Behind The Literary Mask

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Writing in the New York Review of Books, an Italian journalist claims he may have uncovered the real-life identity of a pseudonymous huge selling Italian author:

Screen capture of the Guardian.
Screen capture of the Guardian.

The perpetual “interest” some seem to have in who’s actually “behind the mask” – and in “unmasking” them.

LOTS of “Elena Ferrante’s” readers are apparently ***NOT*** happy about this effort. Social media is full of angry assertions it’s an unwarranted intrusion into the life of someone seeking to remain anonymous and merely write. One fear I’ve also seen voiced is that if it proves accurate it may well mean “she” will never write another book.

Writers who wish to conceal their true identity do it for various reasons. Mine were simple ones: I did not wish certain family and friends to discover I was writing fiction and “misunderstand” it. After all, a quick Google or other search – such as at Amazon – could easily have produced, well, me and my books.

Some of my personal circumstances have changed dramatically since I began writing in 2013. My novelist uncle, my mother, and a dear contemporary-age woman friend have all died. Yet having started out writing under this pen name I’ve decided simply to carry on doing so because that is how you now “know” me.

We all also know that it is probably easier than ever before to uncover the true identity of any pseudonymous author. An “investigator” determined to do so probably really just needs to “dig” a bit. The question is now far more the necessity and morality of going out of one’s way to do so.


A few of you already know who I am behind my pen name. Several of you have separately also told me you’ve figured out who my now late uncle was – info which could probably create an easy trail to me. However, I’m absolutely certain none of you would ever give me up to an Italian journalist. 😉

No, no, you would never do that. Right? 🙂

Further thoughts?

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