Turns Out, Not So Easy to Meet Elena Ferrante

Illustration for article titled Turns Out, Not So Easy to Meet Elena Ferrante
Image: Europa Editions

Thought you’d just waltz into the country of Italy and standing right there would be elusive, authorial sensation Elena Ferrante with her arm already outstretched and arranged in handshake formation? Did you perhaps expect a hug? Well, think again: It’s not so easy, my friend, to meet Elena Ferrante.


Vulture reported on Wednesday that even the director helming the upcoming HBO adaptation of My Brilliant Friend, the first in the pseudonymous writer’s Neopolitan Novels, hasn’t met Ferrante in person. The director, Saverio Costanzo, told journalists at HBO’s Television Critics Association press session in Beverly Hills on Wednesday:

“We have been mailing to each other. I don’t know who she is and I don’t want to know … she is, in my opinion, a very good scriptwriter … I’ve been mailing to the publisher. The publisher would send it to her and then back to me. And then we have tons of paper.”


Lorenzo Mieli, one of the show’s producers, reportedly added to this, “I think it’s one of the most well-kept secrets in Italy’s history. At the end of the day, nobody cares because we know [the secret of her identity] is very important to her.”

The hotly anticipated HBO adaptation will premiere this fall. Can’t wait for this show and to never ever get close to meeting Elena Ferrante for the rest of my life!

contributing writer, nights

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Okay, now I am confused. I am more than willing to respect the privacy of the author, but I thought this was pretty clearly exposed last year? I get why you wouldn’t republish her real name here, but are these guys claiming they actually don’t know who she is in 2018?

Apologies if I missed some development since the story of her real identity broke.