Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms

Nom de Plume A Secret History of Pseudonyms MaryAnne Evans Charles Dodgson Eric Blair William Sydney Porter Or as they are commonly remembered George Eliot Lewis Carroll George Orwell and O Henry For these writers and many others from Mar

  • Title: Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms
  • Author: Carmela Ciuraru
  • ISBN: 9780061735264
  • Page: 449
  • Format: Hardcover
  • MaryAnne Evans Charles Dodgson Eric Blair William Sydney Porter Or, as they are 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 seriesMaryAnne Evans Charles Dodgson Eric Blair William Sydney Porter Or, as they are 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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      Published :2018-09-18T11:18:13+00:00

    1 thought on “Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms”

    1. I know this type of book is not for everyone: 18 biographies written in 16 chapters (the three Brontes take up 1 chapter). But it is not dry; in fact, it is very entertaining. The book describes these 18 authors, the pseudonyms or heteronyms they chose, why they picked those names and what they wrote.I became interested in this book because of a challenge I am completing: read a book by an author who wrote under more than one name.Most of the stories are sad, but are enlightening. I also learned [...]

    2. HarperCollins kindly mailed me an advanced reader's copy of this book through giveaway, and my full review should be posted in a few days.But since I do have a moment, I will insert a quick disclaimer here and recommend that you do not, as I did, select this book as your reading material for the ferry ride from Juneau to Haines, Alaska on a beautiful June day. While the others on board were oohing and ahhing and even cheering at a pod of humpback whales and some orcas and porpoises that were al [...]

    3. My review is on the introduction and first 3.5 chapters only as I did not finish reading the rest of them.The subject matter is interesting, and the beginning of the book and chapter on the Bronte sisters held my interest. I felt connected to the sister authors through Ciuraru's storytelling and learned things I did not know. The beginning of the next chapter on George Sand was intriguing, but by the end I had gotten thoroughly confused on the timeline of her life and when she had done what. Fig [...]

    4. I would always tell my writing students that the beginning and end of a work are the most important: the beginning determines the perspective with which you read, and the ending determines how you leave the book feeling about it. Nom de Plume had an excellent start, and for much of the book I loved it. Ciuraru takes a fascinating look at the biographies of some of the most famous authors of the 19th and 20th centuries who used pseudonyms, exploring why they felt the need to hide behind a differe [...]

    5. назва тут оманлива, бо це книжка не про псевдоніми, а про вісімнадцятьох (сестри бронте в одному розділі) авторок і авторів, які якось колись ховалися під псевдонімами. не дуже добре структурована – нелогічні переходи від одної теми до іншої в межах одного абзацу, повторюва [...]

    6. 4.5 StarsI really enjoy reading non-fiction, as they say-truth is often stranger than fiction. I especially like non-fiction when it's not too dry, and the writer makes the stories come to life. I can definitely say that this book was a quick and fun read. One thing that kept the book moving right along was that it consisted of a different chapter for each different writer. It was almost like reading short stories. Of course, all of the stories were connected by the same theme-the pseudonym, and [...]

    7. Think you know about your favorite authors? Guess again! Nom de Plume offers a fascinating look at some of my favorite writers of all time, as well as a compelling introduction to some authors that I hadn't heard of before. Incredibly well written and just plain fun to read -each chapter is titled with some outrageous fact about the author featured in it; as I came to the end of a chapter and meant to set the book down, I found myself getting sucked into the next chapter, and then the next, and [...]

    8. Some of the stories were interesting. I didn't know a lot of the authors. It is kind of like reading a bunch of mini biographies, so if you are into that you would probably enjoy it. There was nothing really connecting the stories together (besides the fact that they all used pseudonyms). I found the intro kind of dull and scattered and there wasn't even a conclusion section. I would have liked more coherent discussion about why people choose pseudonyms and how that compares to today's informati [...]

    9. I was very excited to get the opportunity to read this as a GoodReads Firstread. Having read Alice I have been I was already fascinated by the story behind the authors. This book is a must read for anyone who has read the Brontes, Lewis Carroll, or Plath. I was very fascinated by the story of O. Henry, especially since I either did not know or had forgotten that he had lived in Austin (my hometown) and that I had lived down the street from O.Henry Middle School. This book was at times slow but s [...]

    10. Carmela Ciuraru paints a fascinating picture of authors and their pseudonyms in Nom de Plume. This well-researched book contains detailed information about both well known and lesser known writers. More than a biography, you will discover why authors chose the names they did, as well as interesting facts about the personal and sometimes tragic events in their lives. You may look at literature differently after reading this enlightening collection of astonishing stories. I received this book free [...]

    11. A history of authors and their pen names - from people seriously hiding their identities to authors just goofing off. It is really facinating how so many authors needed or were subsumed by the alternate identities. A light writing style kept the book moving along, but by the end it really had me thinking.

    12. I really enjoyed this book. It is filled with interesting facts on the lives of various authors. It also inspired me to look up some of their work!

    13. A lovely, and surprisingly important, book. Arthur Koestler is quoted as saying, “To want to meet an author because you like his books is as ridiculous as wanting to meet the goose because you like pate de foie gras.” But in this age of reality TV and Dancing with the Stars and endless couches on endless talk shows, we don't have much patience for privacy any more, and the Bell brothers e-mail would have been hacked in two weeks to discover the Bronte sisters instead, all brought out to be g [...]

    14. This is one of the first books I've read that went from being two stars, to four, and then back down to three. In fact, I don't think a single other book caused me to change opinion so many times. From the introduction, you're drawn into the fascinating reasoning behind pseudonyms and their use in popular culture. Whilst short, these few pages do a great job at touching upon what it means to a content creator to adopt a pseudonym, be it for legal reasons or just a personal quirk. Whilst the book [...]

    15. The concept of this book is a good one: find a bunch of famous writers who used pseudonyms and probe into why. The book itself is structured as multiple mini biographies, each one introduced by a catchy one-liner. ("They were dead by the age of forty." - The Bronte Sisters) Sure, the Introduction read a bit like an undergrad English paper, but the first few chapters were quite engaging. The Brontes are followed by the likes of George Eliot, Lewis Caroll, Mark Twain, and George Orwell. (Who even [...]

    16. Typically, I love books like this - oddly specific non-fiction books that will leave me with countless anecdotes to annoy my husband with late into the night. Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms does not fall into that category. Instead, it is relegated to the "books I didn't like but had already invested in so I kept reading" category. The book is a series of mini-biographies that seem to include details that are completely pointless: She was lonely and anxious, ambidextrous, and phy [...]

    17. A cool topic, and interesting to consider in an age where some are calling for more transparency and less anonymity on the Internet.I read novels most of the time, and this was a good reminder of all the cool STUFF that nonfiction can teach you. I mean, did you know: Lewis Carroll (or Charles Dodgson) was an early proponent of the standing desk ("He wrote most of his books, include Alice, while standing up," according to Ciuraru, and supposedly could stand at his desk for 10 hours a day). Carrol [...]

    18. I won this on First Reads--and really enjoyed my time with it.The book explores the motives, circumstances, and effects of pen-names throughout literary history by studying the biographies of a dozen authors who wrote under aliases. Ciuraru has many interesting things to say about literature in general and nom de plumes in particular and a real eye for the most tantalizing tidbits of a biography. Much of the juiciest details in the book are what informs the choice to use a pen-name, so it is all [...]

    19. I won this book through a giveaway and I hate that it took me so long to actually finish it. Real life obligations, however, kept me from enjoying this book at the pace I would have liked.On a whole, I enjoyed Nom de Plume. Literary scholars may enjoy the topic a bit more but as a historian, the topic was more than enough to keep me interested. Carmela Ciuraru does an excellent job at evoking suitable emotions for each of the life stories relayed in the book. The tone of each section seemed to [...]

    20. I love reading about the life of these authors - particularly why or how they chose their pseudonym. I am also quotes from other classic authors about the person addressed.Grew tired of this book eventually. When it came to the authors I had never heard of (nor want to read now that I know about their personal lives). Four stars to the chapters about: Acton, Currer & Ellis Bell; Aurore Dupin; Marian Evans; Charles Dodgson; and Samuel Clemens.One star to the chapters about: Fernando Pessoa; E [...]

    21. Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru was an enjoyable collection of miniature biographies about various literary figures throughout more recent history that have written and published under pseudonyms. Ms Ciuraru explores their personal and writing lives, and for our sakes she seeks to answer why each chose to write under an assumed name. Either they had secrets to hide, or they felt they had different identities, or they didn’t wish to embarrass their families, or [...]

    22. Loved the idea of a time when people valued private lives and assumed pen names to retain privates lives even when earning a living as an author.Each chapter tells the story of a different author and their pen name. Some I enjoyed and others I did not. The author provides a one line description of each person at the beginning of their chapter, which gives a good flavoring of chapter to come. I quickly learned that if that one line included a reference to sex (as many did) to skip the chapter! I [...]

    23. Interesting book of well-known and little-known authors. The life stories of George Eliot/Marian Evans, the Bronte sisters/the Bells, Pauline Reage/Dominique Aury, and many other authors is a fascinating read. For example, Alice Sheldon, used the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr.; Tiptree was taken in 1967 from a jar of marmalade she and her husband 'Ting' Sheldon saw during a trip to the grocery store, Alice added 'James', and Ting added 'Junior.' Thus, the reclusive Alice Sheldon was free to write [...]

    24. Very enjoyable mini biographies of some writers since 1800 who have used pseudonyms. The introduction provides some generalizations about why authors (new and well-established) have used pseudonyms, but these conclusions and generalizations are not returned to very often. (I would have liked to have seen them again at the end of the book, after I had seen the evidence to back them up, but perhaps that would have been a little too five-paragraph-essay-ish.) Overall, the book gave me some suggesti [...]

    25. "Nom de plume" "plume" meaning a long feather of the type used as a writing instrument and often called a "quill." "Nom" is French for "name." Together we call this a "pen name" a pseudonym for a writer. Authors do this so that, as George Eliot said "I shall be resolute in my incognito, having observed that a 'nom de plume' secures all the advantages without the disagreeable of reputation." (Page 55). Carmela Ciuraru presents the tales of sixteen authors from mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth cent [...]

    26. Instead of an in-depth exploration of one author, this books provides a bit of detail on many, focusing on those that used pseudonyms--why they chose to do so, how they picked a pen name, how they reacted if they were exposed, and so on. It links together the various reasons a writer chooses to use another identity, or even more than one, and how well each brought together these two (or more) disparate selves.Though each chapter is far briefer than a biography, each provides an overview from lif [...]

    27. Another one from my Read Your Library series. This is one I'd tried to read before, but let time get away from me and had to return to the library before I could read it. This time, I was determined to get to it, and I'm glad I did.Nom de Plume explores the various reasons authors assume a pseudonym when writing a book; whether it be for privacy, anonymity, or to protect family or friends from scrutiny, the reasons don't matter so much as the stories these authors tell, and in the case of this b [...]

    28. What’s in a name? There are many reasons to write under an assumed one: striving for equality; a morbid fear of publicity; a sordid past; the love of masquerade; an affluent upbringing; and perhaps even multiple-personality syndrome.[return][return]Carmela Ciuraru’s Nom de Plume is a wonderful collection of brief biographies that focus on writers who are known to us today under an assumed name (or were so known when they published — Charlotte Bronte and her sisters published as the Bell br [...]

    29. "What's in a name?" asks Carmela Ciuraru in her new book Nom de Plume. “Everything. Nothing. Some writers find that crafting prose under the name they were born with is too restrictive. It can seem oddly false, or perhaps not grand enough to accompany their literary peregrinations. A name carries so much baggage; it can seem tired and dull. Too ethnic. Too stultifying. Too old. Too young.” Or, in the case of the “bisexual, cigar-smoking cross-dresser” Aurore Dupin (aka George Sand), too [...]

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