Pen name

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A pen name, also called a nom de plume (French: [nɔ̃ də plym) or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of his works in place of his real name. Pen name_sentence_0

A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise the author's gender, to distance the author from his other works, to protect the author from retribution for his writings, to merge multiple persons into a single identifiable author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. Pen name_sentence_1

The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge. Pen name_sentence_2

Western literature Pen name_section_0

Europe and the United States Pen name_section_1

An author may use a pen name if his real name is likely to be confused with that of another author or other significant individual. Pen name_sentence_3

For instance, from 1899 the British politician Winston Churchill wrote under the name Winston S. Churchill to distinguish his writings from those of the American novelist of the same name, who was at the time much better known. Pen name_sentence_4

An author may use a pen name implying a rank or title which he has never actually held. Pen name_sentence_5

William Earl Johns wrote under the name "Captain W. E. Johns" although the highest army rank he held was acting lieutenant and his highest air force rank was flying officer. Pen name_sentence_6

Authors who regularly write in more than one genre may use different pen names for each, sometimes with no attempt to conceal a true identity. Pen name_sentence_7

Romance writer Nora Roberts writes erotic thrillers under the pen name J. D. Robb (such books are titled "Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb"); Scots writer Iain Banks wrote mainstream or literary fiction under his own name and published science fiction under Iain M. Banks; Samuel Langhorne Clemens used the aliases Mark Twain and Sieur Louis de Conte for different works. Pen name_sentence_8

Similarly, an author who writes both fiction and non-fiction (such as the mathematician and fantasy writer Charles Dodgson, who wrote as Lewis Carroll) may use a pseudonym for fiction writing. Pen name_sentence_9

Science fiction author Harry Turtledove has used the name H. N. Turtletaub for a number of historical novels he has written because he and his publisher felt that the presumed lower sales of those novels might hurt book store orders for the novels he writes under his own name. Pen name_sentence_10

Occasionally, a pen name is employed to avoid overexposure. Pen name_sentence_11

Prolific authors for pulp magazines often had two and sometimes three short stories appearing in one issue of a magazine; the editor would create several fictitious author names to hide this from readers. Pen name_sentence_12

Robert A. Heinlein wrote stories under pseudonyms of Anson MacDonald (a combination of his middle name and his then-wife's maiden name) and Caleb Strong so that more of his works could be published in a single magazine. Pen name_sentence_13

Stephen King published four novels under the name Richard Bachman because publishers did not feel the public would buy more than one novel per year from a single author. Pen name_sentence_14

Eventually, after critics found a large number of style similarities, publishers revealed Bachman's true identity. Pen name_sentence_15

Sometimes a pen name is used because an author believes that his name does not suit the genre he is writing in. Pen name_sentence_16

Western novelist Pearl Gray dropped his first name and changed the spelling of his last name to become Zane Grey, because he believed that his real name did not suit the Western genre. Pen name_sentence_17

Romance novelist Angela Knight writes under that name instead of her actual name (Julie Woodcock) because of the double entendre of her surname in the context of that genre. Pen name_sentence_18

Romain Gary, who was a well-known French writer, decided in 1973 to write novels in a different style under the name Émile Ajar and even asked his cousin's son to impersonate Ajar; thus he received the most prestigious French literary prize twice, which is forbidden by the prize rules. Pen name_sentence_19

He revealed the affair in a book he sent his editor just before committing suicide in 1980. Pen name_sentence_20

Some pen names have been used for long periods, even decades, without the author's true identity being discovered, such as Elena Ferrante and Torsten Krol. Pen name_sentence_21

A pen name may be shared by different writers in order to suggest continuity of authorship. Pen name_sentence_22

Thus the Bessie Bunter series of English boarding-school stories, initially written by the prolific Charles Hamilton under the name Hilda Richards, was taken on by other authors who continued to use the same pen-name. Pen name_sentence_23

In some forms of fiction, the pen name adopted is the name of the lead character, to suggest to the reader that the book is a (fictional) autobiography. Pen name_sentence_24

Daniel Handler used the pseudonym Lemony Snicket to present his A Series of Unfortunate Events books as memoirs by an acquaintance of the main characters. Pen name_sentence_25

Some, however, do this to fit a certain theme. Pen name_sentence_26

One example, Pseudonymous Bosch, used his pen name just to expand the theme of secrecy in The Secret Series. Pen name_sentence_27

Authors also may occasionally choose pen names to appear in more favourable positions in bookshops or libraries, to maximise visibility when placed on shelves that are conventionally arranged alphabetically moving horizontally, then upwards vertically. Pen name_sentence_28

Female authors Pen name_section_2

Some female authors have used pen names to ensure that their works were accepted by publishers and/or the public. Pen name_sentence_29

Such is the case of Peru's Clarinda, whose work was published in the early 17th century. Pen name_sentence_30

More often, women have adopted masculine pen names. Pen name_sentence_31

This was common in the 19th century, when women were beginning to make inroads into literature but, it was felt, would not be taken as seriously by readers as male authors. Pen name_sentence_32

For example, Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name George Eliot; and Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, used the pseudonym George Sand. Pen name_sentence_33

Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë published under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell respectively. Pen name_sentence_34

French-Savoyard writer and poet Amélie Gex chose to publish as Dian de Jeânna ("John, son of Jane") during the first half of her career. Pen name_sentence_35

Karen Blixen's very successful Out of Africa (1937) was originally published under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Pen name_sentence_36

Victoria Benedictsson, a Swedish author of the 19th century, wrote under the name Ernst Ahlgren. Pen name_sentence_37

The science fiction author Alice B. Sheldon for many years published under the masculine name of James Tiptree, Jr., the discovery of which led to a deep discussion of gender in the genre. Pen name_sentence_38

More recently, women who write in genres commonly written by men sometimes choose to use initials, such as K. Pen name_sentence_39 A. Applegate, C. Pen name_sentence_40 J. Cherryh, P. Pen name_sentence_41 N. Elrod, D. Pen name_sentence_42 C. Fontana, S. Pen name_sentence_43 E. Hinton, G. Pen name_sentence_44 A. Riplinger, J. Pen name_sentence_45 D. Robb, and J. Pen name_sentence_46 K. Rowling. Pen name_sentence_47

Alternatively, they may use a unisex pen name, such as Robin Hobb (the second pen name of novelist Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden). Pen name_sentence_48

Collective names Pen name_section_3

A collective name, also known as a house name, is sometimes used with series fiction published under one pen name even though more than one author may have contributed to the series. Pen name_sentence_49

In some cases the first books in the series were written by one writer, but subsequent books were written by ghost writers. Pen name_sentence_50

For instance, many of the later books in The Saint adventure series were not written by Leslie Charteris, the series' originator. Pen name_sentence_51

Similarly, Nancy Drew mystery books are published as though they were written by Carolyn Keene, The Hardy Boys books are published as the work of Franklin W. Dixon, and The Bobbsey Twins series are credited to Laura Lee Hope, although numerous authors have been involved in each series. Pen name_sentence_52

Erin Hunter, author of the Warriors novel series, is actually a collective pen name used by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui T. Sutherland, and the editor Victoria Holmes. Pen name_sentence_53

Collaborative authors may also have their works published under a single pen name. Pen name_sentence_54

Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee published their mystery novels and stories under the pen name Ellery Queen, as well as publishing the work of ghost-writers under the same name. Pen name_sentence_55

The writers of Atlanta Nights, a deliberately bad book intended to embarrass the publishing firm PublishAmerica, used the pen name Travis Tea. Pen name_sentence_56

Additionally, the credited author of The Expanse, James S.A. Corey, is an amalgam of the middle names of collaborating writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck respectively, while S.A. are the initials of Abraham's daughter. Pen name_sentence_57

Sometimes multiple authors will write related books under the same pseudonym; examples include T. Pen name_sentence_58 H. Lain in fiction. Pen name_sentence_59

The Australian fiction collaborators who write under the pen name Alice Campion is a group of women who have so far written two novels together - The Painted Sky (2015) / Der Bunte Himmel (2015) written by five and The Shifting Light (2017) by four. Pen name_sentence_60

In the 1780s, The Federalist Papers were written under the pseudonym "Publius" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Pen name_sentence_61

The three men chose the name "Publius" because it recalled the founder of the Roman Republic, and using it implied a positive intention. Pen name_sentence_62

In pure mathematics, Nicolas Bourbaki is the pseudonym of a group of mostly French connected mathematicians attempting to expose the field in an axiomatic and self-contained, encyclopedic form. Pen name_sentence_63

Concealment of identity Pen name_section_4

India Pen name_section_5

Further information: Takhallus Pen name_sentence_64

In Indian languages, writers may put a pen name at the end of their names, like Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Pen name_sentence_65

Sometimes they also write under their pen name without their actual name like Firaq Gorakhpuri. Pen name_sentence_66

In early Indian literature, we find authors shying away from using any name considering it to be egotistical. Pen name_sentence_67

Due to this notion, even today it is hard to trace the authorship of many earlier literary works from India. Pen name_sentence_68

Later, we find that the writers adopted the practice of using the name of their deity of worship or Guru's name as their pen name. Pen name_sentence_69

In this case, typically the pen name would be included at the end of the prose or poetry. Pen name_sentence_70

Composers of Indian classical music used pen names in compositions to assert authorship, including Sadarang, Gunarang (Fayyaz Ahmed Khan), Ada Rang (court musician of Muhammad Shah), Sabrang (Bade Ghulam Ali Khan), and Ramrang (Ramashreya Jha). Pen name_sentence_71

Other compositions are apocryphally ascribed to composers with their pen names. Pen name_sentence_72

Japan Pen name_section_6

Japanese poets who write haiku often use a haigō (俳号). Pen name_sentence_73

The haiku poet Matsuo Bashō had used two other haigō before he became fond of a banana plant (bashō) that had been given to him by a disciple and started using it as his pen name at the age of 36. Pen name_sentence_74

Similar to a pen name, Japanese artists usually have a gō or art-name, which might change a number of times during their career. Pen name_sentence_75

In some cases, artists adopted different gō at different stages of their career, usually to mark significant changes in their life. Pen name_sentence_76

One of the most extreme examples of this is Hokusai, who in the period 1798 to 1806 alone used no fewer than six. Pen name_sentence_77

Manga artist Ogure Ito uses the pen name Oh! Pen name_sentence_78 great because his real name Ogure Ito is roughly how the Japanese pronounce "oh great". Pen name_sentence_79

Persian and Urdu poetry Pen name_section_7

Further information: Takhallus Pen name_sentence_80

Pen name_description_list_0

A shâ'er (Persian from Arabic, for poet) (a poet who writes she'rs in Urdu or Persian) almost always has a "takhallus", a pen name, traditionally placed at the end of the name (often marked by a graphical sign  ـؔ  placed above it) when referring to the poet by his full name. Pen name_sentence_81

For example, Hafez is a pen-name for Shams al-Din, and thus the usual way to refer to him would be Shams al-Din Hafez or just Hafez. Pen name_sentence_82

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan (his official name and title) is referred to as Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, or just Mirza Ghalib. Pen name_sentence_83

Etymology Pen name_section_8

The French phrase nom de plume is occasionally still seen as a synonym for the English term "pen name": this is a "back-translation" and originated in England rather than France. Pen name_sentence_84

H. Pen name_sentence_85 W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler, in The King's English state that the term nom de plume "evolved" in Britain, where people wanting a "literary" phrase failed to understand the term nom de guerre, which already existed in French. Pen name_sentence_86

Since guerre means "war" in French, nom de guerre did not make sense to the British, who did not understand the French metaphor. Pen name_sentence_87

See also French phrases used by English speakers. Pen name_sentence_88

See also Pen name_section_9

Pen name_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pen name.