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Famous Authors With Other Talents – Who Knew?

September 23, 2015 - Posted toCatchy topics for your research papers

Content famous writers and their hobbies

Hobbies of the Writers

Usually, we think of author’s holed up in their workspaces with their notes and their research, cutting off the rest of the world so that their creative juices may flow. What they have obviously learned, however, is that the pursuit of other interests, whatever they may be, give them welcome respite from their work, especially if they are experiencing “writer’s block” or just the need to get away from their current piece for a while. Many authors began their hobbies long before they became writers; others developed these outside interests as a means of balancing their lives, just as many of us do. Here, then, are some of the more interesting hobbies of famous authors you know and have read.

Vladimir Nabokov

According to Nabokov, if there had never been a revolution in Russia and his family would never have been forced to flee, he probably would never have become a writer. Instead he would have pursued his first love – lepidopterology (study of butterflies). As it was, however, he did become an author, his most famous, and infamous, book being Lolita. But he never lost his love of butterflies and traveled all over the world hunting down rare species.

Franz Kafka

Kafka is often thought of as a quiet, introspective man who wrote psychological novels, such as The Trial, The Judgement, and The Metamorphosis. Imagine the shock when, after his death, friends and family members found a huge cache of pornography in his home – Who knew?

Flannery O’Connor

After writing a couple of novels, among them Wise Blood and The Violent Bear it Away, along with several collections of short stories, O’Conner retired to the family farm for health reasons. There, she began to raise peacocks which, she claimed to train. One peacock gained fame because it walked backwards with her.

Ayn Rand

Rand would certainly not be considered the kind of person to engage in a quiet, unobtrusive hobby, given the themes of her novels, Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. She was, above all else a very outspoken critic of social programs and the concept of democracy, preferring a philosophy more of selfishness and unbridled capitalism. Odd then that her hobby would be stamp collecting. She claimed that there was a certain “beauty” in the logical patterns found in stamps.

Sylvia Plath

During her short life (she committed suicide at age 30), Plath wrote a couple of novels and quite a number of poems. She and her husband, poet Ted Hughes, decided to take up beekeeping, a hobby she stated she learned from her midwife. She wrote several poems about their bees, once the hobby had been fully established.

Stephen King

It is said that perhaps Stephen King’s first love has always been rock music, but, knowing that he could not make a living at it, he turned to writing instead. Nevertheless, he helped form the “Rock Bottom Remainders,” a band made up of fellow authors, that has travelled the U.S. giving concerts and turning the proceeds over to worthy charities. It is said that the band gave its last concert this year but we shall see.

Scott Turow

It’s hard to distinguish between the profession and the hobby and the profession on this one. Scott Turow was granted a law degree and began the practice of law. He discovered, however, that he loved writing more and has turned his training as a lawyer into his first love – authoring several legal thrillers that have become best sellers. By the way, he is also a member of the “Rock Bottom Remainders” band with Stephen King and several other authors.

John Irving

Irving is probably best known for his novel, The World According to Garp, but has written several other bestsellers, such as Watermelon Man. What few people know, however, is that he was a wrestler in college and continued to compete in professional wrestling while he wrote. In 1992, he was admitted to the “Wrestling Hall of Fame.”

Amy Tan

Tan is a Chinese-American, born of immigrant parents. Her most famous novels are the Joy Luck Club and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, in which she treats themes of the Chinese experience in America and mother-daughter relationships. (Her own mother was pretty upset when Amy chose to become a writer rather than a doctor as her mother had wanted). What few know is that she has great musical talent, and is a part of the Rock Bottom Remainders” band.

Barbara Kingsolver

All of Kingsolver’s works deal with social justice of some kind, and she is perhaps best known for her novels, Pigs in Heaven, Prodigal Summer, and Flight Behavior. She is also a naturalist on the side, and very attached to the family farm in Appalachia. One year, she took her whole family to the farm, where they lived off the land. Her non-fiction work, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a recounting of that year.

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