All Women's Talk

17 Incredibly Talented Writers Who Only Wrote One Novel ...

By Lyndsie

Do you know what I hate? Finding an author I love because of their description, their tone, their voice, their storytelling prowess, and/or their raw talent, only to discover that I cannot read any other books by them … because they only wrote the one. That makes me so sad. That's not to say I'm not grateful for the books these amazing one-off writers actually wrote, just that I want more. What can I say? I'm a greedy reader. These talented writers who only wrote one novel, for the most part, left me craving for more:

1 Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

I love Wuthering Heights and I love the Bronte sisters, but I never really got into them, you know what I mean? So I had no idea this was Emily's only novel – but what a book!

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2 J.D. Salinger – the Catcher in the Rye

But everyone knows about J.D. Salinger, yes? I still wonder what else he might have written – but although there are rumors that he left behind more than enough material, I hope none it ever gets released. I don't know, as a fellow writer, I can understand why he never really wanted to publish much again. Although his short stories are phenomenal and his novella, Franny and Zooey, is a good read, nothing quite stacks up to The Catcher in the Rye.

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3 Harper Lee – to Kill a Mockingbird

Okay. This one is not technically true, however, Go Set a Watchman is surrounded by controversy. Yes, Harper Lee wrote it, and yes, it is now published and available for you to read, but so many rumors surrounding it insist that Nell didn't really want it published, so … who knows?

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4 Arthur Golden – Memoirs of a Geisha

I was SO MAD when I finished Memoirs of a Geisha, which is such a beautiful novel, and discovered that I couldn't read any other books by Arthur Golden. Still kinda mad, tbh.

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5 Sylvia Plath – the Bell Jar

The Bell Jar is … it's something. Sylvia Plath was something – something special and tragic and broken and glued back together. The only bright spot is that after you finish with The Bell Jar, you can go read Plath's poetry instead. All of it. ALL OF IT.

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6 Anna Sewell – Black Beauty

Ah, the book that sparked passionate horse love in children all across the world – and it's the only bit of Anne Sewell magic we get.

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7 John Kennedy Toole – a Confederacy of Dunces

This book, man. This book is amazeballs. I don't know, maybe it's so perfect that there's just no room for a follow-up.

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8 Oscar Wilde – the Picture of Dorian Gray

Don't worry. If you love Oscar Wilde's sharp wit and vivid turn of phrase, you can read his plays when you finish with the haunting tale of beautiful, self-indulgent Dorian Gray.

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9 Giuseppe Di Lampedusa – the Leopard

Oh, I would give about anything to read one more of Giuseppe's books. The Leopard is incredible.

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10 Ross Lockridge Jr. – Raintree County

Ditto here. Ross had a way with description and storytelling, and Raintree Country is just … I think I need to read it again, actually.

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11 Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison had so many meaningful things to say. If you haven't read Invisible Man, please do. Please. The perspective you'll gain from it is priceless.

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12 Arundhati Roy – the God of Small Things

Same. This is why I get sad about authors who only wrote one book. So many of them have such important things to share.

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13 Margaret Mitchell – Gone with the Wind

Margaret's personal story is almost as intriguing as her epic Southern classic. She hated the attention she received after publishing her novel, not to mention that she was not a fan of Atlanta society at the time.

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14 Marcel Proust – Remembrance of Things past (in Search of Lost Time)

I mean, it's technically true that Marcel Proust only wrote one book. It just had several volumes and a lot of pages. A lot.

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15 Boris Pasternak – Dr. Zhivago

Boris was a poet, yet Dr. Zhivago is one of the greatest, most tragic love stories ever written. I mean, there's a reason he won the Nobel for history.

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16 The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym - Edgar Allan Poe

Oh yes, this is technically true. By definition, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was the only novel Poe wrote.

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17 Antoine De Saint-Exupery – the Little Prince

Well, minus a few books on aviation, The Little Prince was it – but what a book to be known for!

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Do you get sad when you find out that your favorite authors haven't published many books?

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