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From George Eliot to John le Carre, writers have reached out for the disguise or anonymity offered by a pseudonym.The innocence was literal for the judges of France's top literary prize, the Goncourt, when, in 1975, they awarded it to Emile Ajar for "The Life Before Us," unaware that Ajar was actually a pseudonym for writer Romain Gary.Fluent in French and English, he would translate his texts himself under other pseudonyms.He occasionally published as "Romain Kacew," his birth name.The prodigious King adopted the pseudonym to sidestep his publisher's requirement that he release no more than one book per year under his own name.A few decades earlier, a similar desire to escape the clutches of family led a certain Francois-Marie Arouet to publish under the name Voltaire.A trend reflecting the prevailing sexism of the time saw many accomplished female writers publish their work under masculine names.George Eliot's real name was Mary Ann Evans.
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