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Sunday, 18 December 2011


The world’s first known author and poet, Princess Enheduanna (2285-2250 BC), was the daughter of King Sargon of Akkad in the Sumerian city-state of Ur. The Sumerian writer used both the third- and first-person perspectives—a literary breakthrough not reproduced for almost 2,000 years.

Shakespeare is the only author with his own Dewey decimal number; it’s 822.33.

In 1795, Napoleon wrote a romantic novel, Clisson et Eugenie. It was unpublished until 1920.

Edgar Wallace, the writer of the original screenplay for King Kong, was thought to be responsible for a quarter of all new books read in Britain in the late 1920s.

J.D. Salinger starting writing The Catcher in the Rye after a stint in a mental hospital.

Georges Simenon, French Inspector Jules Maigret’s Belgian pipesmoking creator, wrote almost 500 novels and claimed to have slept with 10,000 women — though his second wife put the figure at a more modest 1,200.

English writer Anne Fine was born on December 7, 1947. She is best known for her 1987 satirical novel Madame Doubtfire, which Twentieth Century Fox filmed as Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams.  Fine started writing novels in 1971 when, at home with her first baby, a snowstorm stopped her going to the local library.

Anne Fine

Thriller writer James Patterson was the world's highest-paid author between May 2010- April 2011 after earning $84m (£50.9m) in the past year, according to Forbes magazine. Prolific Patterson - who often works with co-writers - released 10 books in the past year as part of a 17-book deal with publisher Hachette reportedly worth $150m (£90.7m).

Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category.

Romantic novelist Barbara Cartland earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for writing 26 books in one year in 1983. Barbara Cartland is credited with the greatest number of books by any British author (some 642 in all).

Romantic novelist Catherine Cookson (1906-1998) sold an average of 138 books for every hour of her 91 years — that’s more than 110 million — making her, for many years, the ‘most-borrowed’ writer across UK libraries.  She began writing in her 40s to help deal with depression following a series of miscarriages.

Michael Crichton, the screenwriter of Jurassic Park, had a novel (Disclosure) and a television show (ER) reach U.S. number one at the same time the film did in 1994. He is the only person to achieve these hits simultaneously.

Ida Pollock was the world’s oldest working novelist, writing 123 books over her 90 year career before her death at the age of 105 on December 3, 2013.  In the 1940s, she had an affair with Hugh Pollock, the husband of Enid Blyton, whom she went on to marry.

Jim Downing became the world’s oldest author at the age of 102 years and 176 days when his book of first hand remembrances of Pearl Harbor, The Other Side of Infamy, was published.

Former lawyer John Grisham was named the bestselling author of the 1990's by Publisher's Weekly, having sold 60,742.289 copies of his books.

The author of the Nancy Drew mystery stories and The Dana Girls mystery stories, Carolyn Keene,  is not a single person but a collection of ghostwriters paid $125 per book.

Søren Kierkegaard, Lewis Carroll, and Virginia Woolf all wrote standing up.

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