We’ve written before about some of the most controversial novels in history, but today we here at Goliath are taking a look at some of the most incendiary authors of all time and where they fall in the grand spectrum of critical acclaim; after all, it’s fascinating to think on how an author may be revered by one critic and disowned by the next, adored by one academic and easily dismissed by another. We’re interested in where people find merit in the written word, and today we’re going to take a look at a list of authors who some love, and others merely love to hate. These are 10 incendiary authors who consistently divide critics, and we are truly excited to be taking a look at some of the iconic figures on this list in a little more detail.
10. James Frey
Much of the controversy surrounding author James Frey has little do with what the author actually put down on the page. After all, it’s somewhat accepted that his first novel, A Million Little Pieces, is a solid (if unspectacular) creative endeavor that showed a promising young talent ready to contribute to the literary world. The controversy, then, stems from Frey’s initial insistence that A Million Little Pieces be classified and marketed not as fiction, but rather as a memoir. This insistence proved to be a monumental mistake after it was discovered that large portions of A Million Little Pieces had been created by the author to supplement the small elements of the story that were true, and Frey was publicly denounced (very publicly, as his appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show to discuss the novel was, in a word, devastating) before later moving to label the novel “semi-fictional.”