Pseudonyms

Great writers under covers.

 


 

The Cuckoo's Calling

By Robert Galbraith

 

A commanding mystery about an Afghan War vet-turned-detective probing the shady underbelly of the fashion world, The Cuckoo's Calling was extremely well-received upon its release -- suspiciously well-received, since debut author Robert Galbraith had spent his life as an officer in the Royal Military Police. Even stranger, he also displayed a gift for describing women's clothing. After some investigation by London's Sunday Times, it was revealed that Galbraith is a pseudonym for none other than Joanne --  J. K. --  Rowling. Establishing herself as a worthy contender in the hard-boiled arena, Rowling joyously pulls us into this riveting tale that's packed with nail-biting suspense and an unforgettable sleuth.

 


 

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

By B. Traven

 

About the only thing anyone knows for certain about the mysterious author who called himself B. Traven is that he lived for many years in Mexico, which is where The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is set. In this rollicking tale of adventure, three Americans pan for gold and battle bandits in remote regions. John Huston eventually made the book into a 1948 Oscar-winning film starring Humphrey Bogart.

 


 

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

By James Tiptree, Jr.

 

Science fiction author Alice Sheldon wrote under the name James Tiptree, Jr., until her death in 1987 at the age of seventy-one. Adopting a masculine pseudonym allowed Sheldon access to a male-dominated genre, echoing the experiences of literary pioneers such as the Brontë sisters and Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot). This collection of the Chicago native's work showcases her unpredictable imagination and electric prose style, in such works as the milestone "Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death."

 


 

Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms

By Carmela Ciuraru

 

Ciuraru takes readers on a comprehensive and engaging journey through the minds and careers of more than a dozen famous authors -- including George Sand, Mark Twain, and George Orwell -- who wrote under assumed names. Along the way, we discover not only their reasons, both practical and deeply personal, for obscuring their true identities, but also the peculiar effects that using a pseudonym had on their lives.

 


 

The Running Man

By Richard Bachman

 

It was once believed that authors shouldn't publish more than one novel a year. But in the 1970s, Stephen King's prolific output gave the bestselling novelist reason to circumvent this axiom by inventing an alter ego, under whose name additional work could appear. Richard Bachman was born (the name was derived, in part, from Richard Stark, the pseudonym under which Donald E. Westlake wrote his popular Parker capers). This work of suspense is one of Bachman's most frightening narratives, centering around a reality television show in 2025 in which contestants put their lives on the line.

 

 

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.