What do J.K. Rowlings, R.J. Palacios, J.D. Robb, and George Eliot have in common? Give up? They are all female authors who have published works using either a man’s name or just initials instead of their given name.
Why do women writers feel the need to hide their identity? “While some authors choose to write under a pen name as a form of artistic expression, many female authors purposefully opt for a male pseudonym to appeal to a wider audience, says Carmela Ciuraru, author of Nom de plume: A (secret) history of pseudonyms.” Other women writers were told by publishers to use a man’s name instead of their own.
“Sadly in certain genres, it still helps to be a man — particularly in crime or science fiction,” Ciuraru told CNN. “Sometimes it’s easier to be taken seriously as a man…”
What do you think? Do you judge a book by its cover – and author?
Other famous female authors published using initials or a male moniker include:
Raquel Jaramillo (J.R. Palacios) – Wonder
Alice Bradley Sheldon (science ficion novels & short stories) – James Tiptree
Mary Ann Evans – (George Eliot) – Middlemarch
Louisa May Alcott (A.M. Barnard) – famous for Little Women; Little Men
Christina Lynch & Meg Howrey (Magnus Flyte) – famous for City of Dark Magic
The Bronte sisters (Anne, Charlotte and Emily – (Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell) – Jane Eyre; Wuthering Heights; Agnes Grey
Robyn Thurman (Rob Thurman) – the Cal Leandros series
Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling; Robert Galbraith) – Harry Potter series; The Cuckoo’s Calling