Even before he became the most talked about guy in Hollywood, Robert Pattinson had quite a head start on the romance novel front. The British actor read D.H. Lawrence and Henry James and was inspired to write his own romance stories. He began writing and publishing in his late teens and by the time he was 20 had penned 27 books – 17 of which became New York Times bestselling novels. He followed this up with a memoir, Maps To The Stars, and in 2015 published a follow-up titled Back To Bedlam. Now aged 35, the actor and his wife, Emily, are revising their rules for romance, having taken the sensible step of tying the knot in 2018.
Pattinson’s literary hero is William Shakespeare – quite a coup given that he is the ultimate romantics. In his 20s, he penned a novel titled Shakespeare – The King Lives!, a pitch-perfect retelling of the bard’s life. He followed this up with a sequel titled Shakespeare – The Tempest, and has since been working on a prequel titled Shakespeare – The Henriad. In 2015 he published an anthology titled The Romantics: Contemporary Writers on Love and Life Between the Notebooks.
Novels, Memoirs And Short Story Collections
His early success as a novelist opened many doors, not just for the actor but also for fans of his work. His 2017 novel, Life Aquatic, is the story of an ambitious young journalist who sets out to uncover the secret behind a media event and stumbles upon a real-life Romeo and Juliet plot. The novel was a New York Times bestseller and was followed by The Reluctant Succès, which was also a bestseller. In 2019 he published Poor Things, his first ever sci-fi novel, the first in a proposed trilogy dealing with the theme of artificial intelligence. His first two sci-fi titles, Cloud Atlas and The Children of Men, are currently available in audio form, narrated by the actor.
Pattinson is also the author of two books on literary theory, The Signature Of All Things and Nature’s Eternal Alchemy. The latter, published in 2019, explores the themes of alchemy and the search for immortality as seen through the prism of literature. His most recent work, a collection of linked short stories titled The Discovery, was released in May 2019. It follows his 2016 debut collection, Post-Pandemic Nostalgia, which was inspired by the 2016 novel The End Of The World As We Know It by Neal Stephenson.
Autobiographies, Nature And Supernatural Mysteries
As well as writing about love, life and literature, Pattinson has also dabbled in autobigraphy. He published an autobiography, Twilight, in December 2012 and has since followed up with a second, Walking the Moon. He is also the co-author – with the musician Damon Albarn – of the 2013 book We Think, You Agree: How Social Media Is Changing Politics, Productivity, And How You Can Benefit From It, an exploration of the ways in which social media has influenced the 2016 US presidential election.
He’s A Multi-Hyphenate
Besides being a novelist, short story writer and memoirist, Pattinson is also a playwright, screenwriter and producer. He has penned films including The Rover, which was awarded a Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and the 2012 film The Lost City. He will next be seen in 2021 in the psychological thriller The House With The Laughing Window, which he also co-wrote and produced. He’s currently at work on a new script, The House Of Gucci, a reimagining of the designer’s famous store from a first-person narrative point-of-view.
A Cinematic Romantic
It would be remiss of us not to mention Pattinson’s role as the young Doctor Strange in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie, The Curse Of The Devil’s Peak. Based on the award-winning, New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Richard Price, the film is due for release on February 20, 2021.
Pattinson’s portrayal of the archeologist Dr. Stephen Strange, whose ego leads him down a dangerous path, is described by one reviewer as “romantic in the grandest sense of the word.” The role marks the actor’s acting debut and sees him collaborate with Marvel’s head of visual effects, Chris Wenham, on a spectacularly illustrated edition of the Price novel. He plays a key role in shaping the MCU, which has included appearances in over a dozen films so far and more on the way.
Pattinson’s own cinematic journey saw him play the lead role of the handsome doctor in The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jones, a 2015 TV film based on the bestselling novel by Michael Scott. The film was directed by Jonathan Ross and originally aired on the BBC in the UK. The role was originally intended for James McAvoy but he had to turn it down due to filming commitment on the next X-Men movie, as a result of which Pattinson stepped in.
When it comes to literature, film and music, Pattinson is one of the most in-demand and sought-after young creatives working today. The late author David Foster Wallace, who died in 2013, referred to him as “one of the most interesting and unique figures in contemporary fiction.” In an essay for the New York Times entitled “David Foster Wallace: The King Of Cool,” the literary critic and biographer Justin Pardue writes: “For a modern writer, it is hard to imagine a more influential figure than David Foster Wallace. … In the annals of literary history, few novelists have ever had such a profound and far-reaching effect on their work and the literature as a whole.”
Wallace’s literary executor, Richard A. Ross, adds: “The world of literature is richer for the presence of David Foster Wallace. Not only is he one of the great modern American novelists, he is also admired for the originality of his work and the intelligence with which he portrayed the American scene in his writing.”
It is well-known that in addition to being a novelist, Wallace was also a jazz bassist. He even recorded an album, The Double Closer, which was released posthumously in 2018. It features his famous searing bass lines alongside music by Joe Henderson, Don Byron and Jim Hall.
To remember Wallace and his unique contribution to English literature, Pattinson has created a charitable foundation in his honor. The David Foster Wallace Literary Prize will be awarded annually to a writer whose work embodies the spirit of Wallace’s life and oeuvre. The inaugural award will be presented in October 2021.
A Renaissance Man
As well as being a prolific author, Wallace was also a gifted essayist, critic and conversationalist. In his New York Times Magazine profile of the novelist, Malcolm Gladwell writes: “It takes a special kind of mind to be a great writer – one that is organized, playful and deeply curious.” While interviewing Wallace for the magazine, Gladwell was struck by his erudition, even quoting Wallace on a number of occasions. It seems appropriate then, that as part of our tribute to this extraordinary writer, we have collected a diverse range of both well-known and little-known works by Wallace, ranging from poetry to literary criticism and even one novel, The Pale King.