Do I refer to the character (who is also the author) by her first name in my essay?

Do I refer to the character (who is also the author) by her first name in my essay?
In the book I’m writing my paper on, the author (Audre Lorde) is the main character of the story, since it is an autobiography.

When I’m writing about her, do I refer to her as Audre, since that’s her name in the book? Or since the book is based on the author, I would refer to her as Lorde?

So if Audre Lorde wrote this in her autobiography: “I was born on January 1, 2014”.. If I were to include that, would I say Audre was born January 1, or Lorde was born January 1..

Sorry for the long/convoluted explanation!


My last name is Lord, too. Few people call me Mr. Lord because it is so formal sounding.

Normally, you would refer to someone by their last name or by both names. Using just their first name in an essay sounds overly familiar. I don’t think you would refer to Ernest Hemingway as Ernest.

I think you have to go more by the sound of it, and from my own experience, Lord or Lorde is a unique name.

I would do it this way: Audre Lorde writes in her biography that she was born in Greenwich England in 1642. When she was 11, her family moved to London. In her biography she writes that she was a lonely child. When she was 14, she fell off a horse.

So, mostly you would use She or Her. Since you are only talking about one person, it will be clear who you are talking about. If you need to be clear about who you are referring to, you can say her full name, Audre Lorde. Or refer to her as Lorde, even though is sounds a bit odd because Lorde is a unique name that also refers to the Son of God of Christianity. I had a football coach who would curse and say, “Oh, Lord” and I thought he wanted to put me in the game but he meant something else.

I think mostly after the beginning, you can get by with mostly She and Her. I wouldn’t call her Audre. And you can refer to her as Lorde if you want to be clear.