14. Wise Blood (1952)
Author: Flannery O'Connor
O'Conner used to joke that she had her first brush with fame when a news crew filmed her and one of her chickens that could walk backwards when she was 6 years old. "I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life," she said. "Everything since has been anticlimax."
She went on to have an illustrious literary career that began with Wise Blood, the novel concerning a veteran who begins an "anti-religious" ministry after returning from war. O'Conner ultimately ended her life as she began it. She returned to her family farm years later to raise different species of birds during the last decade of her life as she fought lupus and continued to write.