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One Hit Wonders


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#31 GordonCooks

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

Alan Greenspan


Oh, I loved Dr.Zhivago!
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#32 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:20 PM

Dr. Johnson, of course, of course.


Another writer who's not primarily a novelist, though.
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#33 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

Henry Roth
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#34 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

Buglakov (at least in the West) (also posthumous, I guess)
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#35 g.johnson

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

There are plenty of novelists who are now known primarily for one work. Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, John Bunyan, Horace Walpole, Bram Stoker*.

* Which reminds me: Mary Shelley.
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#36 Rich

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

NORA JOHNSON

#37 mongo_jones

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:20 PM

Herman Melville.


he may be identified with only one by the hoi polloi (cf. physicists) but he wrote a bunch of good stuff.

actual one hit wonder: david foster wallace

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#38 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:26 PM


Sylvia Plath: I guess I'd exclude people who died young for whatever reason. She was 30 when she died, as was Emily Bronte.


That excludes Toole as well, doesn't it?


I guess so.

#39 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:27 PM


Oh, fucking Tolkien.


Isn't he either a two- or a four-novel author? (You're going to be hearing so much about The Hobbit in the upcoming years that it's going to make you puke.)


Yes, silly me: The Hobbit is the better book in so many ways.

#40 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:27 PM

Henry Roth


No, after a long pause, he came back with a multi-volume late work.

#41 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

Do we consider Young Torless to be read?


Yes. In the sense that Musil would be remembered, if only among German readers, if he hadn't written MWQ.

#42 Sneakeater

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:33 PM


Henry Roth


No, after a long pause, he came back with a multi-volume late work.


Sure. But, at least as compared to Call It Sleep, how many people read it?

(I guess I'm confused about the criteria here.)
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#43 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

I didn't mean to muddy the waters by suggesting we count writers who, although they wrote a number of novels, are remembered today only for one.

I was just covering off the fact that even the genuine one hit wonders may have made a stab at a follow-up or even had something else published. The difference is subtle, but I think valid. Mary Shelley wrote a bunch of novels, as did Melville (and his are still read).

Defoe - it depends how you count the plague journal, which is certainly still read. It's presented as non-fiction, but I think it's invention.

#44 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:36 PM

(I guess I'm confused about the criteria here.)


It is confusing. I am hopeless.