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!
$6.15 at amazon.com
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.
$7.19 at amazon.com
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?
$5.89 at amazon.com
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.
$9.04 at amazon.com
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.
$8.79 at amazon.com
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.
$6.99 at amazon.com
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.
$6.83 at amazon.com
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.
$3.60 at amazon.com
9. Giuseppe Di Lampedusa – the Leopard
Oh, I would give about anything to read one more of Giuseppe's books. The Leopard is incredible.
$13.88 at amazon.com
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.
$10.70 at amazon.com
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.
$9.99 at amazon.com
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.
$10.45 at amazon.com
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.
$9.63 at amazon.com
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.
$9.66 at amazon.com
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.
$8.17 at amazon.com
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.
$5.49 at amazon.com
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!
$5.63 at amazon.com
Do you get sad when you find out that your favorite authors haven't published many books?