10 most controversial authors (in recent memory)

These writers have all sold plenty of books – and taken quite a lot of flak.

By , Contributor

2. E.L. James

Another female writer who burst onto the scene as a cultural phenomenon, E.L. James has achieved remarkable popular success. To date, her "50 Shades of Grey" books – which feature a romance that includes elements of sadomasochism and practices like bondage – have earned around a half a billion dollars, and that's before the release of the movies.

But for some in the literary community, the success of the erotic trilogy is nothing short of galling. When Publishers Weekly named E.L. James the 2012 "publishing person of the year" Ron Charles, fiction editor at The Washington Post, struck back with a hilarious video that mocked PW for "looking past the skin-deep issues of originality, significance, or originality" and choosing to honor James on the basis of "cold hard cash."

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