Sunday, December 07, 2014

Five novelists who were one-hit wonders

One of five authors who became famous after publishing a single novel and never published another one, as tagged by John Bardinelli at The Barnes & Noble Book Blog:
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Harper Lee always had a strong interest in English literature. During her college years she wrote a number of short stories and eventually secured in agent in 1956. Her very next piece was the original manuscript for To Kill a Mockingbird. It read more like a collection of stories than a unified narrative, so for the next two and a half years she worked with an editor to turn it into the novel we still write book reports about today.

Lee is notoriously reclusive and declines nearly every interview and speech request that comes her way. Many suspect she’s secretly working on another book, which is possibly the least dramatic but most tantalizing conspiracy theory I’ve heard in months. After To Kill a Mockingbird’s release, Lee was reported to have started writing a second book, The Long Goodbye. She eventually shelved it for unknown reasons. Then, Lee started on a non-fiction book about a serial murderer in Alabama, but that, too, was filed away.
Read about another entry on the list.

To Kill a Mockingbird made Ellie Irving's top ten list of quiet heroes and heroines, a list of five books that changed Richelle Mead, Robert Williams's top ten list of loners in fiction, Alyssa Bereznak's top ten list of literary heroes with weird names, Louise Doughty's top ten list of courtroom dramas, Hanna McGrath's top fifteen list of epic epigraphs, the Telegraph's list of ten great meals in literature, Nicole Hill's list of fourteen characters their creators should have spared, Isla Blair's six best books list, Lauren Passell's list of ten pairs of books made better when read together, Charlie Fletcher's top ten list of adventure classics, Sheila Bair's 6 favorite books list, Kathryn Erskine's top ten list of first person narratives, Julia Donaldson's six best books list, TIME magazine's top 10 list of books you were forced to read in school, John Mullan's list of ten of the best lawyers in literature, John Cusack's list of books that made a difference to him, Lisa Scottoline's top ten list of books about justice, and Luke Leitch's list of ten literary one-hit wonders. It is one of Sanjeev Bhaskar's six best books and one of Alexandra Styron's five best stories of fathers and daughters.

--Marshal Zeringue