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Which author do you wish had written more?

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It's something that I often see on music forums; a musician dies (too many of those this year)  or a band split and the forums come alive with "what if" scenarios.

 

Don't think I've ever seen a similar conversation about authors though.

 

So, given the chance to wave a magic wand or something, which author would you have liked to have seen more from?

 

I would have to go VERY obvious - Stieg Larsson.  The fourth book put out by the family recently didn't really light my fire, and I would have loved to have seen further books by Stieg. It would have been good if the man himself could have seen the success that the books had.

 

The other obvious choice would be the Bronte sisters. All of them really, but especially Emily.

 

Probably less obvious these days would be Desmond Bagley. His books were some of the first adult fiction I ever read, and his books were enjoyable, fast-paced thrillers. I'd love to have more of those....

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Truman Capote.  Writing In Cold Blood just about finished him off, both creatively and personally, and he never completed another book.  (Answered Prayers remained unfinished.)  I wish that he could have recovered, and found peace with himself, and written more.  He was outstandingly talented.

 

Helene Hanff.  She wrote just a handful of books -- six, I think, not counting her historical or children's efforts -- and I find her such a warm, funny, engaging writer that I would love to have more of her on my shelf.

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There are two authors that currently come to my mind:

 

Robert Jordan, the author of one of my favourite epic fantasy series of all time.

 

Iain M. Banks, the author of a lot of good science-fiction books (I know he's also written some other books, but I haven't read those).

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Oh I totally agree with Capote!

 

I'd have to say Raymond Carver- the man was a brilliant short story writer and my favorite writer of all time. A heavy smoker, he died of lung cancer in 1988.

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George Gissing. He did a respectable body of work- about 35 novels I believe- but he caught a cold in 1903 and that was the end of him

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Jane Austen .. her two unfinished novels intrigue me a lot .. especially Sanditon .. I would have liked to see how it panned out (it has been finished .. but not by Jane!!) She was just getting into her stride :( 

Emily Bronte .. it's just shocking that we only got that one great novel from her  :cry2:  :cry2:  Would her other stories have been so passionate and with such destructive characters? PLUS more books might have inspired more Kate Bush songs :D;) win,win!! Yes, we should have had more from ALL the Bronte sisters .. cruel, cruel, world.

Sylvia Plath .. definitely would have loved to read more novels from Sylvia. Even though they'd probably lead me to dark places and not be good for me  :blush2: 

 

 

Some of the living need a shove too :D Come on Susanna Clarke  .. buck up!!!!  :o  :D 

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I totally agree with Sylvia Plath- The Bell Jar is one of my favorite books. Such a tragic life.

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I wish that J. R. R. Tolkien could have written more. The Lord of the Rings is the biggest influence for fantasy stories so his creativity for even one more novel could have shaped so much of what we read now.

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Arundhati Roy. She did write non-fiction in later years, but I'd love to read more of her wonderful poetic fiction.

 

Sue Townsend. No amount of books she published was enough. Still miss her writing.

 

And agreed about Tolkien and Austen. 

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first name that came to my head when I read the thread title was Stieg Larsson. I haven't even read the 4th book, I might look into it, but I agree with you, I enjoyed the first 3 very much and I think I read somewhere that he had planned to make it an 8 books series about Lisbeth Salander? it's really a pity he died so young.

 

I would have loved to read more by Oscar Wilde as well.

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Torrey Chanslor . She wrote two books in the 1930's-ish, entitled Our First Murder, Our Second Murder ; in them, two spinster aunts inherit a New York detective agency and hilarity ensues. The books are just delightful, but she felt that she should spend her time illustrating children's' books, cos that would encourage a new generation of readers, so gave up her writing career. Sniff.

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I can only agree with the Brontes and Jane Austen. 

 

It's all relative really: having read all Virginia Woolf's novels, I only wish she could have written more, although nine (ten if one includes Flush) is quite a good collection compared to many.  Equally, I can't get enough of JL Carr, although he still managed eight novels (although they were all very slim); Margaret Elphinstone is another.

 

However, there are definitely some who are very short. Not all are dead, so may yet produce more, but they've not done so for so long that it seems unlikely, so I've included them anyway.  They are (in no particular order!):

 

Harry Thompson:  only wrote one novel, This Thing of Darkness, a fictionalised account of the relationship between Charles Darwin and Robert Fitzroy - superb.  Died of lung cancer at the age of 45.

 

Keri Hulme: again, just the one novel, the Booker award winning The Bone People, although a follow-up has been on the cards for some time.

 

Erskine Childers: one novel again, the ground-breaking and superbly readable The Riddle of the Sands.  Shot for treason.

 

John Preston:  author of The Dig, a slim volume based on the discovery and excavation of the Sutton Hoo fin, a lovely read, but nothing since.

 

Ben Woolfenden:  another one-book writer of a genealogically based mystery, The Ruins of Time.  No idea what's happened since, but really enjoyed this first novel.

 

JG Farrell: author of half a dozen novels, including the Booker winner, The Siege of Krishnapur,and the Lost Booker winner, Troubles.  Drowned when swept away by a freak wave whilst fishing in his mid-40s.

 

Elizabeth Gaskell: quite a few short stories and novellas, but only four complete novels (and one completed by another). 

Edited by willoyd

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Sue Townsend. No amount of books she published was enough. Still miss her writing.

 

This. Absolutely.  :empathy:   :( 

 

 

I will also say Gaétan Soucy, who only wrote four books (and only two of those have been translated into Finnish :( ), then he died. :( He was only 54 :( 

 

John Kennedy Toole. Two novels, one of which he wrote when he was 16. That sort of talent at that age! I'm sorry he didn't feel he could carry on :( 

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Another one over here for Austen, Tolkien and Virginia Woolf. I'd also add George Orwell to the list. I wish he would have lived a long time to see the Cold War and the fall of communism. I've often wondered how a dialogue between Christopher Hitchens and him would be like. 

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Yes it would have been interesting to see what Orwell had to say about today's society full of cameras and people's every move being mentioned on social media, and having read The Picture of Dorian Gray last year I'd love to have seen what Oscar Wilde would make of today's celebrity culture and yes, social media, I think he would have loved it (and probably loathed it too).

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For the most part, there are no authors I wish had written more before they died.  As much as I love Austen et al, I love the legacy they've left, and who's to say if they'd written more it would be as good as what had come before? :dunno:
 
There's only one author I want to have written more, but he's still alive so doesn't really count ... come on Jasper Fforde - more Thursday Next and more Nursery Crimes books please!!! :lol:

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I'd love to have seen what Oscar Wilde would make of today's celebrity culture and yes, social media, I think he would have loved it (and probably loathed it too).

 

It does seem that Wilde had a very conflicted relationship with his own aesthetic philosophy of art and beauty for their own sakes, utterly divorced from moral considerations. I used to think that he meant it completely ironically, but have since read too many expository quotes indicating otherwise. However, the heavy irony in his dramas, as well as the very clearly critical message in Picture also indicate a significant measure of disapproval for the self-indulgent aesthetics of popular society and culture. An ambivalent man in many things, was Mr. Wilde. 

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Probably a bit of an 'out-there' choice, but I'd plump for Howard Fast. He was a prolific author, but I would have loved to see more of his historical fiction set in the classical period. His Spartacus still gives me chills.

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I got that impression from Dorian Gray as well, he certainly seemed to love and loathe that self-indulgence.

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I got that impression from Dorian Gray as well, he certainly seemed to love and loathe that self-indulgence.

 

I wonder what he would make of the entire Aesthetic movement he inspired, which certainly takes what he said at face-value, and is probably responsible for a lot of the more shameless trends in modern arts. 

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