Authors around the world struggle to balance everyday life and writing a book, but what happens if they die before they see their book published? For most, I imagine, the answer is that it gets handed down through generations of families as a keepsake. Then there are the lucky ones, whose posthumously published books become wildly popular and secure their spot on lists like this one. Here are ten of those lucky people and the books that were made famous following their deaths:
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Although this was one of her first novels, Northanger Abbey was published by Austen’s brother after her death.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Anne Frank’s diary was retrieved and published two years after her death.
- The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson – The series based on true events in Larsson’s teenage years were published in the U.S. following his death in 2004. A fourth, unfinished novel is expected by be completed by another author and released in August 2015.
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – This memoir was completed by his fourth wife, Mary, and was published three years after Hemingway’s death.
- The Prince by Niccoló Machiavelli – Considered one of the first works of modern philosophy, The Prince was formally published five years after his death in the early 1500’s.
- The History of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and John D. Rateliff – Published decades after Tolkien’s death, this two-volume set was was published in 2007 and included unpublished drafts and revisions.
- The Pale King by David Foster Wallace – Wallace’s unfinished novel was published with the help of his wife, agent, and editor in 2011.
- The Ivory Tower by Henry James – This famous novel was published the year after James’ death.
- The Trial by Franz Kafka – This wildly popular book was edited by his editor and published a year after Kafka’s death.
- Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville – This novella was published 33 years after Melville’s death and was received with open arms by critics.
For additional information about each title, head over to Wikipedia. While not the most reliable source for current events, the book information is pretty reliable!