Another 'well-known' author publishes an anonymous novel - but who could it be this time around?
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Thursday 03 April 2014
It’s been quite a year for pseudonymous writers whose real identities are open secrets. John Banville brought out his latest Philip Marlowe mystery novel under the pen-name, Benjamin Black, last month. Dan Kavanagh’s detective novels are to be re-published and nowhere is Julian Barnes mentioned, such is the extent of the in-joke. J K Rowling will bring out her second Robert Galbraith book this June.
Suddenly, a truly anonymous writer emerges: Claire North is an “acclaimed author who has previously published several novels” (says the dust-jacket of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August). What intrigue – or at least until a phone call to the publisher, who said that Ms North’s identity will be revealed after all as her book will be read by Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 Book Club, and a fake identity on air is too tall an order. Published on 8 April, the author will stay anonymous for precisely two weeks before an announcement on 22 April. Oh well, intriguing while it lasts.
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