This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This Side of Paradise
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(1920)

J.D. Salinger, William Golding, J.R.R. Tolkien and Ian Fleming are some of the biggest names in the literary world. Salinger caught the attention of an entire generation with The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, while Golding made a name for himself with Lord of the Flies in 1954. Tolkien launched into a life of fame with the release of The Hobbit in 1937, and Fleming introduced the world's most famous spy in 1953 when he published Casino Royale. While the stories are vastly different from one another, they do have one thing in common - they are all debut novels and arguably their authorís best known work.

Not all first novels are knockouts. Best selling author Philip Pullman's debut work is a novel called The Haunted Storm, published in 1972. He wrote it when he was only 25, and though it won the English Library’s Young Writer’s Award he declines to speak about it due to an odd case of writerís remorse. At Pullman’s request, the title has never been re-published.

Many thought Margaret Mitchell was a one-hit-wonder, but in fact, Gone with the Wind was not her first or only novel. She wrote Lost Laysen in 1916, 10 years before the release of her piŤce de rťsistance. The manuscript was hidden away for decades, and Lost Laysen was not published until the 1990s. Jack Kerouac published The Town and the City in 1950, while many of his earlier works were tucked away. The Sea is My Brother is his first written novel, penned in 1942 and published in 2011.

Most often, a debut novel is released quietly without even the slightest fanfare. There was a time when the names Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell and William Faulkner meant very little. It took them each a book or two to earn their well-deserved literary fame and by then their first novels were things of the past. Our selection of debut novels provides a glimpse into the creative minds of literary legends, before they were legends at all.

Introducing for the first time,

The White Peacock by D.H. Lawrence
The White Peacock
by D.H. Lawrence
(1911)
The Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway
The Torrents of Spring
by Ernest Hemingway
(1926)
Soldiersí Pay by William Faulkner
Soldiersí Pay
by William Faulkner
(1926)
The Man Within by Graham Greene
The Man Within
by Graham Greene
(1929)
East Wind: West Wind by Pearl S. Buck
East Wind: West Wind
by Pearl S. Buck
(1929)
The Pilgrimís Regress by C.S. Lewis
The Pilgrimís Regress
by C.S. Lewis
(1933)
Burmese Days by George Orwell
Burmese Days
by George Orwell
(1934)
We the Living by Ayn Rand
We the Living
by Ayn Rand
(1936)
One Manís Meat by E.B. White
One Manís Meat
by E.B. White
(1942)
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Sheltering Sky
by Paul Bowles
(1949)
The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
The Grass is Singing
by Doris Lessing
(1950)
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles
by Ray Bradbury
(1950)
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
Player Piano
by Kurt Vonnegut
(1952)
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Lucky Jim
by Kingsley Amis
(1954)
Time for a Tiger by Anthony Burgess
Time for a Tiger
by Anthony Burgess
(1956)
The Poorhouse Fair by John Updike
The Poorhouse Fair
by John Updike
(1959)
In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In Evil Hour
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(1962)
The Tentant by Roland Topor
The Tenant
by Roland Topor
(1964)
The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
The Orchard Keeper
by Cormac McCarthy
(1965)
Nightspawn by John Banville
Nightspawn
by John Banville
(1971)
The Haunted Storm by Philip N. Pullman
The Haunted Storm
by Philip N. Pullman
(1972)
Ugly Rumours by Tobias Wolff
Ugly Rumours
by Tobias Wolff
(1975)
Grimus by Salman Rushdie
Grimus
by Salman Rushdie
(1975)
The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
The Cement Garden
by Ian McEwan
Mystery Story by David Pirie
Mystery Story
by David Pirie
(1980)
The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
The Broom of the System
by David Foster Wallace
(1987)
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
by Michael Chabon
(1988)
The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen
The Twenty-Seventh City
by Jonathan Franzen
(1988)
Lost Laysen by Margaret Mitchell
Lost Laysen
by Margaret Mitchell
(1916, first published in 1996)
The Sea is My Brother by Jack Kerouac
The Sea is My Brother
by Jack Kerouac
(1943, first published in 2011)

Which notable debut novels have we missed?


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