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.
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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