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I am a children's writer from the Virgin Islands. Growing up there was like living inside a history book; an imagination stimulator. Consequently I've been writing for just about forever. I am a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and a member of SCBWI.

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I post on Monday and Thursday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Not the Quantity...

...it's the quality

Yes, there are plenty of authors who are/were prolific, who have written volumes and left their mark. But what about those who haven't written volumes? My point is, one doesn't necessarily need to write a ton a books. What one needs to do is write what you want because you want to. Even if you have only one book in you, it may well be enough.

So, let's take a look at some authors who wrote only one novel.  I have linked each book back to a Goodreads page.

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird (Read - has anyone not read it?)
To Kill a Mockingbird

Boris Pasternak: Dr. Zhivago (Not read - Would like to read)
Doctor Zhivago












Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights (Read)
Wuthering Heights












Margaret Mitchell: Gone With the Wind (Read)
Gone with the Wind

Ann Swell: Black Beauty (Read)
Black Beauty

Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Read)
The Picture of Dorian Gray

John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy of Dunces (Not read - Would like to read)
A Confederacy of Dunces
Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar (Read)
The Bell Jar

Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things (Not read - Would like to read)
The God of Small Things












Austin Tappan Wright: Islandia (Read - a BIG favorite and one I reread every ten years or so.)
Islandia

Isaac Rosenfeld: Passage from Home (Not read -Would like to read)
Passage from Home

Randall Jerrell: Pictures from an Institute (Not read - Would like to read - I have read his children's book, The Bat-Poet)
Pictures From an Institution

Lionel Trilling: The Middle of the Journey (Not read - Would like to read)
The Middle of the Journey

John Okada: No-No Boy (Not read - Would like to read)
No-No Boy

Norman Fruchter: Coat Upon a Stick (Not read)
Coat Upon a Stick

Daniel James (Danny Santiago): Famous All Over Town (Not read - Would like to read)
Famous All over Town

Walter Miller, Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (Read - fabulous)
A Canticle for Leibowitz

And here are a few authors who wrote other novels but are remembered for just one.

Ralph Ellison: The Invisible Man (Read)
Invisible Man













J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye (Read)
The Catcher in the Rye
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (Read)
The Great Gatsby

Herman Melville: Moby-Dick (Tried to read)
Moby-Dick

Jack Kerouac: On the Road (Read)
On the Road

William Golding: Lord of the Flies (Read)
Lord of the Flies

Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre (Read)
Jane Eyre

Antoine de Saint-Exupery: The Little Prince (Read - of course!)
The Little Prince & Letter to a Hostage=

Joseph Heller: Catch-22 (Read)
Catch-22

Kathleen Windsor: Forever Amber (Not read - Would like to read)
Forever Amber

Grace Metalious: Payton Place (Not read)
Peyton Place

Richard Hooker: M. A. S. H. (Not read)
Mash: A Novel About Three Army Doctors

Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest (Read - though some people prefer Sometimes A Great Notion.)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Kenneth Graham: The Wind in the Willows (Read - Wish I had my original copy...)
The Wind in the Willows

Michael Ende: The Neverending Story (Read - Absolutely MUCH better than the movie!)
The Neverending Story

Peter S. Beagle: The Last Unicorn (Read - a favorite)
The Last Unicorn

Kurk Wagner: The Book of the Dun Cow (Read - Excellent!)
The Book of the Dun Cow (Chauntecleer the Rooster, #1)

A. Merritt: The Moon Pool (Not read - Would like to read)
The Moon Pool

Bram Stoker: Dracula (Not read)
Dracula

Mordecai Roshwald: Level 7 (Read)
Level 7


Richard Adams: Watership Down (Read)
Watership Down

James Barrie: Peter Pan (Read - of course!)
Peter Pan

Mary Shelly: Frankenstein (Read)
Frankenstein

Miguel Cervantes: Don Quixote (Read)
Don Quixote

John Knowles: A Separate Peace (Read)
A Separate Peace

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange (Read)
A Clockwork Orange

How many of these books have your read? Which of these haven't you read but would like to? 

11 comments:

Susanne Drazic said...

That's quite an impressive list. I have read a couple of them. Have to admit I hadn't heard of a few of them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Richard Adams only wrote one book? I didn't know that. (And that's one of my favorite books.)

Laura Marcella said...

I've read 20 of these listed. I should have read more! I recognize them all; I need a thousand lifetimes to read all the books I want to read!

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite novels. I wish Harper Lee had written other books, but I'm so so grateful she wrote this one.

Anne Gallagher said...

I've read a few on the list.

Makes me wonder why I strive to make a name for myself by writing prolifically. All I really need is just one great book. hah If it were only that easy.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I've read a lot of these, but several I don't know. Thanks Bish. This is a great list and a great reminder that quantity isn't always the best.

Barbara Watson said...

Fascinating to see it compiled like this. I often wish Harper Lee had written more, but on the other hand, her one book is so perfectly perfect.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's an impressive list of one hit wonders.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bish .. I'm afraid I haven't read many of those - but what a wonderful list ... something I should keep and tick off .. as I read ..

Interesting post .. thanks for telling us .. cheers Hilary

Ghadeer said...

I've read most of these. And this is a great way to prove how quality is more important than quantity.

Although, did you JD Salinger has apparently written books other than 'The Catcher in the Rye' but forbids them to be published? That makes me so curious!

DL Hammons said...

Wow. Somebody has done their homework. Impressive! :)

J.L. Campbell said...

An interesting selection, Bish. Didn't know about quite a few of these.