I have never read any of the books in the Neapolitan series by author Elena Ferrante so I cannot comment on whether they seem to have been written by a man, as some critics think, or a woman, as the author’s name would imply. By I can comment on the hub-bub that has erupted from journalist Glaudio Gatti’s “outing” of the author by publishing the writer’s real name. Who Cares! Hasn’t this journalist ever heard of pseudonyms? Did he miss Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb in order to gain a male audience for her Death series? And what about J.K. Rowling writing under the name Robert Galbraith for her crime novels in order to avoid “hype or expectation? If he doesn’t know about these pseudonyms I must question his expertise as an investigative journalist.
The reaction to Mr. Gatti’s unearthing of the mystery has resulted in some fiery accusations of gender bias. I don’t get that either. Yes, the above mentioned writers may have picked male or non-gender equated names to write in genre’s associated with male readers. But it goes the other way as well. I was told at a writer’s conference some years back that one of the most renowned romance writers, an author with a female name, was actually two gay men who write as a couple and combined their names to appear female. I don’t know what their pseudonym is and I don’t care. The question is whether their books would sell as well if they used their actual names. I’m one of those naive people who think they would. Good books are good books in any genre and under any name.
Apparently this all started because a new volume of Elena Ferrante’s non-fiction Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey is being published and it is in that book that a fictitious background is presented. Mr. Gatti believeS this makes Ferrante a liar. But Ferrante is not a person but a persona. That being the case how can anything attributed to her be a lie?
He also believes that since Ferrante is a “public Figure” she is not entitled to privacy. I suppose since everyone now knows Mr. Gotti’s name he is a public figure and therefore no longer entitled to privacy as well.
Perhaps he should change his name.
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