Nom de Plume

Nom de Plume : A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms

3.61 (265 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

MaryAnne Evans. Charles Dodgson. Eric Blair. William Sydney Porter. Or, as they aremore commonly remembered, George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, and O.Henry. For these writers and many others, from Mark Twain to Stan Lee to RobertJordan, the invocation of a nom de plume has been an essential part inthe creation of an authorial identity. Now, in a captivating series ofbiographical snapshots exploring the lives of famous authors and their pennames, author Carmela Ciuraru delivers a unique literaryhistory and a penetrating examination of identity, creativity, andself-creation, revisiting the enduring question--what's in a name?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 134 x 202 x 38mm | 281.23g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0061735272
  • 9780061735271
  • 982,625

Back cover copy

Exploring the fascinating stories of more than a dozen authorial impostors across several centuries and cultures, Carmela Ciuraru plumbs the creative process and the darker, often crippling aspects of fame.

Only through the protective guise of Lewis Carroll could a shy, half-deaf Victorian mathematician at Oxford feel free to let his imagination run wild. The "three weird sisters" from Yorkshire--the Brontes--produced instant bestsellers that transformed them into literary icons, yet they wrote under the cloak of male authorship. Bored by her aristocratic milieu, a cigar-smoking, cross-dressing baroness rejected the rules of propriety by having sexual liaisons with men and women alike, publishing novels and plays under the name George Sand. Highly accessible and engaging, these provocative stories reveal the complex motives of writers who harbored secret identities--sometimes playfully, sometimes with terrible anguish and tragic consequences. Part detective story, part expose, part literary history, Nom de Plume is an absorbing psychological meditation on identity and creativity.
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Review quote

Nom de Plume is filled with tremendous insight into the minds of these writers and their ability to create not only works of fiction within the covers of their books, but fictional lives for themselves as well....beautifully researched and deftly written-pure pleasure from cover to cover. --New York Journal of Books"
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Rating details

265 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 17% (46)
4 38% (102)
3 34% (89)
2 9% (24)
1 2% (4)
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