Famous Pen Names
For instance, Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski and Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum anglicized their names to Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) and Ayn Rand (1905–1982), and Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga and Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto simplified their names to Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) and Pablo Neruda (1904–1973).
Many female authors have been published under male names in order to avoid discrimination. George Eliot (1819-1880) was really named Mary Ann Evans, and Isak Dinesen (1885-1962) was actually Karen Blixen. The 19th-century sisters Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë were first published under the male names Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell. (Novelist Anne Rice (b. 1941) went the opposite way -- she decided to feminize her birth name, Howard.)
And then there are the writers who preferred to be known by a single name (or something close):
- Avi, whose real name is Edward Irving Wortis (b. 1937)
- O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter (1862–1910)
- Molière, whose real name was Jean Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673)
- Ouida, whose real name was Marie Louise de la Ramée (1839-1908)
- Saki, whose real name was Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916)
- Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904–1991)
- Shahriar, whose real name was Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Behjat-Tabrizi (1906-1988)
- Stendhal, whose real name was Marie-Henri Beyle (1783–1842)
- Voltaire, whose real name was François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778)
Finally, here are a few well-known authors whose familiar names aren't their given names, but pseudonyms:
- George Orwell (1903-1950) was the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair
- Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) was the pen name of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
- Mark Twain (1835-1910) was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
- Toni Morrison (b. 1931) is the pen name of Chloe Anthony Wofford
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