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NPR Arts & Life

Not My Job: Richard Price (AKA Harry Brandt) Gets Quizzed On Pseudonyms

Richard Price is also the author of, among other books, Clockers, Freedomland and The Wanderers.

Novelist Richard Price has spent his career writing about cops, but he didn't really get to know one until relatively late in life. "I had never met a cop before I was, like, 35," Price tells NPR's Peter Sagal. "I had no reason to. And I just got addicted to what you can see ... from the back of a police car."

For his latest book, The Whites, Price decided to use a pseudonym: Harry Brandt. (In retrospect he decided that was a bad idea: "It was going to be different from my other books and I wanted to signal that," he told Fresh Air, but by the time he realized it was just "another damn book by me" it was too late to withdraw the pen name.)

So we've decided to ask Price — also the author of The Wanderers, Clockers, Freedomland and Lush Life — three questions about other people who have used fake names.

Click the "listen" link above to find out whether Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey used his online persona to, a) discuss his secret love of Hostess snack cakes, b) argue about Gilligan's Island, or c) praise his own haircut.

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