A novel called Q, written by four Italians under the name ‘Luther Blissett’, has been proposed for the Guardian First Book Award 2003. The book’s four authors -- Roberto Bui, Federico Guglielmi, Luca Di Meo and Giovanni Catabriga -- belong to a group of Italian artists and left-wing activists who began using the name of Blissett, a former Watford FC football player, as their multi-use signature. The English version of Q, a good-versus-evil spy thriller set during the Reformation in Italy and Germany, has already sold over 200,000 copies in Italy and has been translated into 10 languages, including English.

Luther Blissett developed something of a cult figure in Italy following a disastrous season at AC Milan between 1983 and 1984. Said Blissett: "It's something that I've stayed clear of; you've got no control over these kinds of things. People were saying to me you should read it, but why? It's got nothing directly to do with me. Nobody asked my permission to use my name or anything like that. But what can I do about it? They get on with it and I observe from a distance". Meanwhile the Italians have disbanded ‘Luther Blissett’ and reconstituted themselves as Wu Ming (the Chinese for “no name”).

The IPKat would advise Blissett to consider his legal options. Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, s.84, the false attribution of authorship is a civil wrong. While no-one has actually said the former footballer wrote the book, his name is so unusual and distinctive that people seeing it in the context of a novel would swiftly assume he wrote it.

Experience the Luther Blissett phenomenon here, here and here
Other famous Qs in literature here, here and ">here
Q here; The Story of Q here; The Story of O here; The Story of P here; The Story of Pi here
For footballers who write click here; for a writer who played football click here

ITALIAN BLISSETT-ABUSERS IN LINE FOR PRIZE <strong>ITALIAN BLISSETT-ABUSERS IN LINE FOR PRIZE</strong> Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, August 28, 2003 Rating: 5

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