The Years (1937)
by Virginia Woolf
With six titles included in the 1001 Books list, Virginia Woolf is what you call a "major twentieth century author." She is also one of the top three modernist authors and a prominent publisher. She also killed herself. Virginia Woolf, above all else, is a hugely taught author, in that students studying literature in English speaking countries are likely to read her work as part of any course of study. While she has a popular audience simply from having generations of students being exposed to her work, she's not an author with an enduring hit or hits that has been endlessly cycled through the organs of mass media and popular films and television shows in the manner of Charles Dickens or Jane Austen.
The Years was the last novel that Woolf wrote before her death, and it is also the best selling and most read novel.