Famous Writers

Authors and novelists, their lifetime’s work fill the library, public and private. These men and women draw from experiences and are able to tell us a story, fiction or non-fiction, that they weave from the treasury of their mind. Thanks to them, we learn, thanks to them, we are challenged to think. That is the gift authors, writers, and novelists have provided for us.

Shakespeare William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Bard of Avon, tragic & comedic plays
Shakespeare is a very big name in the world of literature, virtually known to everyone who has been educated in English literature. Some of his works are Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear and so many more. He wrote plays about romance, tragedies, and comedies. His Sonnets have also become poems well remembered.
EGP2 Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Raven
Nevermore! Edgar Allan Poe and his work as a writer will never be equaled. His famous works include Masque of the Red Death, The Cask of Amontillado, The Black Cat, The Pit and the Pendulum, and Murders in the Rue Morgue only to name a few. And who can forget his poetry such as Annabel Lee, Tamerlane, and The Raven.
Anne-Frank Anne Frank (1929-1945)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl was actually a diary by Anne Frank. She chronicles her time in hiding during World War II before being taken to Nazi concentration camps. It is the only piece of literature she wrote, she died of typhus in 1945 at the age of 16.
paulo-coelho Paulo Coelho (1947)
Nationality: Brazilian
Famous For: The Alchemist
Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho is known for his books entitled The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes, Veronika Decides to Die and many others. Sixty-five million copies of The Alchemist have sold worldwide and translated in 71 languages.
stephen-king Stephen King (1947)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Carrie & The Shining
When it comes to fantasy, horror, science fiction, and suspense novels, the name of Stephen King quickly comes to mind. He has written 200 short stories, fifty novels, and five non fiction books. He is known for The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Carrie, Cujo, Miseryand even The Green Mile.
JK-Rowling J. K. Rowling (1965)
Nationality: British
Famous For: Harry Potter book series
Joanne Rowling became a novelist over a seven year period. She is known for writing the Harry Potter series, the first of which is entitled Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Today, she writes novels for adults, The Casual Vacancy, a “tragicomedy.”
Oscar_Wilde Oscar Wilde (1854)
Nationality: Irish
Famous For: The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest is considered Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece written for the stage. The lone novel he is known for is entitled The Picture of Dorian Gray. His last work was a poem entitled The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
Dr-Seuss Dr. Seuss (1904-1991)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Cat in the Hat
Rosetta Stone and Theo LeSieg are pen names used by Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. This writer of children books is best remembered for How the Grinch stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, Horton Hears a Who, Horton Hatches the Egg and of course The Cat in the Hat.
Mark_Twain Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer
Though he is known as Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens is the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, two great American classics. The first piece he wrote that gained him attention is entitled Jumping Frog of Calavera County. Other books he wrote include The Prince and the Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Agatha-Christie Agatha Christie (1890-1976)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Murder on the Orient Express
Murder and mystery novels is synonymous to the name Agatha Christie. Her novels often revolve one with the other with the likes of Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun. And who can forget the lead characters in her novels, “Hercule Poirot, Tommy & Tuppence, and Miss Jane Marple.”
Ernest_Hemingway Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Old Man and the Sea
One of America’s Nobel Prize recipients for literature is Ernest Hemingway. Many of his novels are considered classics, they include,For Whom the Bell Tolls, A Farewell to Arms, The Sun also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea. He also received a Pulitzer Prize award for fiction in 1953.
nicholas-sparks Nicholas Sparks (1965)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Notebook & Message in a Bottle
Hope and romance are themes the novels Nicholas Sparks have. Sparks first novel was The Notebook which was followed later by Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Guardian, Nights in Rodanthe along with many other up and coming titles. His newest book, The Longest Ride is due to be released later in 2013.
Jane-Austen Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Pride and Prejudice
English romance writer Jane Austen and her novels often feature women and other romantic escapades. Austen is known for writing Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and published after her death Northanger Abbey & Persuasion.
Charles-Dickens Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol
Who can forget the characters created from the mind of Charles Dickens and his novels. Dickens’ work include such Victorian masterpieces like The Pickwick Papers, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and even Oliver Twist.
Ayn-Rand Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Nationality: Russian-American
Famous For: Atlas Shrugged
The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were written by author Ayn Rand. She wrote another novel early in her career entitled We the Living in 1936. Prior to writing the first two books mentioned, she also wrote Night of January 16th and Anthem.
Roald_Dahl Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
Nationality: British
Famous For: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Considered one of the fifty greatest British writers post World War 2, Roald Dahl is known for writing children’s books. Among his memorable titles include Jack and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Gremlins, and of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl also wrote adult fiction, with two titles Sometime Never: A Fable for Supermen and My Uncle Oswald.
George-RR-Martin George R. R. Martin (1948)
Nationality: American
Famous For: A Song of Fire and Ice
Those familiar with the science fiction fantasy genre know who “GRRM” is, George R.R. Martin. His bestselling series of novels include A Song of Ice and Fire, the first of which is entitled A Game of Thrones then A Feast for Crows, and the latest A Dance with Dragons.
Dan-Brown Dan Brown (1964)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Da Vinci Code
Before the movie, there was the book. Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code became popular that his other works became equally popular as well. He wrote Angels & Demons, The Lost Symbol, and his most recent one, Inferno. His earliest novel which published in 1998 is entitled Digital Fortress.
stephenie-meyer Stephenie Meyer (1973)
Nationality: American
Famous For: the “Twilight” series
With her books translated in 37 languages and nearly 100 million printed, Stephenie Meyer is responsible for the Twilight series and that was the title of her first book. This was followed by three more, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.
Douglas-Adams Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
Nationality: English
Famous For: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
English author and humorist Douglas Noel Adams is best remembered for his book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” His unfinished novel, The Salmon of Doubt was published in 2002. He also wrote The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff.
Herman_Melville Herman Melville (1819-1891)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Moby Dick
Moby Dick is Herman Melville’s greatest work as a novelist. His other novels include Redburn and White Jacket. The first book he published was a bestseller, Typee.
Sylvia-Plath Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Colossus and Other Poems
The genre brought about by Sylvia Plath was known as confessional poetry. Among her well known works include The Bell Jar, Ariel, and The Colossus and Other Poems, for which she received a Pulitzer Prize for poetry posthumously in 1982.
Dante Dante Alighieri (c. 1265-1321)
Nationality: Italian
Famous For: Divine Comedy
A major force during the middle ages, Italian writer Dante Alighieri wrote Divine Comedy. In this book, sections of it have become as popular as the whole, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. It is from these works that the reference to “Dante’s Inferno” comes from.
VirginiaWoolf Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Orlando
English author and essayist Virginia Woolf is viewed as one of the stalwarts of modernist writing. A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, To the Lighthouse, and Mrs. Dalloway are among her most famous works. She wrote nine novels along with a collection of six short stories.
JRR-Tolkien J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
Nationality: English
Famous For: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy
J.R.R. Tolkien is seen by many as the “father of modern fantasy literature”. His best known novels begin with The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and The Lord of the Rings. His writings has been described as “high fantasy.”
George_Orwell George Orwell (1903-1950)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Animal Farm & 1984
Considered as one of the most influential visionaries among British writers, Eric Arthur Blair, also known as George Orwell, his writing still influence politics and modern culture to this day. His best known books include Animal Farm, Homage to Catalonia, and Nineteen Eighty Four. It is from these books we get the phrases “Orwellian”, “big brother”, and “Cold War” from.
AlbertCamus Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Nationality: French-Algerian
Famous For: The Rebel
French-Algerian author Albert Camus received a Nobel Prize in Literature. As a writer, he wrote five novels, numerous essays, a collection of short stories, and a handful of non-fiction books which include The Rebel. Included in his list of writings are The Stranger, Exile and the Kingdom, and The Myth of Sisyphus.
Maya-Angelou Maya Angelou (1928)
Nationality: American
Famous For: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
American writer Maya Angelou has authored seven “autobiographical fiction” along with a bevy books of poetry and essays. Her most notable book is entitled I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Most of her writing revolves around the Civil Rights movement in America.
Homer Homer
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Iliad & the Odyssey
No one really knows when Greek poet Homer lived, what is known is that his literary work are considered epic and have been a foundation in Western literature. He is best known for the Iliad and the Odyssey. Other works attributed to him include Capture of Oechalia, Little Iliad, and Epignoni.
Jules_Verne Jules Verne (1828-1905)
Nationality: French-Algerian
Famous For: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The influence of French author Jules Verne on science fiction cannot be overlooked. It was he who wrote Around the World in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and of course, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Along with two other authors, Verne has been referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction.”
Kafka_ Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
Nationality: German
Famous For: The Metamorphosis
Kafka authored many of his works in the German language. His most noted novel is entitled Die Verwandlung (a.k.a. The Metamorphosis). His other works include The Castle, Contemplation, and The Trial.
Fernando-pessoa1 Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
Nationality: Portugese
Famous For: Message and The Book of Disquiet
Heteronym is a literary style of writing attributed to Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet and Message, which is presented in three parts, are two books considered as his most memorable. He also wrote essays that has been published as The New Portuguese Poetry
CS-Lewis C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Chronicles of Narnia
Clive Staples Lewis’s name will always be linked to his most famous work of fiction, The Chronicles of Narnia. He also wrote other books, his first novel was entitled The Pilgrims Regress. Then there is Space Trilogy and The Screwtape Letters. He also wrote non-fiction which include, Mere Christianity, Miracles, The Problem of Pain, and .
Hunter_S._Thompson Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Hell’s Angels:The Strange & Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Author and journalist Hunter Thompson is remembered internationally for his book Hell’s Angels:The Strange & Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. One of his books The Rum Diary, was written in the 60’s but was not published until 1998. Other notable works by Thompson include, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and a collection of articles entitled Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.
James-Patterson James Patterson (1947-1997)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Alex Cross series
Mixing romance and mystery, James Patterson’s books have been propular reading over the years. These include Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls, The Big Bad Wolf and many others.
Salman-rushdie Salman Rushdie (1947)
Nationality: British-Indian
Famous For: The Satanic Verses
British writer Salman Rushdie received the Booker Prize in 1981 for his book Midnight’s Children. He gained international fame for his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. He also wrote children’s books, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Luka and the Fire of Life.
Nora-Roberts Nora Roberts (1950)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Bestselling author of 209 romance novels.
Though her name is immediately associated with romance novels, Nora Roberts has also written suspense and fantasy novels. Some of her novels were written under pseudonyms, “Jill March, Sarah Hardesty, and J.D. Robb.” She is the author of Irish Thoroughbred, Night Moves, and the “In Death” series which includes her latest novel Thankless in Death under “J.D. Robb.”
Rick-Riordan Rick Riordan (1964)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Percy Jackson & the Olympians
American author Rick Riordan wrote the series Percy Jackson & the Olympians. His writing style caters to the detective, fantasy, and mythology genre. Titles of his other books include Heroes of Olympus, The Kane Chronicles, The Maze of Bones and the Tres Navarres adult series.
Neil-Gaiman Neil Gaiman (1960)
Nationality: English
Famous For: The Sandman
When it comes dark fantasy and science fiction, the novels and work of Neil Gaiman often comes to mind. His first book, Good Omens was followed by Neverwhere, The Sandman, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He is known for his comic book series as well, Violent Cases and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch.
suzanne-collins Suzanne Collins (1992)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Hunger Games
Science fiction and fantasy are popular these days, Suzanne Collins and her best selling novels The Hunger Games triology and The Undeland Chronicles are evidence of that. Other books she has written include Fire Proof and When Charlie McButton series.
Alexander_Dumas Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)
Nationality: French
Famous For: The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo
History, romance and adventure, that was the forte of French writer Alexandre Dumas. It was he who wrote The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. His other adventure novels include The Conspirators and The Corsican Brothers.
Jack_London Jack London (1876-1916)
Nationality: American
Famous For: White Fang
Adventure in the wild, these were the subject of novelist Jack London. In his books White Fang and The Call of the Wild he sets these two books during the Alaskan gold rush. He also wrote The Sea-Wolf, Martin Eden, and The Iron Heel.
Hermann_Hesse Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Steppenwolf
Nobel Prize winner and author Hermann Hesse is noted for his books The Glass Bead Game, Siddhartha, and Steppenwolf. His other works include Journey to the East and Klingsor’s Last Summer
James-Joyce James Joyce (1882-1941)
Nationality: Irish
Famous For: Ulysses and Dubliners
Viewed as an influence in modern writing during the 20th century, Irish author,James Joyce is remembered for Ulysses and Dubliners. He also wrote Finnegans Wake and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Dale-Carnegie Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)
Nationality: American
Famous For: How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to books have been popular, Dale Carnegie capitalized on that by publishing How to Win Friends and Influence People which continues to be a bestseller to this day. His other books include How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and Lincoln the Unknown. He co authored books with other writers, one such book is Art of Public Speaking.
Francis_Scott_Fitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Great Gatsby
One of the greatest of American writers, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald and his novels captured readers by storm. His most memorable book is The Great Gatsby which has been made into a movie several times over. In addition to the “Gatsby,” Fitzgerald wrote Tender is the Night, The Beautiful and the Damned, This Side of Paradise, and The Love of the Last Tycoon which was published after his death.
John-Steinbeck John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
Nationality: American
Famous For: The Grapes of Wrath
First a Pulitzer in 1940, then a Nobel Prize in ’62, these represent the quality that American novelist John Steinbeck represents. He authored six non fiction books, five short stories, and sixteen novels. His Pulitzer Prize winning novel was The Grapes of Wrath. Before that he wrote In Dubious Battle and Of Mice and Men, and then East of Eden, all of which are popular to this day.
Isaac-Asimov Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Nationality: Russian
Famous For: Nightfall
This was what Isaac Asimov is known for hard science fiction, beginning with his Foundation Series which was later followed by The Robot Series (I, Robot and Bicentennial Man) and Nightfall which was voted as the best science fiction book in 1964.
Jack-Kerouac Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
Nationality: American
Famous For: On the Road
Before the hippie movement, there was American writer Jack Kerouac. Sadly, his literary talent was not recognized until his death. His books include Big Sur, On the Road, The Sea is My Brother, Doctor Sax, Visions of Cody, The Dharma Burns, and Desolation Angels to name a few. All of these are in print.
Murakami Haruki Murakami (1949)
Nationality: Japanese
Famous For: 1Q84
Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, the talent of Haruki Murakami is evident through his novels which include 1Q84, Hear the Wind Sing, Norwegian Wood, Sputnik Sweetheart, and Kafka on the Shore. He also has written short stories and essays.
David-Foster-Wallace David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Infinite Jest
His novel Infinite Jest was recognized as part of of the top 100 novels (in English) by Time magazine. Included in his body work are The Broom of the System and the unfinished The Pale King which was published “as-is,” after his death.
Sun-Tzu Sun Tzu
Nationality: Chinese
Famous For: The Art of War
Chinese General Sun Tzu and his book The Art of War have influenced many military men over the centuries. The book provides approaches on how to win a battle and “manage conflicts.” Many nations have endorsed the reading of this book to their armed forces.
Virgil Virgil (70-19 BC)
Nationality: Roman
Famous For: Aeneid
As a Roman poet, Virgil is remembered for three main works he wrote, Aeneid, Georgics and Eclogues or Bucolics. He was part of the “Augustan” literary movement, a time when poetry was allowed at the time of Emperor Caesar Augustus. These books became required reading for Romans who were educated.