By Stephen Smith
An Inkwell of Pen Names tells the tales of a hundred authors' pen names in 100 brief chapters. Many different authors who used pen names are mentioned by the way. gains of the compendium contain pen names starting with each letter of the alphabet, authors from twenty-five international locations, the recipients of the Nobel Prize for literature who used pseudonyms, and a balanced collection of women and men authors.
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But he is also known by five pen names, three of which he shared with his close friend and collaborator, the famous Argentine author, Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). By the time he was seventeen a collection of short pieces by Bioy had already been published in Buenos Aires. Bioy met Borges in 1932. Despite the age gap the writers became friends and co-authors of a number of works. It is amusing that their first collaborative effort produced a brochure about—yogurt—one of the products made at the dairy ranch belonging to Bioy’s family.
She was the first Latin American author to be accorded that honor. It is noteworthy that a student to whom Alcayaga gave direction and encouragement when she was a high school principal also went on to receive the Nobel Prize for literature. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), a Chilean poet, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971. Like Alcayaga, Neruda adopted a pseudonym as a young poet. Neruda’s real name was Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes, but he took the name Pablo Neruda, derived from Jan Neruda (1834-1891), a Czech author, in 1919.
The book of poetry was published at the sisters’ own expense. Only two copies were sold. Early in their literary careers all of the sisters used a number of other pen names, some of them rather colorful. Charlotte used C. , Genius, Lord Charles Wellesley, and The Marquis of Douro; Emily passed herself off as R. Alcon; and Anne donned the cloaks of Lady Geralda, Olivia Vernon, and Alexandria Zenobia. And so each of the sisters began writing on her own. Soon Jane Eyre appeared; Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey followed.