 and 2014; their English translations followed a year behind). Gatti’s move was so widely criticised that The New York Review of Books, which had accepted the English language version of his article for its website, has since added…