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Examples of authors writing properly in a number of genres?

What are some good examples of authors writing properly in a number of genres? Two of my examples embody Noam Chomsky (linguistics and politics) or Stephen King (horror, non-fiction, and realism).

Have you ever ever learn a guide from an writer in a single style after which hated their guide in a distinct style? Or do you suppose an writer’s expertise can cross via totally different writing matters and types?

I believe that the flexibility to write down in completely totally different genres may be praiseworthy. Generally is demonstrates the writer’s breadth of information however different occasions it’s simply an instance of their creativity. However it will possibly actually rely. I would love to listen to this group’s ideas on this subject and get examples of authors who’ve carried out this properly.

Comments ( 38 )

  1. Elmore Leonard wrote action thrillers and westerns

  2. Murakami is generally known for his fiction, but I really like his non-fiction writing. *What I Talk About When I Talk About Running* and *Underground* are both fantastic and both of those are very different from each other within the non-fiction genre.

  3. Chomsky isn’t really writing in different “genres”, they’re both non-fiction and informed by similar philosophy in the end. But for your question:

    Kazuo Ishiguro has written a mix of stuff, historical fiction and sci-fi and “regular” lit fic.

    Iain Banks wrote both sci-fi and just modern fiction.

    Cormac Mccarthy is mostly known for his Westerns or modern Westerns, but he’s also written post-apoc,

  4. Martha Wells wrote two of my favorite series in scifi and in fantasy: Murderbot diaries and Books of the Raksura

  5. Thomas Hardy is one of the very few writers who is well regarded for both novels and poetry.

    Iain (M) Banks had a successful split career in sci fi and general fiction.

    Sartre and Camus are well known for both their fiction and non-fiction.

    Shakespeare? Comedy, tragedy, history, and poetry.

  6. Asimov is the easy answer here. Brilliant man who wrote science fiction, but wrote many books about almost every single subject (from Shakespesre to Anatomy to chemistry)

    Also Vladimir Nabokov could be an answer – wrote plenty of nonfiction and fiction in Russian and English, which was his third language – especially impressive since he wrote one of the most revered books in terms of prose: Lolita

  7. My pro tip is if you have someone who churns out solid crime thrillers for a living, say one or two a year, and they do sci fi (or another genre piece) after about five or six books like that, read that book. That’s the book the author always wanted to write, and they had to perform to get it commissioned. The example that comes immediately to mind is Stuart MacBride with Halfhead. Cracking.

  8. Stephen King is well known for his “horror” but The Dark Tower series is a masterpiece of fantasy and adventure.

  9. David Foster Wallace wrote fiction, non-fiction (social, observational, philosophical, even one on rap) and science/math (a book on infinity).

  10. Marlon James writing both historical fiction and fantasy

    Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany and Ann Leckie writing both science fiction and fantasy, and Ursula and Delany also writing non-fiction

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writing poetry, supernatural play, romance and coming-of-age novel, fairy tale, memoirs and autobiography and non-fiction about botanics and optics

  11. Clive Barker writes great horror, fantasy and young adult books

  12. Noam Chomsky is a terrible political writer

  13. Margaret Atwood – she’s done historical fiction, sci-fi, dystopia, poetry, essays, short stories, literary fiction, etc.

  14. Robert Louis Stevenson. His poems A Children’s Garden of Verses is as excellent as his urban gothic Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Plus Kidnapped and Treasure Island are beloved as adventure stories.

  15. Dan Simmons. Scifi, horror, historical fiction.

  16. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell spans multiple genres in one book! Seriously impressive considering he changed his writing style to match the conventions of each genre, yet explored them all in a literary way.

  17. Cloud Atlas, in which David Mitchell writes in 6 different genres at once?

  18. Elizabeth Moon wrote excellent fantasy and science fiction. Ursula le Guin also did and she is even better.

  19. George Orwell. Homage to Catalonia vs 1984 and Animal Farm (which are also probably different genres).

    Kurt Vonnegut. Mother night, for example, is not the same genre as breakfast of champions.

    Lisa Lutz. The Spellman Files vs. Her more recent works like The Passenger and The Accomplice.

    Jean-paul Sartre – Nausea vs No Exit

    Cory Doctorow – novels/novellas and essays

  20. Alice B. Sullivan writes in apocalyptic fiction and romance, though her romance pen name Aly Hawthorne. I think she does both genres well!

  21. Guy Gavriel Kay’s entire catalogue. Omg

  22. Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant/A. Deborah Baker. She writes fantasy as Seanan, horror as Mira, and middle reader’s books as A. Deborah.

  23. Mordecai Richler and Hunter S. Thompson wrote fiction as well as their own brand of journalism.

    Anna Funder wrote an amazing non-fiction book called Stasiland on the lives of East Germans who grew up on the communist side of the Berlin Wall. And I liked some of her fictional novels, too (All That I Am).

  24. Chambers was a prolific romance writer but was also famous for the horror stories in the king in yellow.

  25. Many “literary” novelists also wrote non fiction essays. David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, John Updike, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Martin Amis and on and on. It was almost a requirement in order to be taken seriously. Only rarely was their non fiction particularly notable, though

  26. Isaac Asimov wrote a lot of different types of science fiction, as well as a lot of nonfiction.

  27. Joan Didion – memoirs, essays, literary fiction. All masterpieces.

    Toni Morrison – biography, novels, short stories, literary criticism. Nothing the lady can’t do.

  28. Adrienne Rich! Poetry and also nonfiction/politics/memoir. amazing

  29. Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh are two I can think of right off the bat. Both were equally capable of writing hilarious and deeply tragic and introspective works.

  30. David Mitchell’s ‘Cloud Atlas’ is a masterpiece of multi-genre fiction style.

    I’ve read this book 6 times, and it never fails to amaze and delight me.

  31. C.S. Lewis wrote his speculative fiction as well as essays on many topics and scholarly works.

    Edit to add his popular works on religion such as Mere Christianity as well as his memoir of his wife’s death, A Grief Observed.

  32. kazuo ishiguro. SF, Fantasy, Historical novel

  33. Neil Gaiman – children’s picture book and novels, adult fiction and graphic novels

  34. Tanith Lee – wrote beautiful fantasy, horror, sci-fi, weird, and historical fiction.

  35. Barbara Hambly has written medieval-type fantasy, urban vampire horror, Star Trek tie in novels, and has a murder mystery series set in 19th century New Orleans. All of them are at least very readable and some are downright great.

    Hilary Mantel wrote prizewinning literary novels set in the present as well as the historical fiction she is best known for.

  36. James Joyce wrote at a top level in dozens of genres, and that is only considering Ulysses.

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