The author of the books published under the pseudonym Elena Ferrante might be Italian author Domenico Starnone, Literary Hub reports.
In an article for the website, comparative literature scholar Elisa Sotgiu considers stylometric studies conducted by academics searching for Ferrante’s true identity. Stylometry is the analysis of literary works, using vocabulary, syntax, and other features, to try to match a text with its author.
Sotgiu concludes, “[T]hat Starnone, either alone or in partnership with his wife [translator Anita Raja], sat down and typed the novels that were published under the name of Elena Ferrante seems to be almost beyond doubt.”
Ferrante is a worldwide publishing sensation, best known for her Neapolitan Novels. The books have sold millions of copies and formed the basis for the HBO series My Brilliant Friend.
In 2016, Claudio Gatti concluded that Raja was the author behind the books, but a study by scholars last year found that Starnone, author of Ties and Trick, was most likely responsible for Ferrante’s oeuvre.
Sotgiu writes that the outcome of the studies is something of a mixed blessing but concludes, “Elena Ferrante is still a pleasure to read. And she is also the greatest literary mystery of our time.”
To at least one Twitter user, journalist Brandy Jensen, it doesn’t really matter. “one thing i can promise you is that if you tell me who elena ferrante really is i will promptly forget,” Jensen tweeted. “first name gone by the time i reach the second one.”
one thing i can promise you is that if you tell me who elena ferrante really is i will promptly forget. first name gone by the time i reach the second one— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) March 31, 2021
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.