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Wanda Tinasky is a possible pseudonym for the "reclusive" author Thomas Pynchon.

Wanda wrote over 250 pages of letters to the editors of two small Mendocino County, California newspapers, the Commentary and the Anderson Valley Advertiser, throughout the 1980's. Interestingly enough, the letters stopped abruptly in 1988, a year and a half before Thomas Pynchon published Vineland in 1990.

The letters are whacked. Wanda describes herself variously as a bag lady, Russian emigre, eighty-year-old jewish woman, and a lady who lives under a bridge and sometimes uses the Anderson Valley Advertiser as underwear.(She wrote most of her letters to the AVA, the Mendocino County Commentary banned her early on.)

Of course, she also knew the Mendocino county literary scene well enough to write scathing attacks on various poets--She called the poetry in the Mendocino Commentary a "a disservice to poets and to children"-- and demonstrated a "close familiarity with the theological writings of Nicholas of Cusa."

Most prominent Thomas Pynchon scholars deny that Wanda and Pynchon are the same person, but there is some evidence, and some fluff, to back up the idea. Vineland is set in a very Mendocino-like area, and the timing seems right. Wanda claims to have worked at Boeing, and Pynchon worked at Boeing as a technical writer in the early 1960's. Also, from a scholarly point of view, the prose style is superficially similar, and political themes that dominate Pynchon's work also dominate Wanda's--conspiracy, secrecy, egalitarianism.

AVA Press (and later TR Factor) reprinted the letters as "The Letters of Wanda Tinasky to the AVA", and Thomas Pynchon, through his literary agency, denied authorship and demanded that "the work not be released under his name." No real consensus exists, but you can decide for yourself-- Amazon has copies for sale, and so does http://members.aol.com/tinasky/ (the aol one looks cheaper, and with less karma damage)

Most info in my writeup came from an article in LinguaFranca-- http://www.linguafranca.com/9509/pynchon.html

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