A common trend among authors is to write a series of books – as opposed to standalone novels. On the other hand, some other authors write multiple standalone novels. But once in a while, along comes an author, who puts his heart and soul to produce a single, solitary masterpiece which touches the heart of everyone who reads it. So here is a list of some of these unique authors who have only written a single, great book – ever!
Brilliant Writers that created just 1 MasterpieceAugust 9, 2013 260 0 0
Harper Lee wrote her magnum opus, To Kill a Mockingbird, in 1961. This book deals with the issues of racism and discrimination in society. Despite being such a weighty topic, Lee has managed to incorporate a surprising amount of warmth and humor in her narrative. Harper Lee received the Pulitzer Prize as well as the appreciation of the masses. She attempted to write other novels, but gave up every time. Despite being first published more than 50 years back, this novel remains a modern classic and a bestseller. Harper Lee is now 87 years old is yet regarded as one of the greatest writers of her time, just for a single novel she wrote when she was 30.
Anna Sewell broke her ankles, early in her childhood, and thus remained an invalid for the rest of her life. This encouraged her to write about the humane treatment of animals, and this became the central theme of her great classic, Black Beauty. Sewell never intended to become a novelist and only began writing once she was 51 years old, taking a total of six years to complete her masterpiece. Black Beauty follows the hardship-ridden life of a horse, Black Beauty, who goes from master to master, rarely receiving kindness and warmth, but surviving nevertheless. Upon its release, the book became an immediate bestseller. Unfortunately, Anna Sewell died five months later, but she saw the initial success of her book.
Emily Brontë was one of the three famous Brontë sisters. She wrote her classic Wuthering Heights, in 1847, which became an instant hit among the crowd. The plot is of an intense love story between the two central characters which lead to the destruction of their lives and of those around. At first, Wuthering Heights was published under the pseudonym of Elis Bell, and was only published under her true name, Emily Brontë, after her death – which was within a year after the book was released. Yes, Emily Brontë died very young, at the age of 30, and hence only wrote one novel, but a great novel, nevertheless. Wuthering Heights is regarded as a classic and continues to be a favorite among many, through the generations.
Boris Pasternack initially started out translating English classics, such as Shakespear and Goethe, in Russian. In 1956, Pasternack finished writing his one and only book, Dr Zhivago, which he had started writing in the 1920s. This book deals with the happenings of the October Revolution, as well as the Second World War, which made it highly controversial at that time. So much, that it was banned by the USSR from ever being published. Eventually, this novel was smuggled into Milan, where it was published in 1957. It became an instantaneous success – so much that Boris Paternack received the Nobel Prize for Literature! This sure made the Communist Party furious. Pasternack never wrote another book, but continued translating English masterpieces. No wonder, in Russia, his translations are better remembered than his magnum opus, Dr Zhivago.
Kathryn Stockett, with her solitary novel, The Help, is a fairly new addition to the literary world. Stockett took five years to complete this novel, and had to face more than 60 rejections before it was accepted. The Help was finally published in 2009, and instantly made it to the top of the New York Bestseller List, and stubbornly stayed there for more than a 100 weeks. The story is set in the 1960s, and follows the lives of Afro-American maids who make their living looking after white kids in different households. The book deals with the issue of racial discrimination, and yet touches your very soul with every sentence. The Help is the first and last book (yet) by Kathryn Stockett, and one of those books one can’t forget.
So there you are – authors who only ever created a single literary jewel – which will be remembered for all eternity.