When Novelistic Brilliance Jumps Many Years

Herman Wouk in the 1980s. (ABC/Getty Images.)

If authors have two or more great novels in them, those books might be written within a relatively short period of time before the creative well dries up a bit or a lot. But other authors have written great novels many years apart; this post will focus on several instances involving a more-than-quarter-century gap.

I’m currently reading War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk’s devastatingly superb 1,039-page opus about World War II and the Holocaust. That 1978 novel — which frequently focuses on the lives of the fictional Henry family: U.S. Navy man Victor, his never-boring wife Rhoda, their pilot son Warren, their go-getter daughter Madeline, and their submariner son Byron (married to a Jewish woman, Natalie, trapped in Europe) — was published 27 years after Wouk’s terrific The Caine Mutiny (1951). A fairly large gap for brilliant books.

Published exactly a century before The Caine Mutiny was Herman Melville’s iconic Moby-Dick (1851), which predated Melville’s final stellar novel, Billy Budd, by nearly 40 years. Billy Budd was written shortly before the author’s 1891 death, and finally published posthumously in 1924.

Speaking of posthumous publication, Leo Tolstoy’s excellent short novel Hadji Murat came out in 1912 — two years after the author’s death and 45 years after the release of his legendary War and Peace (1867). Hadji Murat was written between 1896 and 1904 — still a long time after 1867.

Erich Maria Remarque’s memorable All Quiet on the Western Front came out in 1929, and his even-better-in-some ways The Night in Lisbon in 1962.

Just two years shorter than that impressive 33-year span was the time between Victor Hugo’s classics The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) and Les Miserables (1862).Β 

Also clocking in at 31 years apart were Daphne du Maurier’s renowned Rebecca (1938) and her compelling time-travel novel The House on the Strand (1969).

How about a 44-year gap? Colette’s hilarious debut novel Claudine at School came out in 1900 and her most famous work, Gigi, in 1944. What I consider her best novel, The Vagabond, was published in 1910 — still 34 years before Gigi.

Also published in 1944 was W. Somerset Maugham’s gripping The Razor’s Edge — 29 years after his magnum opus Of Human Bondage (1915).

While they weren’t Charles Dickens’ best books, his very funny debut novel The Pickwick Papers (1836) and his very good Our Mutual Friend (1864) came out 28 years apart — with of course quite a few ultra-famous works in between: David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, etc. 

Margaret Atwood? Her depressingly terrific The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985 and its mostly excellent sequel The Testaments 34 years later in 2019 — with, a la Dickens, some wonderful novels in between: Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, etc.

John Steinbeck’s first major novelistic success was Tortilla Flat (1935) and his last was The Winter of Our Discontent (1961) — a healthy 26 years apart. Twenty-six years that saw iconic works such as The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.

Any other large gaps between great novels you’d like to discuss? Any thoughts on the ones I mentioned?

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com every Thursday. The latest piece — about such topics as COVID’s latest impact on my town’s schools — is here.

133 thoughts on “When Novelistic Brilliance Jumps Many Years

  1. I don’t know enough about authors.
    Harper Lee?
    She wrote only 2 books: To Kill a Mockingbird (published 1960)
    Go Set a Watchman (published 2015, posthumously)) However, it is said she wrote Go Set a Watchman in the 1950’s as a first draft of To kill a Mockingbird. The publisher promoted it as a sequel.

    My best shot on today’s topic!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s interesting to consider the ebb and flow of the creative spirit. Sometimes, it’s hard to follow due to dry spells. Sometimes, the author, artist or craftsman moved on to a different form of expression. Then there are authors who are no longer with us, as we sit and wish we had one more book of theirs to read.

    Great post David.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Dan! πŸ™‚ Excellent observations!

      The creative spirit does indeed ebb and flow, and sometimes novelists do spend time with other things — nonfiction, non-writing work, activism, family time, etc.

      And, yes, it would be nice to have seen one or more books from deceased authors, especially those who died young. Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Stephen Crane, Jack London, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Dave, I have just landed here for the first time to thank you for following CarolCooks2…I love this post and the comments it reminded me of books I have read and loved but also books I need to reread…Like Robbie, I loved Enid Blyton as a child…Have a fabulous weekend πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol! Happy to follow your excellent blog, which I visited after listening today to that terrific podcast you did with the wonderful Rebecca Budd.

      Glad you liked the post! When reading book posts, I also enjoy the feeling of seeing novels I’ve loved and want to reread — though it’s hard to find time to reread. 😦

      Have a great weekend, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your kind words on my first public interview with the lovely Rebecca..the next one is on” spices”…
        My reading has been very sporadic this year..I broke my kindle and am still trying to order a new one …books take forever to arrive here unless I pay Amazons exorbitant shipping fees…but I am getting back on track and gleaned a few ideas from your post and the comments…I really did enjoy the read and broke the habit of a lifetime as I never do follow for follow and I did…Looking forward to your next post and reading some previous ones, Dave … πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • I look forward to your next podcast with Rebecca, Carol!

          Sorry about your Kindle and those high Amazon shipping fees. (That company is certainly not hurting for money.)

          Thank you for the follow! I’m very flattered!


    • Thank you, Endless Weekend!

      Eighteen years (1967 to 1985) is definitely a healthy gap. πŸ™‚

      I’ve read both novels. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” deserves its masterpiece reputation. I had some mixed feelings about “Love in the Time of Cholera” — including the sexism of the obsessive male protagonist — but overall a pretty compelling book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It won’t be the first book that I appreciated as a young girl that as a more mature (I was going to say wiser πŸ™ƒ) person now, has me rethinking its overall message. I should probably pick up a copy again to see what message I see in it now: thank you for pointing it out!

        One Hundred Years of Solitude left me (with an increasing) with an appreciation of the lottery of birth.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Some so palatable, some not palatable at all (I had a few of those), and some, marvelously, stand the test of time. I recently recommended some books to a friend, for her young adult daughter, and my friend and I decided to re-read them as well. I fell in love with those books all over again! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh, definitely true! πŸ™‚ As you note, in addition to some novels falling in our estimations, we find some are just as good and some are better when we reread. I certainly liked “The Scarlet Letter” (among others) better the second time around.


      • He had at least one earlier book than that– “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: Who Drifted on a Liferaft for Ten Days Without Food or Water, Was Proclaimed a National Hero, Kissed by Beauty Queens, Made Rich Through Publicity, and Then Spurned by the Government and Forgotten for All Time”. ( Usually, its title is shortened to that portion appearing before the colon.)

        A narrative written in the first person, it was first published in Colombia in 1955, but under the name of the sailor, not Marquez. It was later published in book form– 1970, and even later, translated into English.

        It’s a tender tale of a hapless crewman who was attempting to lash down smuggled washing machines destined to the politically connected on the deck of a freighter, when he fell off and into the sea. It’s been years, but I remember he had a boat or something in which he floated for days, catching rainwater in a sail and catching a fish or so, eaten raw till he drifted ashore. The Colombian navy attempted to cover up the cause of his ordeal, and the deaths of several other crewmen, but Marquez, then a newsman, got the story.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, jhNY!

          Wow — I had no idea about that book. Sounds fascinating — and 12 years before “One Hundred Years of Solitude”! Stories about the politically connected getting the best of everything, and the attempts to cover up public awareness of those benefits, are unfortunately as old as time. 😦

          LOVE that impossibly long title!


  4. Not quite the week’s topic, but

    Lampedusa’s “The Leopard” was written over the last years of his life, published after his death. A piece of short fiction, a fragment of a beginning of something never carried forward, notes on writers prepared for a student, a short and pointed, yet funny musing on opera– that’s more or less his ouevre entire.

    And yet his one novel is a masterpiece, cited often as one of the most important pieces of Italian literature written in the 20th century.

    If only he had begun writing earlier in his life, I’d have something with which to compare his late-life novel….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, jhNY!

      Pleased that you mentioned “The Leopard,” which you recommended to me a number of years ago and, as I’ve said before, found to be one of the most exquisitely written novels I’ve ever read. Yes, a shame Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa didn’t write a novel or two earlier in his life.


  5. All Quiet on the Western Front is one of my favorite war novels, but I haven’t read his other one. I really should get on that. I also never read the Testaments – I guess the Handmaid’s Tale was more than enough for me in that genre haha. It also sounds like I should add War and Remembrance to my ever-expanding reading list! As for other novels spaced far apart, I’m coming up a bit short on this one, you mentioned all the ones I would know to think of! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, M.B.!

      I totally agree about “All Quiet on the Western Front.” A riveting book. As you know, one of several great novels Remarque wrote that were directly or indirectly about war — also including “Arch of Triumph,” “A Time to Love and a Time to Die,” “Spark of Life,” etc.

      Yes, dystopian fiction is often best read in moderation, though “The Testaments” featured a bit more hope than “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the kind words, Elisabeth! I definitely agree about the terrific comments. πŸ™‚

      For a relatively short novel, “Hadji” packs in a lot. A really compelling read. I’m VERY glad you recommended it. And, yes, one can tell in the book how some of Tolstoy’s views had changed by the latter part of his life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dave, I have reflected on this post overnight and I can’t think of many authors with masterpieces that have long intervals between them. I can add to the authors who had continuous masterpieces with Shakespeare [I love his plays despite the opinions of the youth that he is no longer relevant], Agatha Christie [reading her books didn’t count as reading when I was at school], Enid Blyton [My favourite of her books is The Land of Far Beyond – have you read it?], Dr Seuss [my favourite is Horton Hears a Who], Stephen King, Roald Dahl, Richard Scarry [Who couldn’t love Lowly, the worm], and Ian Fleming [when I first acquired these books, I have them all, I didn’t realise the movies were actually based on books – so funny]. In case you are wondering, I have a big house and one room is my library which contains c. 3,000 books many of which are children’s books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Robbie!

      You have a VERY impressive book collection, and wonderful that you have a room devoted to a library. πŸ™‚

      I appreciated seeing your list of writers with long careers and excellent works published many years apart. In some cases, as you note, good works are written continuously (perhaps annually or even occasionally more than once a year). Agatha Christie was and Stephen King is certainly prolific! I have not read Enid Blyton.

      Lowly the worm IS a lovable character. My daughters and I read many a Richard Scarry book. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am so glad you also love Richard Scarry. I read them to both my sons and I still have all his books. My boys loved the ones about how things work the best. Enid Blyton is very English. My mom grew up with her magazine which was published weekly after the war. The Land of Far Beyond is based on The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Richard Scarry’s work is kind of irresistible. πŸ™‚ Among my favorites were “Best Word Book Ever” and “What Do People Do All Day?”

          And thank you for that info on Enid Blyton, who I knew very little about.


  7. Another great post that has set me to thinking about my personal reading journey over the years. Now, especially, I am very careful about my choices simply because time is of the essence these days. You prompted me to ask myself how I would have experienced a book in my 20s, 40’s, 50’s and now in my 60’s.

    For example, Harper Lee’s to Kill a Mockingbird is still one of my favouite books ever since I first read it in my 20s. While I recognize that I accepted the heroic Atticus without blemish in my 20s, I am more circumspect now. Atticus of To Kill a Mockingbird is what we want our heroes to be. I am not interested in reading β€œGo Set a Watchman” because I have a clearer understanding, through non-fiction books, of the circumstances. Bottom line, I prefer my unblemished Atticus because it has set the ideal of the human experience. Does that mean that I don’t value the book, Go Set a Watchman ? Absolutely not! Instead, I am turning to other authors who view those times from the lens of my time. Currently I am reading, β€œHomegoing” by Yaga Gyasi, of the the Top 10 Novels of 2016. Would I have been able to understand this narrative in my 20’s. Not to the full extent. I think that my current age and experience allows a more nuanced and emotional recognition of the story.

    Which goes back to writers. You mentioned Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and The House on the Strand. Rebecca is a stand out but House on the Strand has been influenced by Daphne du Maurier’s experiences and does not meet the standards of her earlier work. But that again, is a personal opinion. What comes through is for the writer and the reader, that life’s experience becomes part of the experience. We are what we read, write, experience. I would add, also what we share.

    Again, I want to mention how precious these discussions are, Dave. Many thanks for your posts and for all who join the conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the eloquent comment, Rebecca!

      I can see how the time span between an author’s novels can bring to mind how we react to books when we are younger vs. when we are older. The experiences we go through over the decades definitely color how we view novels (and many other things). Just as the experiences of authors color what’s in their novels at different career stages.

      Yes, Atticus Finch is a role model, and it’s important to have role models. There are plenty of less saintly characters in literature to sink our teeth into (figuratively).

      I agree that “The House on the Strand” is a good, not great book. But I love the genre of time-travel novels, which means many works in that realm get bonus points from me. πŸ™‚

      Thank you also for the kind sentiment at the end of your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rebecca, I understand your comment about time being of the essence. I devoured books from a very young age and I can’t think of a single famous and well-known children’s book I haven’t read. I’ve also read some quite obscure ones like Fattipuffs and Thinifers (if you haven’t read this, you should, it is very clever). I read all the books for boys too like Just William. I have early editions of some of those in my collection. I have REbecca on my TBR because I never read it and it’s been recommended to me as a particularly good fit for me. Currently, of course, I am down a Tolstoy rabbit hole and am 6 chapters in. I’m catching up with 3 a day as I only started on Sunday.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I am with you on the Tolstoy rabbit hole, Robbie. From what I see a few day into the #WarAndPeace2022 readalong the hole is marvelously deep and exciting. You will enjoy Rebecca! The first time I heard about this book was in my teens when I found out that Frances stayed up most of the night to finish it. No spoilers here, but I really did like the Rebecca character.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I have read several of the books you mention here, but I have not the slightest idea, in what sequence the writer published them! Anyway I don’t know Herman Wouk and have therefore written on my reading list “The Caine Mutiny ” and thank you very much for all your interesting proposals. Here in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland there is above all one writer, Plinio Martini, who published in 1970 “Il fondo del sacco” translated now in English with the title “The bottom of the bag” in which he really writes truthfully about the toughness of life, above all, in the Bavona valley and about the people’s emigration to California! Later on he wrote some other books.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I’ve not read War and Remembrance, I must. I read the Caine Mutiny years ago and i like the sound of a door-stopper in terms of size of a book. Harper Lee wrote Mocking Bird many years before Watchman. Also Donna Tartt had a longish gap between the Secret History and the Goldfinch. Great post. Lots of mentions there of plenty books.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Shehanne!

      GREAT mention of Donna Tartt. Her first and third novels spanned 1992 to 2013 — and I especially loved “The Goldfinch.”

      In the case of Harper Lee, it’s possible “Go Set a Watchman” was an early draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” so one wonders if they are separate novels.

      Door-stoppers are indeed wonderful to read here and there. They can potentially engross one for a couple weeks or more. One thing I like about “War and Remembrance” is its international perspective — the novel is mostly told through the lens of an American family, but there are significant characters and perspectives who/that are British, German, Russian, Japanese, etc. And the novel is so deeply researched.

      Liked by 4 people

        • “…knew his ingin’s” — I like that phrase, Shehanne! πŸ™‚

          I haven’t read “Go Set a Watchman” either, but from what I’ve read ABOUT it it was basically a money grab by the publisher and some people in Harper Lee’s orbit — with perhaps Ms. Lee not giving fully informed consent given her age and health at the time, not that long before her death.

          Liked by 3 people

          • I read ‘Go Set a Watchmen’ and, yes, I suspect a shameless grab by the publisher of what is, essentially, an early draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I also read she didn’t intend it to be for publication. From what I can remember there are definitely – at least – a couple of similar scenes that were reworked for publication of TKAM. It’s a shame that it perhaps overshadows her legacy a little.

            Liked by 4 people

            • Thank you, Sarah!

              Your reading “Go Set a Watchman” makes you an authoritative source! It does sound like an early “TKAM” draft and a money grab, and I agree that it harms Harper Lee’s legacy a bit. Seems there was a good chance she was taken advantage of late in life. 😦

              Liked by 3 people

              • Ha! I’ll take that! Although you’ll have to remember that my recall of novels is sketchy at best…Yes, it does rather sound as if she was taking advantage of. However, I suppose from a technical perspective – examining the writer’s craft, that sort of thing – it’s perhaps quite interesting, but ultimately her wishes should have been adhered to.

                Liked by 2 people

                • I agree that it’s great to have the opportunity to see sort of the genesis of “TKAM.” But of course it should have been marketed as such. That approach wouldn’t have made as much money, which explains everything. 😦

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • I’ve both read the book and much of the controversy. My take is that her first draft was sprawling and the editor crafted a more streamlined and salable product. Nobody would have liked the Atticus of that broader story. But ultimately it’s up to the author to accept that version and prefer the legacy it afforded her; posthumous publications are always fraught with moral dilemmas. (Kafka ordered all his manuscripts & letter burned, if I recall correctly. And some of Sartre’s and Nietsche’s unfinished manuscripts were published, which I doubt they would have approved of.) Nonetheless I was fascinated reading Lee’s more comprehensive portrayal of Atticus, even though she was contented that I wouldn’t. Let’s just say there’s tarnish on his heroic bust. It was also very painful and disturbing to read the horrible bigotry and language in the mouths of his contemporaries. It would be very difficult for African-Americans to stomach this part of the original story.

                    Liked by 5 people

                    • Thank you, Mary Jo! Many good points, eloquently stated.

                      I did hear that Atticus Finch was far from saintly in “Go Set a Watchman,” and I can see how smoothing some of the edges off his character would be appealing. That process certainly worked in helping make “To Kill a Mockingbird” a spectacular sales story.

                      And as far as authorial decisions and autonomy go, if Harper Lee didn’t opt to release “GSAW” when she was younger and healthier, it should not have been released when it was.

                      Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow these are some production gaps you mention, as well as those in the comments. I’ve read many of these and had no idea. Thanks for this very interesting information which always adds to the pleasure of reading. It’s almost as much fun reading about books as actually reading them. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Among Dostoevsky’s writings I have only read “Crime And Punishment” and some shorter works such as “Notes From The Underground” and “White Nights”. His first novel was “Poor Folk” published in 1846 and his last and considered by many his greatest novel “The Brothers Karamazov” was published in installments in 1879 and 1880.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Tony!

      That IS a pretty long gap of years. I’ve never read “Poor Folk,” so I don’t personally know if it’s a great book. But given that it was written by Dostoevsky, it’s probably pretty darn good even though it’s a debut novel. Great that you’ve read some of his work! “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov” deserve all the kudos they get. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Dave. My first foray into book writing came when I had a bad farming accident and smashed my right leg. I was laid up for months with bolts through the bone of the leg. I had a vivid dream one night. Opal Eggs of fire was born. We had been augmenting some extra funds to keep the farm running from opal mining at Coober Pedy There were sixty-six different nationalities in this town. Bush justice was the norm. Many a pedophile or thief still lay deep down the bottom of mineshafts where they were thrown. The story is about farmers trying to survive in a three-year drought when bank interest rates soared, thanks to an inept prime minister

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Dave, you write ” If authors have two or more great novels in them ” !

    How about one of them is a masterpiece and the second one to be ignored, as you did !

    I was taking about Harper Lees ” To Kill a Mockingbied “…what a book, is my all time favorite.Then after 50 years , when Lee was old and somewhat senile . ” Go Set a Watchman” was published . The book made Atticus a racist. The book came about after being manipulated by her Lawyer.
    The alleged story is that Harper Lee wrote this book first, and it was rejected by publishers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, bebe! Drolly stated. πŸ™‚

      Yes, if a novel published long after another novel isn’t great, that author didn’t get mentioned in this post. πŸ™‚ And of course there’s the situation where “Go Set a Watchman” is considered an early draft of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” so it might not even be a separate novel per se.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Dave fnally I requested yesterday “Too Much and Never Enough ” by Mary J. Trump and I already checked the book out.
        The one with tiny letters I just returned withiut reading it and now I am looking forward to read this one., with normal letter heads.
        I think Dave All the Republicans in the Congress who voted to impeach Trump will succeed eventually. somehow in life
        The ones like Kevin McCarthy, and others who lick the evil man’s foot will eventually get destroyed together with trump. .
        Of course this was my opinion only.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Great, bebe — a book with normal type size! I’ve heard good things about “Too Much and Never Enough”; hope you like it.

          I’d like to believe that good things will happen for the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, and that the future will not be bright for the many Republicans who slavishly support him. But, unfortunately, I don’t see it. The anti-Trump Republicans did keep a shred of their integrity, though.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Good question, bebe. The Republicans seem to be playing the long game in their efforts to trash democracy enough (voter suppression laws, etc.) so that they can win or steal elections without the majority of the country supporting them. And the Democrats — partly because of Manchin and Sinema — aren’t doing much to stop them.

              I wish Bernie Sanders were younger, too.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Dave started reading the book by Mary L T , really well written book,read the 17 page prologue.
            If you ever borrow the book that itself would scare the heck out of anyone.
            What a dangerous man, who as we know is not done as yet and is out to destroy the Country.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Phil! Well said, though I’m a “Moby-Dick” fan. πŸ™‚

      “M-D” is indeed not universally loved. The whaling-specific chapters CAN be tedious at times, but the dramatic story of Ahab, Ishmael, Queequeg, Starbuck, etc., more than makes up for it for me. Plus Melville’s scintillating prose.

      Differing views on specific novels is part of what makes discussing literature fun and interesting. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think my issue is 1) an Am Lit professor I had a hundred years ago 2) any novel that goes into great detail about a specific task/vocation/avocation or becomes a travelogue of the location at the expense of story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “classic” or flavor of the month/year/decade. “Tishomingo Blues” is an Elmore Leonard favorite, but I could have done with a lot less Civil War history lesson disguised as/in character dialogue. Authors have a right to “hooptedoodle”, as expressed in the prologue of Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday” but like the man says, it would be nice if the author let us know with a chapter title that “Okay, this chapter is a bunch of boring assed hooptedoodle about whaling or stamp collecting or sub-tropical foliage so skip it and come back when you’ve finished the story.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hear you, Phil. That kind of info could be labeled more. Or, better yet, used less and threaded here and there amid the story line.

          You mentioned Steinbeck, who received some criticism for the chapters in “The Grapes of Wrath” that stray from the Joad family’s travails to offer what is basically sociopolitical commentary about the 1930s conditions the Joads were facing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That sort of criticism is what he was addressing in the prologue of ’54s “Sweet Thursday”, wherein the hooptedoodle chapters were so labeled. I find it interesting that authors, like celebrities and celebutantes find it necessary to blatantly feature their hobbies and agendas in their presentations without mentioning it before asking us along for the ride. It’s important to care about something. It’s also important to know where to put that energy to its best use. Like Melville – he could have written a bang-up whaling handbook as a standalone and left it out of a rollicking swashbuckler.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. I haven’t read much of Hemingway’s work but his “The Sun Also Rises” was written and published in 1926 while “The Old Man and The Sea” was written in 1951 and published the following year. I did research in Wikipedia to find this information.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Donna!

      It is indeed inspiring to see authors write great novels many years apart — which of course means that the later ones are penned when they’re somewhat on in years.

      The very best of luck with your novel, if it happens!

      Liked by 2 people

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