” I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” – Peter De Vries
Literary wonks have always had a soft spot for one book wonders, perhaps it is a touch of schradenfreude (I never get to use that word enough) or more likely a large dollop of there but for the grace of God go I. Early fame, never repeated, now that’s simply tragic. This fascination has given us Michael Chabon’s Wonder boys and Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester. Even a sort of literary Groundhog Day where Harper Lee emerges to view her very long shadow (NYT).
just a few on the short list:
John Kennedy Toole Confederacy Of Dunces
Margaret Mitchell Gone With The Wind
Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm
Arundhati Roy The God Of Small Things
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
Frederick Exley A Fan’s Notes: A Fictional Memoir
Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird
Dow Mossman Stones of Summer
J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye though I suppose technically Salinger isn’t a 1 book wonder…perhaps more of a 2 books & 9 story wonder.
In other news 78 year old Gabriel Garcia Marquez says he has stopped writing, with some authors 18 books isn’t enough.