I have written numerous author themed blog posts. Topics include – the most prolific authors ever, drug addicted authors, posthumously famous authors, and the longest and shortest time it took to write a novel. Earlier this week I took to thinking about who were the oldest and youngest authors to achieve various literary milestones. This is what I discovered:
Oldest Best Selling Author – Helen Hoover Santymeyer was an American writer, educator and librarian, whose seminal work …And Ladies of the Club was published when she was 88. The book became a best seller in 1984, after it was selected for the Book-of-the-Month Club.
Oldest Winner of Nobel Prize for Literature – British playwright and author Doris Lessing was 88 when she won the prestigious prize. In 2008 The Times ranked her 5th on a list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’. The author died last year aged 94.
Oldest First Time Author – Bertha Wood was a pioneer of the holiday camp movement, who became the oldest first time author ever when on her 100th birthday, her memoir Fresh Air and Fun was published.
World’s Oldest Ever Author – Ida Pollock died last year at the age of 105, just weeks before her 125th book was published. The romance author sold millions of books over the course of her long lifetime.
Youngest Best Selling Author – Christopher James Paolini is an American author, who is best known for his series the Inheritance Cycle, which consists of 5 books. Paolini became a New York Times bestselling author at the tender age of 19.
Youngest Winner of Nobel Prize for Literature – Rudyard Kipling is the younger ever winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. He was 42 when he achieved the accolade in 1907.
World’s Youngest Ever Author – Dorothy Straight is on record as being the youngest published author ever. At the age of 4 she wrote a story for her grandmother, which went on to be published by Pantheon Books in 1964 when the author was 6.