In an effort to curtail gauche cocktail references to “that dude who wrote Fight Club,” the latest Vanity Fair offers a phonetic spelling of Chuck Palahniuk’s elusive last name: Paula-nick. Now the Voice is doing its part to help readers avoid embarrassing pronunciation pratfalls. What follows is a selection from our Authoritative Guide to Saying Authors’ Names Right. So next time you’re invited to Planet Plimpton, carry this crib sheet—and relax.
Palahniuk: Polo-na-hook (replaces Vanity Fair version)
Rhys: The s is silent
Wurtzel: Pronounced with a V
LeRoy: Rhymes with La Croix
Houllebecq: Hail Beck
Murdoch: Say as one syllable
Vidal: Rhymes with fiddle
Eugenides: You Genies
Lethem: Second e is long
Safran Foer: Saffron [pause] Fore!
Komunyakaa: Sounds like it’s spelled
—Michael Miller (Mitchell Mahler)