Infographic: The Author Behind the Pseudonym

2468996828_d952637f13_bIt may surprise you, but many authors have chosen to publish under a pen name.

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, JK Rowling publishes her mystery novels as Robert Galbraith, Isaac Asimov wrote several books as Paul French, and John le Carre was born David John Moore Cornwell.

For some, using a pen name is a way to escape the hype and expectations that come with using their own name, while for others writing under their own name wasn’t an option due to the perceived gender roles or professional etiquette. James Alfred Wright, for example, wrote about being a veterinarian under the pen name Jame Herriot, and Michael Crichton used several aliases to keep his medical profession apart from his early writing career.

The following infographic by Jonkers Rare Books lists a couple dozen authors and their pseudonyms.

Do you see one that should be included? Let me know in the comments.

The Author Behind the Pseudonym

image by JefferyTurner

About Nate Hoffelder (11591 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

10 Comments on Infographic: The Author Behind the Pseudonym

  1. The infatuation with Ayn Rand by religious conservatives like Paul Ryan has always puzzled me. I wonder if the adulation would be quite so enthusiastic if she were known by her real name.

    • I don’t think that would be an issue. Wasn’t she also vehemently anti-communist?

      • She was also against social security… UNTIL she turned 62 and could profit from it. She was against Medicare, too, until her life-long smoking habit gave her lung cancer.

        There’s nothing quite as vile as a hypocrite of her depth. Yessir … she’s a GREAT Republican role-model.

  2. How about Alice Mary Norton, who published as Andre Norton because women couldn’t get published in science fiction and fantasy in the mid-twentieth century (or because it was thought boys wouldn’t read books written by women in those genres, depending on which story you believe)? Or Catherine Lucille Moore, who published as C.L. Moore for the same reason?

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