Claudio Gatti is an investigative reporter for Il Sole 24 Ore. This article is the result of months of investigation he conducted for Il Sole 24 Ore, the leading business daily in Italy.

NYR DAILY

The Story Behind a Name

Internees after the liberation by Allied forces of the Ferramonti camp, near Cosenza, Italy, September, 1943

There are no traces of Anita Raja’s personal history in Elena Ferrante’s fiction. The stories Ferrante tells are those of the Neapolitan poor, of post-war Italy, of social and female oppression. None of Ferrante’s books gives any indication of the tragedies experienced by Raja’s mother and grandparents and their extended family—pogroms in Poland, Nazi persecution in Germany, anti-Semitic laws in fascist Italy and the Holocaust, the Great Beast that devoured her great-grandparents and a dozen other members of her family.

Elena Ferrante: An Answer?

Gulf of Naples, Italy, 2004

The sensational success of Elena Ferrante’s books have made the search for her identity virtually inevitable. It also left financial clues that speak by themselves. After a months-long investigation it is now possible to make a powerful case for Elena Ferrante’s true identity.