It is hard to believe that authors who have written best-sellers novels have bad books too. Writing the first novel is always hard. The novel can be a failure, get mixed reviews or be a failure first and then over the years become a classic. Here we have listed down 7 authors whose first book was a flop.
List of Famous Authors Whose First Book Was A Flop:
- Emily Brontë: Author of “Wuthering Heights”
- D. H Lawrence: Author of “The White Peacock”
- Ernest Hemingway: Author of “The Torrents of The Spring”
- David Foster Wallace: Author of “The Broom Of The System”
- Phillip Pullman: Author of “The Haunted Storm”
- Tobias Wolff: Author of “Ugly Rumours”
- John Updike: Author of “The Poorhouse Fair”
Emily Brontë: Author of “Wuthering Heights”
Wuthering Heights when it first was published was not considered a classic as it is now. Thus we have included this in the list of 7 authors whose first book was a flop. It was rejected by the publishers and hence, Emily self-published the book. Wuthering Heights shocked Victorian critics with its violence, passionate characters, and amoral plot. While some reviewers admired its creativity, others downright hated it. Emily Brontë lived in Yorkshire with her clergyman father; brother, Branwell Brontë; and two sisters, Charlotte and Anne. The sisters enjoyed writing poetry and novels, which they published under pseudonyms. Ellis Bell was Emily’s pen name. She has also published poetry with her sisters Charlotte and Anne. Even though it is considered a classic it still receives mixed reviews from the critics.
D. H Lawrence: Author of “The White Peacock”
Lawrence’s first novel The White Peacock is an exploration of the interpersonal influences that cause unhappiness in relationships and is based on the lives of three individuals, Lettie and George and Leslie. This novel first published in 1911 did not receive good reviews. Thus this author is also in our list of famous authors whose first book was a flop. David H. Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific work includes novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism, and personal letters.
Ernest Hemingway: Author of “The Torrents of The Spring”
The first book by Ernest Hemingway published in 1926, The Torrents of Spring is a parody of the Chicago school of literature. The book pokes fun at that “great race” of writers, it also depicts the fashion in writing that Hemingway refused to follow. The Torrents of Spring is a parody of Sherwood Anderson’s Dark Laughter, poking fun at American and British writers akin to Anderson such as D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, and John Dos Passos. The book received mixed reviews from the critics and was not liked by many.
David Foster Wallace: Author of “The Broom Of The System”
The Broom Of The System is the first novel by the American author David Foster Wallace. The book was published in 1987 when Foster was just twenty-four years old. The book is about Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman and is set in the year 1990. She lives in a the place that is slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her boyfriend, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her parrot named Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started speaking a mixture of psycho-chatter. The novel had too much going resulting in mixed reviews.
Phillip Pullman: Author of “The Haunted Storm”
The Haunted Storm is the first novel by Phillip Pullman published in 1972. Phillip Pullman was only twenty five years old when it was published. The book follows violence and death in a small village which results in discontent and suspicion that divides the community. Matthew who is involved in the investigation, finds his spiritual problems have a greater depth of reality. In the final disastrous confrontation in the ruined Mithraic Temple does Mathew get to glimpse the possibility of calmness inside him. The book did not do well when it was published and can be considered as a flop book. Even the author declines to talk about it and at his request it has never been re-published.
Tobias Wolff: Author of “Ugly Rumours”
The Ugly Rumours is the first novel by Tobias Wolff. It was first published in 1975. The book is set during Vietnam War and is about two special forces soldiers that attempt to avoid combat duty. It was only published in Britain. The book did not do well and was never re-printed again. The author himself called Ugly Rumours terrible. So we falls in our list of famous authors whose first book was a flop
John Updike: Author of “The Poorhouse Fair”
The Poorhouse Fair is the first novel by John Updike published in 1958. John Updike was twenty-six when the novel was published. The book follows a ninety-four-year-old John Hook, a dying man who refuses to be dominated. His world is a poorhouse county home for the aged overseen by Stephen Conner, a young man who considers it his duty to know what is best for others. The novel unfolds over a single day in summer, the day of the poorhouse’s annual fair, a day of full of increasing tensions between Conner and Hook. The novel received mixed reviews after its publication. Many critics called the book a hearty but not very successful first novel.