HuffPo on Literary One-Hit Wonders

Huff­Po has pulled togeth­er a list of The 12 Great­est Lit­er­ary One-Hit Won­ders. And it’s a strange list indeed. When you think of “one-hit won­ders,” you think of mem­o­rable songs record­ed by very unmem­o­rable artists – artists who got their 15 min­utes of fame and then fell right off the radar. Mean­while, the Huff­Po list includes some of the most endur­ing names in Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture  –  F. Scott Fitzger­ald, J.D. Salinger, and Her­man Melville. They gave us their big nov­els – The Great Gats­by, The Catch­er in the Rye, and Moby Dickthen wrote some oth­er last­ing pieces of fic­tion, both short and long. They hard­ly fad­ed into obliv­ion. And, years lat­er, we’re cer­tain­ly not ask­ing, “what ever hap­pened to old what’s his name?”

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  • Mike says:

    Yes, the premise of this exer­cise was real­ly absurd. As if we should judge a writer poor­ly because he or she cre­at­ed “only” one mas­ter­piece. There’s a big dif­fer­ence between a hit and a work that endures. In Fitzger­ald’s case, for exam­ple, “The Great Gats­by” was­n’t even a hit. His debut nov­el, “This Side of Par­adise,” was a much more pop­u­lar and com­mer­cial­ly suc­ces­ful book in his life­time.

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