Ross Macdonald


Sir, - The late Ross Macdonald's troubles with his pen name (letters, December 10th) raised a certain wry smile here. When his publisher, Knopf, bought my novel The World from Rough Stones in 1974, they said I'd have to pick another name since their computer treated a hyphen as if it were a space and our royalty statements might get mixed.

I said I wouldn't really object if they did, but they thought he would. So I had to pick a pen name. In fact, I ended up with three. I just wonder if there's a baptised Malcolm Macdonald, a Malcolm Ross, or an M. R. O'Donnell out there who has, in turn, had to write under a different name because of me? - Yours, etc., Malcolm Ross Macdonald,


Co Offaly.