At Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel wonders why readers care so much about Elena Ferrante’s “real” identity, particularly when the anonymous author has made it clear that she believes books “have no need of their authors” after they’ve been penned. Michel writes:
Still, the greater question is why anyone cares? The obsession with Ferrante’s identity seems particularly odd among American audiences, who are unlikely to even be able to name another living Italian author much less have the “real” identity mean anything to them. Does it really add anything to the experience of Ferrante’s novels to know she is (or isn’t) an Italian professor you’ve never heard of before?