A book by an author with a pseudonym

Pen names! Authors have many reasons for pen names. Sometimes they are writing something controversial and want to hide their identity. Sometimes they won’t get published if the publisher or the audience knew who they really are (see: lots of female authors). Some authors just use it as a marketing tool – one name per genre, no actual secrecy involved. And some folks just have sometimes elaborate artistic or personal reasons.

сундук мертвеца (”Dead Man’s Chest”)
by Max Frei
Legal Name: Svetlana Martynchik
Apparently the fifth book in a Russian-language fantasy series, only one book of which seems to have been translated to English. The pen name was originally chosen as a joint artistic name with her illustrator partner.

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If I knew any Russian, I could probably help you here. I don’t, so I won’t.

Wasserfarben (”Watercolors”)
by Cordt Berneburger
Legal Name: Thomas Brussig
As my regular readers know by now, I also do not speak or read German. German speakers should be grateful for this, since I basically massacre the language any time I try. Chinese? No problem! German? Utterly unnatural, don’t know how any of you do it.

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Beats me!

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Legal Name: Nelle Harper Lee
…that’s not a pseudonym. She used her middle name for publication, but Nelle in her day-to-day life. She only dropped the Nelle part because she really hated the thought of anyone calling her “Nellie”. I’m not even joking. I can sympathize, people constantly give me a nickname based on my legal first name, and I absolutely hate it.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book based on a real person (”Write what you know”!)
A book with an animal in the title
A book by a female author with a masculine-passing pseudonym
A book mentioned in a movie or tv show (though chances are they mean the movie instead)
A childhood classic you’ve never read
A book about a difficult topic

The Stand
by Stephen King
Legal Name: …Stephen King
Why is this even here?! Oh right, the brief “Richard Bachman” period, the which name was dropped as soon as his publisher realized there’s no such thing as over-saturating an authorial “brand”.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (a comic; the movie is in development hell)
A book with a two-word title

The Prince & the Pauper
by Mark Twain
Legal Name: Samuel Clemens
I have such vivid memories of the Wishbone adaptation, that I am no longer certain of whether I ever read the actual book.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book that is also performed on stage
A book published before you were born
A book set in the city

The Miserable Mill, The End, and The Bad Beginning
by Lemony Snicket
Legal Name: Daniel Handler
I crammed all the books by this author into one set because I don’t wanna have to talk about him over and over. This is a classic case of a dude who presumably meant well, proving to be Trash™. Way to nonpology, bro. You can’t throw money at your misogyny and racism and make it go away. At least, not on this blog.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (Netflix!)
The next book in a series
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day

The Cuckoo’s Calling
by Robert Galbraith
Legal Name: Joanne Rowling (JKR to fans)
Ah, the fake debut, which did unimpressively until JKR’s authorship was revealed. Oh well, at least a bunch of the royalties went to charity. And the damages from her “betrayal of trust” lawsuit (she wouldn’t have won any other kind of suit, since she benefited from the breach of trust).

Possible Other Categories
A book by a female author with a masculine-passing pseudonym
A book set in the city

The Bicycle Man
by Allen Say
Legal Name: James Allen Koichi Moriwaki Seii
I, too, would probably shorten my name for purposes of publication. He also anglicized it, possibly to make it easier to publish. Also, I remember this little book being read on Reading Rainbow, which I count as proper reading because they never abridged the picture books and they showed all the pictures. It was awesome.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first (I’m counting that RR episode – they made the illustrations move!)
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book by an Asian author

Otherwise Engaged
by Amanda Quick
Legal Name: Jayne Ann Krentz
Remember what I said about marketing purposes? Here you go. Krentz’s fans know that when one of her books carries the “Quick” name, it’s going to be a historical romance.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two-word title
A book set in the city

Murder at Hazelmoor /The Sittaford Mystery
by Agatha Christie
Legal Name: Agatha Christie
Ok, this is a definite fudge by someone. Christie did have a pseudonym for her romance novels, which this is not. It’s also one where she played around with a new sleuth, who never shows up again. It gets weirder when you realize Granada TV turned it into a Miss Marple episode.

Possible Other Categories
A book you can read in a day
A book involving a supernatural creature
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first

The Blinded Man
by Arne Dahl
Legal Name: Jan Arnald
Open Library doesn’t have the English language edition in its database, so I have grudgingly provided the GR one instead. The US and UK got different titles, too. The television adaptation of this novel is titled after his pen name, and looks super dark.

Possible Other Categories
A book with an adaptation you enjoyed (or not) first
A book set in the city (eh…)

King Hall
by Scarlett Dawn
Legal Name: ???
A name like that has to be fake, but I couldn’t track down a legal name or even another pseudonym. I did, however, find a 1932 Pre-Code film about sketchy characters in Russia and Turkey. I… don’t think that’s the kind of connection she was going for, really.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two word title
A book set in the city
A book involving a mythical creature

Grumpy Cat
by Grumpy Cat
Legal Name: Tardar Sauce (human is Tabatha Bundesen)
Unpopular opinion time: Lil Bub is superior to Grumpy Cat and also who the hell gives their poor cat such a terrible name as “tardar sauce”? No wonder she’s grumpy.

Possible Other Categories
A book by a female author with a masculine-passing pseudonym (So many people think this kitty is male. It makes more sense with Bub, who’s at least named Bub.)
A book with pictures
A book you can read in a day
A book with a character’s name in the title
A book with an animal in the title

Girl Friends Complete Collection Vol. 1
by Milk Morinaga
Legal Name: unknown
It’s standard practice for Japanese comic artists to use a pen name, even when they aren’t specialized in semi-indie f/f porn (aka yuri). Like any other romance or erotic genre in Japan, the author could be of any gender or orientation, but Morinaga is female, at least. And it’s definitely a pen name because there’s a brand in Japan called Morinaga, and they sell milk.

Possible Other Categories
A book with a two word title
A book you can read in a day
A book with pictures
A book with a queer/quiltbag/lgbt+ protagonist
A book by an Asian author

Books vs Cigarettes
by George Orwell
Legal Name: Eric Arthur Blair
A collection of somewhat random essays by the famed author. He might not have died so young if he’d put all his cigarette money toward books instead, considering his lifelong lung problems.

Possible Other Categories
A book based on a real person
A book you can read in a day

Enklawa(”Enclave”)
by Ove Løgmansbø
Legal Name: Remigiusz Mróz
…Still don’t speak Polish! I gather it’s set on the Faroe Islands, and it’s a mystery. That’s all I’ve got. Also that an established writer used a new pen name and wrote an inferior book, if the machine translation of reviews are at all accurate.

Possible Other Categories
How should I know???

City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare
Legal Name: Judith Lewis
YA. Meh.

Possible Other Categories
A book set in the city
A book involving a mythical creature

The Black Dahlia (graphic novel adaptation)
by Matz
Legal Name: Alexis Nolent
Matz is the comic book pen name for a French video game writer (narrator?). He’s won awards. It seems weird to have an adaptation of an adaptation of an adaptation of a re-interpretation of a real event.

Possible Other Categories
A book based on a real person
A book with your favorite color in the title
A book you can read in a day
A book set in the city

Running Scared
by Carolyn Keene
Legal Name: a mystery
Most of the authors behind the Nancy Drew books are anonymous, and I suspect only espionage at Simon & Schuster would turn up documents revealing who they are. I ate these books up when I was younger.

Possible Other Categories
The next book in a series
A book with a two word title
A book you can read in a day

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5 thoughts on “A book by an author with a pseudonym

  1. FYI, the Mary Westmacott books aren’t romance but attempts at Serious Literature. (I didn’t know this either, until I read them; the covers are deceptive.) _Absent in the Spring_ is quite chilling and also deeply sad, well worth a read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! Good to know! They’re frequently referred to as romances, and I’ve never gotten around to trying one to see how inaccurate the general evaluation of their genre is. The covers definitely don’t help!

      Like

    2. Yeah, I’ve only read the first Westmacott, and I was confused by the romance label. But I don’t read enough romances to feel like I have the authority to say it’s not one. So thank you for drawing the line.

      Oh, and in defense of Christie and King showing up here, the task didn’t say the book had to be written under a pseudonym, just that the author had one.

      Like

      1. Oh, I know, sometimes the tasks I write don’t turn out the way I expected. Any comments about fudging are meant affectionately, even when it’s really obvious someone was streeeeeetching (not the case here).

        Liked by 1 person

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