Judging Books by Their (Working) Titles

For those of you interested in judging books by their titles, David McKie (“The Great Trimalchio,” the Guardian commentisfree) investigates what playwright Neil LaBute calls “a rarely considered miniature art form”: book titles. Many trivia fans already know that Margaret Mitchell considered calling Gone with the Wind the more pedestrian Pansy–but how many know that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise had a working title of The Education of a Personage?

Four years ago, Bill Ott wrote about working titles in the Back Page, and even offered a quiz on the subject. And if you knew that Farewell, My Lovely had a brief existence as Zounds, He Dies, I want you on my pub-quiz team, if I ever get around to starting one.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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