Authors Who Give Up Their Day Job

Random Literature or author Quiz

Can you name the famous writers by their other careers?

Featured May 1, 2011

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ClueAuthorFurther Clues
Ranch-hand, fruit picker, tour guide and caretaker at a fish-hatchery, bricklayer, sugar factory worker.1902 - 1968, American, 'East of Eden'
Teacher, MI5 officer, MI6 officer, diplomat (cover for spy activities).1931 - Present Day, English, 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold'
Cabin boy, whaler, Ordinary Seaman on the USS United States.1819 - 1891, American, 'Bartleby the Scrivener'
Page, Comptroller of Customs for the Port of London, Clerk of the King's Works, Deputy Forester of North Petherton Royal Forest.1343 - 1400, English, 'The Book of the Duchess'
Civil servant in the British Admiralty, journalist, tennis racquet stringer, fruit picker, book-keeper, WWI soldier, VP of the Dabney Oil Syndicate.1888 - 1959, American, 'The Long Goodbye'
Chorus girl, nude model, WWI canteen volunteer, pension office assistant.1890 - 1979, Dominican, 'Wide Sargasso Sea'
Clerk, printer, teacher, journalist, carpenter, Civil War male nurse.1819 - 1892, American, 'Beat! Beat! Drums!'
Farm labourer, tavern pot boy, gardener, lime burner,1793 - 1864, English, 'Written in Northampton County Asylum'
Bakery delivery boy, auto-parts warehouse clerk, Brooklyn Naval Yard labourer, box assembler in a beer factory.1915 - 2005, American, 'A View from the Bridge'
Draper's apprentice, chemist's assistant, teacher.1866 - 1946, English, 'The Shape of Things to Come'
Cabin boy, ship's steward, gun-runner, Master Mariner in the British Merchant Navy.1857 - 1924, Polish/British, 'The Secret Agent'
Blacksmith's apprentice, messenger boy, filing clerk, WWII bombardier, creative writing tutor, advertising copywriter.1923 - 1999, American, 'Something Happened'
Tutor at Smith College, receptionist in Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatric unit.1932 - 1963, American, 'The Moon and the Yew Tree'
Ship's doctor, general practitioner of medicine.1859 - 1930, Scottish, 'The Sign of Four'
Governess, seamstress, domestic help, Civil War nurse.1832 - 1888, American, 'Jo's Boys'
Labourer in a canning factory, jute mill and power plant, oyster pirate, seal hunter, gold prospector.1876 - 1916, American, 'The Sea Wolf'
Weighter and gauger at the Boston Custom House, Surveyor for the District of Salem and Beverly, Inspector of Revenue for the Port of Salem.1804 - 1864, American, 'The Blithedale Romance'
Actor, waiter, postman, bouncer, snow-clearer.1930 - 2008, English, 'The Caretaker'
Lecturer, teacher, banker at Lloyds, publishing director at Faber & Faber.1888 - 1965, American/British, 'Four Quartets'
Beggar, thief, forger, male prostitute.1910 - 1986, French, 'Notre Dame des Fleurs'
ClueAuthorFurther Clues
Clerk, assistant stage manager, Cadbury's chocolate factory worker.1933 - 1967, English, 'Entertaining Mr Sloane'
Reporter for the Kansas City Star, WWI ambulance driver, Europe-based foreign correspondent.1899 - 1961, American, 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro'
Teacher, handyman, worker in the family pencil business, land surveyor.1817 - 1862, American, 'A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers'
Sketch writer, hospital porter, barn builder, chicken shed cleaner, bodyguard to a wealthy Qatari family.1952 - 2001, English, 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe'
Medical guinea-pig in CIA-sponsored psychoactive drug tests, assistant in a veterans hospital.1935 - 2001, American, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'
Member of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, dishwasher in a Paris hotel, teacher, bookshop assistant, Spanish Civil war volunteer, journalist.1903 - 1950, English, 'The Road to Wigan Pier'
Soldier, petty criminal, golf caddy.1948 - Present Day, American, 'The Black Dahlia'
Milk wagon driver, bricklayer, farm labourer, hotel servant, coal heaver, journalist for the Chicago Daily News.1878 - 1967, American, 'Chicago'
Labourer in an industrial laundry, high school English teacher.1947 - Present Day, American, 'The Green Mile'
WWI volunteer nurse, pharmacy assistant.1890 - 1976, English, 'The Murder at the Vicarage'
House painter, IRA member, merchant seaman, pornographic writer.1923 - 1964, Irish, 'The Quare Fellow'
Factory lightbulb filament changer, farmer, English teacher.1874 - 1963, American, 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'
Shoe factory worker, elevator operator, theatre usher, chicken ranch caretaker.1911 - 1983, American, 'The Rose Tattoo'
Teacher, deserter from the Dutch Colonial Army, foreman of a stone quarry, Ethiopia-based merchant dealing in coffee and armaments.*1854 - 1891, French, 'Le Bateau Ivre'
Reuters journalist, stockbroker, WWII Naval Intelligence Officer.1908 - 1964, English, 'The Spy Who Loved Me'
Printer, riverboat pilot, gold miner, journalist, inventor.1835 - 1910, American, 'The Prince and the Pauper'
Funeral parlour make-up artist, assistant in a mental institution, publisher.1959 - Present Day, English, 'Sexing the Cherry'
Labourer in a shoe-polish factory, legal clerk, court reporter.1812 - 1870, English, 'Our Mutual Friend'
Pinkerton detective, soldier, advertising copywriter.1894 - 1961, American, 'The Thin Man'
Gas station attendant, US Merchant Marine sailor, construction worker, waiter, sports reporter, railroad brakesman and fire look-out.1922 - 1969, American, 'Big Sur'

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