In light of the revelation that Mister Ass Chin’s wife helps him write those blockbusters, the Guardian has a story looking at the history of famous writers whose wives assisted with composition. I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t know this part already, but:
Without a doubt the most extreme example of this sort of arrangement, however, is that of Henry Gauthier-Villars. He was a hugely famous French critic in the early part of the 20th century. His most famous work was probably the Claudine series, which he published under his pseudonym, Willy. These turned out to have actually been written by his young wife, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who Gauthier-Villars would lock in a room until she had written the requisite number of pages. Somewhat understandably, Sidonie-Gabrielle soon divorced her husband and became a celebrated author in her own right of books which she published under her surname, Colette.
6 thoughts on “George Writes Everything for Us”
While I somewhat fancy the ideal of such successful collaborations — I rather dislike the idea of being locked in a room until I wrote my requisite number of pages…all so someone else might take credit.
The mention of researching wives reminded me immediately of Vera Nabokov, which the Guardian article mentions briefly. I recently read Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff and found the extent of her contributions to her husband’s work…quite…illuminating.
thanks for that link! I just emailed it to a writer’s husband…
It was somewhat understandable that she divorced him? Somewhat? Hmph. I’m impressed she didn’t dismember him.
There’s another writer, famous mystery writer whose name is just escaping me, who quit writing after his wife died. He said she had helped him tremendously, but she wouldn’t let him put her name on the books or give her credit. Anyone remember who that is?
I want to say he’s based in Florida…
dick francis? there are more than a few, i think
That’s who I was thinking of too, Shana. And a glance through his Wikipedia entry makes me think that’s right.
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