Daily Archives: February 1, 2012

* Nom de Plume by Carmela Ciuraru

I was disappointed by Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms, which turned out to be nothing more than a series of stories about authors who chose to publish under another name than the one they received at birth. Each story is reasonably interesting, although many are well-known, at least for those of us who are curious about writers, so we read once again about the Brontes sisters, George Sand, or Mark Twain, but we don’t discover many new characters. And the details seem rather quaintly chosen. We learn that Patricia Highsmith has pet snails for instance. Not my cup of tea, but who cares? And there seems to be a great need to inform us of the age at which the writers’ parents died, for some reason…

I would have liked to see some more general thoughts about why and how pseudonyms are chosen and how they are used , rather than the disconnected stories.

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Filed under Non fiction