Essayist Pen Name Crossword

Clue: Lamb's pen name

Lamb's pen name is a crossword puzzle clue that we have spotted over 20 times. There are related clues (shown below).

Referring crossword puzzle answers

Likely related crossword puzzle clues

Recent usage in crossword puzzles:

  • Pat Sajak Code Letter - Aug. 24, 2017
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  • Universal Crossword - April 29, 2013
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  • USA Today - Aug. 13, 2011
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  • Pat Sajak Code Letter - Sept. 10, 2009
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  • USA Today - July 17, 2006
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  • Universal Crossword - March 28, 2005
  • Universal Crossword - Nov. 29, 2003


She didn’t want her side project to detract from “The Clasp,” a novel four and a half years in the making, so Ms. Crosley conspired with her agent, editors, publisher and co-author, Neel Shah, to conceal her identity with the pseudonym.

She decided to blow her own cover this week, with a phone call to The New York Times, partly because the ruse had become too awkward to maintain. ABC is in negotiations to acquire television rights to “Read Bottom Up,” and Ms. Crosley and Mr. Shah are writing the pilot. Somehow, pretending that she was adapting a novel by Skye Chatham felt like taking things a step too far.

“I’m really happy to have them both out in the world now that ‘The Clasp’ is out there,” she said.

Ms. Crosley’s unmasking probably won’t set off shock waves like, say, the revelation that J. K. Rowling was writing crime novels as Robert Galbraith. But keeping her identity a secret was no small feat.

Ms. Crosley, 37, worked in publishing for more than a decade, mostly as a publicist at Vintage. She is the author of two well-received collections of personal essays, “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” and “How Did You Get This Number.” She has written pieces for The Guardian, The New York Times and The Believer, among others, and the phrase “literary It Girl” has been applied to her more than once. By leaking the news herself, Ms. Crosley is exhibiting the sort of savvy you might expect from a former publicist.

Subterfuge is not her default mode. She has written a self-deprecating essay about how she kept her plastic pony collection well into adulthood, and another about the time she went drinking with amateur clowns in Portugal.

“Read Bottom Up” — the title refers to the way you read a long chain of emails — grew out of Ms. Crosley and Mr. Shah’s tendency to show each other emails and text messages from people they were dating, as many close friends do. Often, they drew vastly different conclusions from the same message. Once, Ms. Crosley forwarded Mr. Shah, a screenwriter, an email from a man she was dating because she had taken the message as a sign that the relationship was about to get more serious.

“Neel wrote back something succinct to the effect of, ‘You’re breaking up,’ ” she recalled. “He was 100 percent correct.”

That sort of exchange gave them the idea for a modern-day epistolary novel about lovers named Madeline and Elliot, and their respective best friends, Emily and David, who serve as digital communication advisers. Mr. Shah wrote the emails and texts from the male characters, while Ms. Crosley handled the women’s messages, which were pointedly more reflective and insightful than the men’s. The tension between the characters sometimes trickled into real life: Ms. Crosley once texted Mr. Shah to ask him why his character hadn’t responded to her character’s last two emails.

At the same time, Ms. Crosley was writing “The Clasp,” a coming-of-age story about the post-college adventures of three estranged friends, which involves a madcap quest for a valuable missing necklace.

The pen name provided an escape valve, and a way for Ms. Crosley to sell two novels within a relatively short time, without stepping on her own toes.

“The real issue for us was making sure we had a clear and clean launch for ‘The Clasp,’ ” said Jay Mandel, Ms. Crosley’s agent. “We needed people to understand that this was Sloane’s debut novel, without question.”

“Read Bottom Up” sold quickly to Dey Street Books, a HarperCollins imprint, in 2012. About six months later, Farrar, Straus and Giroux bought “The Clasp,” which was published early this month. Editors at both imprints knew that Skye Chatham was Ms. Crosley.

Once she had created the pen name, she decided to bulk up Skye’s résumé. She wrote saucy advice columns for Maxim and GQ as Skye Chatham and was caught out by a friend who told Ms. Crosley that another writer was mimicking her style in GQ.

When “Read Bottom Up” came out, it got a flurry of attention from outlets like Buzzfeed, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Time. Confronted with interview requests, Ms. Crosley demurred or conducted them by email.

But concealing her identity had a cost. With her real name attached, the book would almost certainly have had a splashier release and more robust sales.

Dey Street printed 50,000 copies, but the book sold a meager 1,200 hardcover copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks 85 percent of print sales. Ms. Crosley’s first collection of essays, “I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” sold more than 200,000 copies.

Now that the author has identified herself, Maya Ziv, who acquired and edited the novel when she was with Dey Street, said that she hoped readers of Ms. Crosley’s other books would take notice of “Read Bottom Up.”

“Her voice is so beloved, and this book is so funny and witty,” Ms. Ziv said. “It will be fun for people to see Sloane’s multitude of talents.”

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