Literary One Hit Wonders
The other day my husband was scraping the bottom of the entertainment barrel. He found a show counting down the best music of the 90s. And I have to admit that in spite of the fact that I was hard at work on a critique for Miz Anita Mae, I kept getting sucked in too.
Anyone else remember Informer or Jump Around or Rico Suave?
Anyway, that silly show got me to thinking about the same phenomenon in books. So here is my top ten Literary One Hit Wonders.
10. Ben-Hur by Lewis Wallace
9. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
7. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
6. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
2. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Not all of these authors only wrote one book, but they all only had one great success.
If you had the choice would you rather write one book that was guaranteed to be a timeless classic or several moderately popular novels? (My hats off to those authors who have achieved both!) Oh, and do you know of any other literary one hit wonders?
Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her first novella, Impressed by Love, part of the Colonial Courtships collection, is coming in May, 2012.