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Italian Historian Claims to Have Unmasked Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante

He says the writer is Marcella Marmo, a professor in Naples.

An Italian writer and professor claimed to have identified the anonymous author who goes by the pseudonym Elena Ferrante in an Italian newspaper this weekend.

Marco Santagata said the writer of the celebrated Neapolitan novels — which include the English translations My Brilliant Friend and last year’s The Story of the Lost Child — was Naples-based history professor Marcella Marmo.

He said he made his guess based on the calculation that “Ferrante” would be from the city where her books are set, that she would have attended Pisa’s Scuola Normale before 1966, and would be a contemporary Italian history expert. Santagata told the New York Times he had never met Marmo, but she was the only person who fit that profile.

Marmo, however, denies the claim. “Really, I’m not Elena Ferrante,” she responded. But it’s fair to assume that whoever is the writer behind the Ferrante name may not be willing to admit her identity after 24 years of keeping it private.


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