Monday, August 11, 2014

5 True Literary One-Hit Wonders

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(Excerpt - Read the Entire Article) 

There are a few notable, true one-hit wonders of the literary world, however. These books were the sole major literary output of their authors, despite the genius shown within their pages and the warm receptions they were given by audiences: 
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Emily Brontë, like many one-hitters, qualifies for a tragic reason: an early death. Brontë was 30 years old when she caught a cold during the funeral of her brother, Branwell. Her health rapidly deteriorated, and she died three months later. By that time, aside from a smattering of juvenilia and poetry, Brontë’s brilliant writing talent had only produced one great work:Wuthering Heights, which was published only a year before her death. Though it had garnered shocked and disgusted reactions from her contemporaries, the grotesque imagery and raw passion of the book has since contributed to its long life as a literary classic.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Though Sewell lived a life surrounded by letters -- her mother wrote children’s books, which Sewell sometimes helped edit -- her one book arose from a specific passion rather than a general writerly impulse. Disabled throughout most of her life following an injury as a young girl, Sewell frequently drove a horse-drawn carriage to retain her mobility as she was increasingly unable to walk. She felt a deep affinity with horses and believed they should be treated more gently, and she wrote Black Beauty in the last years of her life in the hopes of fostering greater sympathy for horses among those who worked with them. Sewell died not long after the publication of the book, which became a sensation and is even credited with improving conditions for working horses in Britain.
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell spent several years working on Gone With the Wind, initially to pass the time while she recovered from an injury. The book was a smash hit and a critical success, but Mitchell did not continue to write; she took a break from literary pursuits and spent World War II volunteering. In 1949, when Mitchell was just 48, she was struck by a car and killed while crossing a street in Atlanta. Though some of Mitchell’s earlier writings, including a novella and some short stories, were published posthumously, no other significant work of hers has surfaced.
Read the Entire Article - Included are bytes on Harper Lee and Jack Kerouac, Ralph Ellison and Ross Lockridge

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