“Chris Picks” for April: Pseudonyms

[Here are this month’s great recommendations from staff member Christopher Jennings Penders. Click on a title to place a hold. You can find previous Chris Picks through the “What to read” link at the bottom of this page or type “Chris Picks” into the search bar on our homepage.]

Since this is April (which includes April Fool’s Day), this month we highlight pseudonyms.

How many of these pen names do you know without cheating? Who is the real writer hiding behind? I’ve read at least one book from each of them.

Joe Hill
How many people know who Joe Hill is?  Once you see his picture there will be no denying his genes.

Robert Galbraith
Everyone knows Robert Galbraith now. When the author started using the name, they hoped to remain anonymous for a long time. They were discovered because a sharp-eyed bookstore employee found language and sentence structure similar in tone to the writer behind the pseudonym.

Benjamin Black
John Banville is someone I look forward to reading with each book he releases. As with Jonathan Carroll, another of my all-time favorite writers, Banville’s elegant prose makes me slow down and marvel at his art. Benjamin Black is his pen name, and he still has the talent to make you stop in the middle of a sentence and take in the magic of his words.

Richard Stark
I had no clue that Stark is Donald Westlake’s most successful pseudonym. I’ve read books authored by both Stark and Westlake and thought they were penned by different people. That’s how impressively Westlake hides behind his pseudonym.

John le Carré
I had no clue that le Carre is a pen name. Upon learning the reason he chose to use a pseudonym, I understand why he did so.

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