An author who doesn't want their authorship known will use a Pen Name. An author who wants everyone to know they don't want their authorship known will use Anonymous, or a pen name that very obviously presents itself as a pen name.
This is done to convey the impression—which may even be true—that the author would be in trouble were his or her identity known. So it's often done with controversial works, or works that wish to present themselves as such, and with exposes.
This page needs more examples. You can help this wiki by adding more entries or expanding current ones.
- 2048, a singularly Anvilicious dystopian novel that could best be described as Nineteen Eighty-Four meets The Handmaid's Tale only much, much worse, attributed to Erica Blair.
- Primary Colors by Anonymous. Fifteen years later, O by Anonymous.
- Also by Anonymous A Book With No Name.
- Go Ask Alice... allegedly.
- The Bride Stripped Bare. Australian Nikki Gemmell eventually revealed her authorship.
- The Name Of This Book Is Secret and its sequels by Pseudonymous Bosch.
- Frankenstein, on its initial publication, to hide that the author was a young woman.
- During her lifetime, Jane Austen's novels only identified the author with the words "By a Lady".
- Parodying Austen, The Two Ronnies serial 'The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town' was credited to 'Spike Milligan & A Gentleman' (The Gentleman being Ronnie Barker).
- A Prussian nobleman wrote plays under the name J.E. Mand -- jemand is German for "someone."