50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters

With not one, but two novels featuring Jane Austen, one featuring the ghost of Dorothy Parker, and a third about Virginia Woolf and her sister hitting shelves soon, it seemed like a good time to survey the entire “writer-as-character” subset of novels.

As it turns out, there are many sub-categories in this world. We have the ever-popular wife or mistress of famous male writer formula, the famous-writer-as-detective, the famous writer cameo in a literary novel to offer wisdom, the meta-novel about a character with the same name as the writer, the “secret lost romance” story of a famous writer, and the famous writer as ghost. And then there are those books that we just know contain juicy, thinly-veiled portraits of other writers.

As for the most popular fictionalized writers? No surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Austens, Dickenses and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a graphic-novel Susan Sontag? Cranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading pleasure.

JaneAustensFirstLove 100 dpi

Jane Austen’s First Love, Syrie James

James, a specialist in novelizing writers’ lives, dug into Austen’s to find a possible love interest who has never been played by James McAvoy on the big screen!