The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace is the latest in a long line of novels to be published posthumously. Putting aside collections of writing, readers are always eager for one more opportunity to devour an original work from a much-loved author who has departed for the great celestial book tour (although we think Charles Bukowski went in the other direction).

The Stieg Larsson phenomenon of recent years has seen his Millennium trilogy enjoy massive worldwide popularity even though the author died a year before his first novel was published. Franz Kafka and John Kennedy Toole were others to only receive recognition after their deaths.

It’s common for unfinished works to be completed by an editor, a fellow writer or even a member of the author’s family. Sometimes the work is finished and printed against the author’s wishes. After an author’s death, publishers scour their vaults for unpublished manuscripts that can prolong sales. This process can backfire with books that were originally considered sub-standard, by the author at least, rushed into print. And then you have Anne Frank’s diary – a book so powerful that it remains essential reading more 65 years after the end of World War II.

Here is some of the best after the writer was laid to rest.

Literature Published Posthumously

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov

Bulgakov died in 1940 & Master was serialized in 1967-68.
Maurice by E.M. Forster
Maurice
by E.M. Forster

Forster died in 1970 & Maurice was published in 1971.
2666 by Roberto Bolaño
2666
by Roberto Bolaño

Bolaño died in 2003 & 2666 was published 2004.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway

Papa died in 1961 & his memoir was published 1964.
The Last Tycoon by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Last Tycoon
by F Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald died in 1940 & Last Tycoon was published in 1941.
Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Millennium Trilogy
by Stieg Larsson

Larsson died in 2004 & his first novel was published in Swedish in 2005.
Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky
Suite Française
by Irène Némirovsky

Némirovsky died in Auschwitz in 1942 & Suite was published in 2004.
The Third Policeman by Brian O'Nolan writing as Flann O'Brien
The Third Policeman
by Brian O'Nolan writing as Flann O'Brien

O’Nolan died in 1966 & Third Policeman was published in 1967.
The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier
The Rag and Bone Shop
by Robert Cormier

Cormier died in 2000 & Rag and Bone was published in 2001.
Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Sleeping Murder
by Agatha Christie

Christie died in Jan 1976 & Ms Marple’s last case was published in Oct 1976.
Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man by Joseph Heller
Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man
by Joseph Heller

Heller died in 1999 & Portrait was published in 2000.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen

Austen died in 1817 & this novel was published later the same year.
Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
Juneteenth
by Ralph Ellison

Ellison died in 1994 & Juneteeth was published five years later.
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Bog Child
by Siobhan Dowd

Dowd died from breast cancer in 2007 & Bog Child was published in 2008.
The Lighthouse at the End of the World by Jules Verne
The Lighthouse at the End of the World
by Jules Verne

Verne died in 1905 & this adventure novel was published later that year.
Queen: The Story of American Family by Alex Haley
Queen: The Story of American Family
by Alex Haley

Haley died in 1992 & Queen was published in 1993 after being finished by another writer.
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
The Way of All Flesh
by Samuel Butler

Butler died in 1902 & Flesh was published in 1903 (20 years after it was written).
A Death in the Family by James Agee
A Death in the Family
by James Agee

Agee died in 1955 & Death was published in 1957, winning a Pulitzer a year later.
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Trial
by Franz Kafka

Kafka died in 1924. He wanted unpublished work burned - Der Process was printed in 1925.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

The author died in 1969. Dunces was finally published in 1980.
The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Children of Hurin
by J.R.R. Tolkien

The author died in 1973 & Children of Hurin came out in 2007.
The Book of Merlyn by T. H. White
The Book of Merlyn
by T. H. White

White died in 1964 & this novel was published in 1977.
Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers
Thrones, Dominations
by Dorothy L. Sayers

Sayers died in 1957 & this book was completed by someone else and printed in 1998.
The Double Tongue by William Golding
The Double Tongue
by William Golding

Golding died in 1993 & Double Tongue was published in 1995.
Web by John Wyndham
Web
by John Wyndham

Wyndham died in 1969 & this sci-fi novel was published 10 years later.

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