Letter: O to have revealed the author's identity

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his letter (28 July) about the mystery surrounding the author of Story of O, Patrick Reynolds claims that Martin Seymour-Smith revealed Dominique Aury's identity, in 1985, in his Guide to Modern World Literature.

As the writer of the New Yorker article that provoked Mr Reynolds' response, I was surprised to hear this. If he would care to check the reference on page 491 of the Guide, he will find that Mr Seymour-Smith, among many others, indulged in speculation, not revelation. Dominique Aury 'probably' wrote the novel, he says. 'It does seem that Dominique Aury, who had the right existential connections, wrote it,' he concludes, offering no further evidence.

I made it clear in my article that while some people suspected Aury of writing O, no one had ever proved it. Nor, before I spoke to her, had she ever admitted it, or allowed herself to be interviewed and photographed. Doubts remained until the New Yorker broke her full story - complete with photograph - on 1 August.

Yours faithfully,


Mallorca, Spain

12 August