The literary world erupted in a firestorm upon the potential revelation of Elena Ferrante’s previously anonymous identity. The author of the renowned Neapolitan novels about the relationship between two friends, Lila and Elena, has developed into an international cult sensation, with fans including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The books community long debated Ferrante’s actual identity, as the reclusive author often communicates with the press through email. Ferrante told EW via email in 2014, “I gave my name to the narrator to make my job easier. Elena is, in fact, the name that I feel is most mine. Without reserve, I can say that my entire identity is in the books I write.”
That changed on Saturday, when The New York Review of Books published two articles writen by Italian investigative reporter Claudio Gatti for Il Sole 24, exposing Ferrante to be an Italian translator. Gatti went through enormous lengths to prove Ferrante’s true identity using financial and real estate records.
Fellow writers and fans of the Neapolitan novels, however, defended Ferrante’s anonymity, including Black & White author Dani Shapiro.
Me Before You writer Jojo Moyes also expressed her feelings on Twitter writing, “It is not our ‘right’ to know her,” and adding in another tweet, “Only criminals deserve to be unmasked, if they have consciously sought privacy. Badly done.”
Bad Feminist essayist Roxane Gay added, “The thing is, you are entitled to curiosity but you are not entitled to having your curiosity satisfied.” She followed that with, “People are allowed to have secrets. Even well known people are allowed to have secrets. The only exception is probably politicians.”
Check out more Twitter reactions below.