Sunday, August 16, 2015

Undiscovered Authors

Norman A. Fox.  Never heard of him?  Neither had I until I picked up one of his novels at the local book sale.  I enjoyed "Rope the Wind" so much that I decided to look up the author.  Mr. Fox actually has a website online and I was very much surprised to learn that he'd written over 200 short stories, thirty-one novels, and had movies made from four of  his novels starring actors like Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, and Jimmy Stewart.

I always find it strange that such successful authors are very rarely remembered by later generations.  Makes you wonder why writers try so hard to become famous.  Fame is so very fleeting and in the end it's the work that should make us feel successful not all the pats on the back about how great and wonderful a writer you are.  Just musing here.  Have any of you stumbled on a writer with a large body of work that you'd never heard of but found their words well worth the reading?

10 comments:

RK said...

I just read an article about John Marquand in the current Nostalgia Digest. He wrote mostly literary works, but was also the author of the Mr. Moto detective series. He appeared on the cover of both Time and Newsweek the same week in the late '40s. But is he still famous today?

sandra seamans said...

Probably not, RK, but then again people are still reading and talking about his work. Maybe I'm not thinking so much about the fame part but of people still reading your work long after you're gone.

Charles Gramlich said...

I think there are a lot of such writers. I stumble over them occasionally.

sandra seamans said...

You're probably right, Charles. And it made me think that with the ebook revolution that we might never find some writers. At least with printed books you can find these authors in used bookstores.

Tammy said...

I was at the Writer's Digest Annual Conference earlier this month. Jacqueline Woodson gave the keynote address. She was introduced with a laundry list of award including Newbery, Coretta Scott King, National Book Award (more than once), Caldecott... She took the podium, raised her right hand and said, "How many of you don't know me from a can of paint?" and at least half this audience of authors, raised their hands! So even when you're CURRENTLY a hot item, your fame is still fleeting.

sandra seamans said...

I suspect that the majority of writers find themselves in that situation, Tammy. I sometimes wonder what it is that makes one author's stand out after they've passed away and so many others just disappear.

Wenda Morrone said...

I nominate William Altshuler. Not sure I have even spelled his name correctly. He was born during/shortly after the Civil War and died in the nineteen-teens, so fifty perhaps? And wrote a series about the French and Indian war. 400 page small print books, intended for middle-school boys. Never heard of him, right? He was still in print at the turn of the 21st century. He's just a good read. Two men who referred to him as a major influence were--ta da--Mario Puzo and Saul Bellow. Look him up. You'll enjoy him.

sandra seamans said...

Sounds like a great author to discover, Wenda.

Leroy Vaughn said...

One of my favorite books is Valhalla by Jere Peacock. He died in 1979 at the age of 42.
I read Valhalla for the first time in 1968, when I was stationed in Japan. It's a story about Marines stationed in Japan after the Korean war.

sandra seamans said...

I love finding books that echo the time and place that I find myself in, Leroy. For me recently it was the book "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd another author who was new to me.