If you’re a book nerd, you know how it feels wanting to sit for a chat with your favorite author and really get to know them. When we really love an author and admire their work, we often feel like we know everything about them because reading their works feels like sitting down with an old friend. As comforting as it is to have your selected group of favorite authors, much like the friends we can call up at any time, we don’t actually know everything about them. In fact, we often know nearly nothing about them. So, enjoy these surprising and peculiar facts about some of our favorite classic authors.
Author and poet Sylvia Plath at one time suffered from a mental breakdown and years upon years of writer’s block. She eventually had a breakthrough, got to work, and completed her first draft of The Bell Jar in only 70 days! So, if you’re experiencing writer’s block, hang in there!
For a little inspiration, Agatha Christi often ate apples in the bathtub; which is a much healthier hobby than smoking – which she tried taking up but simply couldn’t commit to the habit in the end. She considered it quite unfortunate, but we think she was lucky. You don’t hear of many people who can’t commit to smoking.
Toni Morrison (author of Beloved) didn’t start writing until her mid-30’s. At the time, she was a professor at Harvard writing only for fun. After her divorce, she revisited an old piece she had written for the group. This piece eventually became Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, published when Morrison was 39.
Most of us probably have some sort of hobby, and authors are no different. J.D. Salinger reportedly drank his own urine (!), and spoke in tongues according to his daughter’s memoir. Different strokes for different folks, right?
We all have our little eccentricities, and Steinbeck’s thing was, well, pencils. The Of Mice and Men author started every day with precisely twenty-four sharpened pencils, and used all twenty-four until they were dull before he would sharpen them again. It wasn’t unheard of for Steinbeck to use anywhere from sixty to one hundred pencils in a day.
The name Roald Dahl is pretty synonymous with words such as “creative”, “quirky”, and “strange”; so it’s no huge shock that the author was asked to be buried with the following very specific (and random) items: chocolate, red wine, pencils, a power saw, and his pool cues.
Truman Capote, the iconic author of In Cold Blood was more than a little stitious – he was superstitious. How superstitious you may be wondering? Well, he would never start or finish a piece of writing on a Friday, and if he happened to get put in hotel room number thirteen, he respectfully bowed out and asked for a different room.