Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 9 months ago

Has any book written under a penname ever gotten highly successful and popular without people knowing for a long time who the author was?

10 Answers

  • Roger
    Lv 7
    8 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" was written by someone supposedly named B. Traven and published in 1927. It was a successful film with Humphrey Bogart and the book was popular both before and after. However, the identity of B. Traven is a complete mystery. To this day no one is certain who he was, what his name was, or where he was from.

    There have been other instances. "Jane Eyre" was published under the name Currer Bell, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is by Lewis Carroll, aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and you can find other instances, as per the other responses. However, B. Traven, also the author of other books, has managed to remain an enigma and probably will remain one.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    There are many examples. And considering that other people are claiming that there are no modern examples, I'll provide some:

    Cormac McCarthy, arguably the world's greatest living author. His real name is Charles.

    Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and J.K. Rowling have all used a pen name.

    Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Mark Twain and Dr. Seuss are all pen names.

  • denise
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    'The mill on the floss', written by 'george eliott' is a pen-name, the author was a woman.

  • Ludwig
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    Most of the Pauline Epistles.

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  • 9 months ago

    Yes, several women wrote under men's names, just to get published in the 1970's and 80's. And many people use pen names when they write in a genre they're not well known in, to avoid 'crossover'.

    Agatha Christie: Mary Westmacott

    C.S. Lewis: Clive Hamilton and N.W. Clerk

    Stephen King: Richard Bachman

    J.K. Rowling: Robert Galbraith

    Dean Koontz has admitted to writing under at least ten names

  • 9 months ago

    In recent times, no.

    There are simply too many ways to trace payments and to even analyze writing styles. The only authors who remain anonymous are the minor ones.

    The days of hookers writing tell-all novels are over.

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    All of the time.

    Of course, what do you mean by "people" ?

    The publishing world is small and they might know, but the general population would be in the dark.

  • 9 months ago

    Sure! Besides Mark Twain, George Eliot, and John LeCarre (pen name for David Cornwell), I think of the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne), who published a book of poetry, as well as their novels -- Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey -- under the pen names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell to hide their female identities in the 1840s. Oh, and William Shakespeare? Probably the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.

  • 9 months ago

    Yes, many.

  • Sure

    Even putting aside the idea that Shakespeare might have been a a pen name, are you aware that pen names were routinely adopted by philosophers, who feared punishment?

    Joseph Conrad? A pen name.

    Mark Twain? A pen name.

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