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Archive for January 31st, 2008

I compiled a list of my favorite writers and their age when they first published their debut book, i.e., novel, memoir, or first collection of short stories. Some made me say, “I figured!” (like Haruki Murakami, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Italo Calvino). Others made me feel like even though the clock is ticking, I’m still okay. =)

  • Junot Diaz – 29
  • Thomas Pynchon – 26
  • Margaret Atwood – 30
  • John Barth – 27
  • Ayn Rand – 29
  • Paul Auster – 35
  • Amy Tan – 37
  • Maxine Hong Kingston – 36
  • Ernest Hemingway – 27
  • Haruki Murakami – 21 (but then he went on a one decade hiatus)
  • Franz Kafka – 42 (but he wrote Metamorphosis when he was 32 and published his first short story at 21)
  • James Joyce – 49
  • Virginia Woolf – 33
  • John Steinback – 27
  • Ha Jin – 40
  • David Sedaris – 38
  • Kazuo Ishiguro – 28
  • Yann Martel – 30
  • Don Delillo – 35
  • Joan Didion – 29
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – 24
  • Francine Prose – 27
  • Kurt Vonnegut – 30
  • Salman Rushdie – 28
  • Italo Calvino – 24
  • E.L. Doctorow – 29
  • Umberto Eco – 48
  • Raymond Carver – 38
  • Jhumpa Lahiri – 32

This makes the average age for the debut book to be at 32 years old.

Let’s not talk about where I stand compared to that.

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