One of the most popular writers of contemporary horror, suspense and science fiction, American author Stephen King has published over 50 novels and penned hundreds of short stories. Best known for writing the horror novel ˜It' which revolves around a mysterious maleficent being that terrorizes children, King is undoubtedly one of the most loved horror writers whose writings never fail to incite fear, terror and fright in the minds of the readers. The author who mostly publishes under his real name also used to publish under the pseudonym ˜Richard Bachman'. Funnily enough, the sale of Richard Bachman's books increased manifold after it was revealed that Bachman was none other than Stephen King himself. King is a highly prolific writer and the winner of multiple awards including the prestigious <a title='Bram Stoker' href='/famous/bram-stoker.htm'>Bram Stoker</a> Awards. Growing up King had a difficult childhood as he was raised by a single mother in financially difficult circumstances. While still a small boy he witnessed the horrific death of a friend who was struck and killed by a train in front of his eyes”this incident might have played a role in inspiring some of his darker writings. His first published novel was ˜Carrie' which was so successful that it led to several film and Broadway adaptations.
One of the most widely read English authors of all time Charles Dickens is famous for his novels that touch upon the sensitive issues of poverty, child labour, and slavery. During a time, when depravity and oppression were the norms of English society, this talented writer had the courage to voice his opinions against these conditions. Gathering inspiration from his childhood experiences of poverty and insecurity, his novels are usually semi-autobiographical. This author was gifted with a powerful memory, and most of the characters in his novels are based on people he met and got acquainted with. This includes his own parents, who were the models for characters Mr. and Mrs. Micawber in the famous novel ˜David Copperfield'. The characters created by this novelist are popular because of their idiosyncrasies and quirky names. Some of his popular novels are 'Oliver Twist', 'A Christmas Carol', and 'Hard Times', amongst many more. Though known for his social commentary on the prevalent conditions in England, the literary works of novelist gained popularity amongst readers, editors and publishers alike. His books have seen more than 200 adaptations for the big screen, including 'The Pickwick Papers', a silent movie made in the early 20th century.
Author and screenwriter who is best recognized for his literary contributions under the name Lemony Snicket. He published the book Why We Broke Up under his own name in 2011.
Mark Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was an American author, essayist, and humorist who wrote a series of famous books including ˜The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and ˜The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' Hailed as the "the father of American literature" by William Faulkner, Twain was known for not just his humorous writings and satire but also his radical views on imperialism, organized religion, and civil rights. He was a very popular figure and was friends with the presidents, prominent industrialists, and even the European royalty. Born into a humble family in Missouri, he endured a difficult childhood. The untimely death of his father in 1847 forced the 11 year old boy to take up a job to support his family. His early struggles instilled in him sympathy for the working class. As a young man, he was appointed as a river pilot's apprentice, eventually becoming a licensed river pilot. He began his writing career during the Civil War and the success of his story ˜The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County' earned him national acclaim, paving the way for a successful writing career. As a popular author and a charming personality, he was also in great demand as a featured speaker.
James Patterson, a former chief executive of advertising agency ˜J Walter Thompson', North America, is one of the bestselling American authors. He is famous for his crime thrillers and romance novels. Patterson began writing in real earnest some 20 years after retiring from his advertising career. His ˜Alex Cross', ˜Women's Murder Club', ˜Michael Bennett', ˜Maximum Ride', ˜NYPD Red', ˜Daniel X', ˜Private', and ˜Witch and Wizard' series of books, as well as innumerable stand-alone novels, have sold more than 300 million copies making him the highest-paid author in the country. He is also the first author to have sold more than one million e-books. One of the most prolific writers worldwide, he is recognized by the ˜Guinness Book of World Records' for having the maximum number of books on The New York Times' best-seller list. Patterson has emerged as a passionate advocate of reading and books, donating millions of dollars from his personal wealth to teachers' colleges, universities, school libraries, students, and independent bookstores. The ˜National Book Foundation' has awarded the prestigious ˜Literarian Award' for his efforts to make books and reading a national priority.
Author of the After series, including the titles After We Collided and After We Fell, who initially published her works to the site Wattpad.
Never had he thought that a bedtime story he narrated to his children would transform into a cult award-winning novel, with hundreds of millions of fan following across the world. Described as ˜grew in the telling', his ˜The Hobbit' became one of his most-loved books, along with his richly inventive epic tale series ˜The Lord of the Rings' which was helmed in bits and pieces sent as letters to his kids. J.R.R. Tolkien was an internationally eminent writer, most popular for his dark fantasy stories. His areas of expertise were often inspirations drawn from Germanic people, including poetry, literature, mythology and old English. Apart from novels, he also authored a series of short stories. It was due to his connection with fictional histories, fantasy writings, and constructed languages that he came to be known as the ˜father of modern fantasy literature'. His epic tale series ˜The Lord of the Rings' has been translated into over 25 languages for readers across the world, even after 50 years from its original publication, and has often been ranked among the best-loved stories created in the 20th century, along with ˜The Hobbit'. These two novels have been adapted into award-winning blockbuster movies by Hollywood director, Peter Jackson.
Harper Lee was an American author who is renowned for her novel ˜To Kill a Mockingbird'. She did not seem to have many companions during her childhood except her neighbour and friend Truman Capote. Lee's mother probably had some psychological ailments and this left a profound impact on her. Truman also faced domestic problems and the two found an outlet in each other to pour out these grievances which later came out through their writings. Lee wanted to become a writer and to chase this dream she dropped out from her course as an exchange student and tried to pursue her literary career. However, she encountered many obstacles in this path, the major challenge being financial instability. To earn a living and also continue her writing, she took up a job at the airlines. This deterred the aspiring writer from focussing on her writing completely, and she struggled to strike a balance between her work and passion for writing. As they say ˜Where there is a will, there is a way', she was helped by friends in her pursuit when as a Christmas gift, she received a handsome amount which was enough for her to quit her job and focus on writing. She then penned her novel ˜To Kill a Mockingbird' which became a bestseller and is still sought after by readers
Agatha Christie, known as the ˜Queen of Crime', was a renowned English writer who wrote over 66 detective novels. She is best known as the creator of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and village lady Miss Marple. She is credited for writing world's longest running play ˜The Mousetrap'. Her first successful publication was ˜The Mysterious Affair at Styles' that introduced the character of Poirot. According to Index Translationum, her books have been translated into 103 different languages, and her works rank third rank after the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the world's most widely published books. Her novel ˜And Then There Were None' deserves special mention as her best-selling novel. Around 100 million copies of this novel have been sold till now. For her noteworthy contribution in the field of detective stories, she received several awards, such as, Grand Master Award and an Edgar Award. A number of films, television series, video games and comics have been made based on her stories. Her created character Poirot is the only fictional character for which The New York Times published an obituary, which is a clear indication of the character's popularity.
Jane Austen was an English author, primarily known for her six novels, all of which interpret the life of British landed gentry at the end of the eighteenth century. Born into a large and close knit family that belonged to the lower fringes of English gentry, she wrote what she had seen and experienced. She started writing at the age of twelve and by the age of eighteen, she had created a large volume of work, which though rather boisterous, shows her dislike for sentimental fictions. Her first serious work ˜Lady Susan' was written at the age of nineteen. She then went on to produce more novels. However, none of them found publishers until she settled down in Chawton and her brother Henry began to act as her literary agent. Thereafter, four of her novels were published in quick succession; the rest being published shortly after her death.
George R. R. Martin is an American novelist and short-story writer best known for his epic fantasy novel series, 'A Song of Ice and Fire', which has been adapted into the hugely successful HBO series, 'Game of Thrones'. Martin, who primarily writes in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, has been called "the American Tolkien" by 'Time' journalist Lev Grossman and was included in the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world once. He is also a screenwriter and television producer who previously worked on the CBS series 'Twilight Zone' and 'Beauty and the Beast', and is now actively involved in the development of the 'Game of Thrones'. Like most of his works, the series showcases "complex story lines, fascinating characters, great dialogue, perfect pacing". While the series has been criticized by some for its violence and gloominess, many consider the imperfections and moral and ethical ambiguity of his characters to be "real".
Oscar Wilde was a noted Irish playwright, novelist, poet and essayist, born in the middle of the nineteenth century into an intellectual family. While studying in Trinity, Dublin, he was influenced by the aesthetic movement, which advocated that art must be practiced only for the sake of art and soon became one of its ardent followers. Although his very first book, ˜Poems' established him as an upcoming poet, he tasted real success only in the last decade of his relatively short life. But by then, despite being married with two sons, he had become entangled in a homosexual relationship and when that came into light, he was sentenced to two-year rigorous imprisonment. On coming out of prison, he went to France, where he spent the last years of his life, cut off from his family and shunned by most of his friends. By then, his books had also stopped selling and his plays were closed down. Thus he lived in poverty and ill-health till he died aged just forty-six.
Known for her 2010 politically-themed novel Eighteen Acres and its sequel, It's Classified. She also had a career in politics, serving as White House Director of Communications during the presidential administration of <a title='George W. Bush' href='/famous/george-w-bush.htm'>George W. Bush</a>.
Innate storytelling ability, witty dialogues, realistic characters, exhaustive and meticulous description are few of the trademark signs of Tom Clancy's novels. A master of fiction and non-fiction, he was responsible for conceiving the character of Jack Ryan. An insurance agent by profession, Clancy's love for writing was a long cherished one. He started writing novels in his pastime soon turning his hobby into his passion and eventually his career. Right from his debut novel, he was a huge hit among the readers and the critics alike. His first novel, ˜The Hunt for Red October' gave the readers a perfect example of his distinctive writing style and inherent storytelling skills. The work was much appreciated by the then US President Ronald Reagan as well, who commented it to be my kind of yarn. The compliment was enough to boost the sales of the book which zoomed to 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies. Over the years, about seventeen of his novels achieved the bestselling status with more than 100 million of his books in print. He was responsible for expanding and redefining the genre of fiction. Most of his novels have been developed into television series, films and video games.
Virginia Woolf was an English author and novelist who wrote modernist classics. Not only is she known as a pioneer of modernism, but is also known as the greatest modernist literary personality of the twentieth century. She pioneered feminist texts as well. She is known for works like ˜To the Lighthouse', ˜Mrs. Dalloway' and ˜Orlando' and an essay ˜A Room of One's Own.' Being an important figure of the Victorian Literary Society, as well as an influential figure of the Bloomsbury group of intellectuals, she was also an innovator of English literature with her experimental language. Her works are considered unique as they go deep into the psychology of a character, and show the way of their thinking. She published novels and essays as a public intellectual, and received both critical and popular success. She used to self-publish most of her works through the Hogarth Press which she had co-founded. Throughout her life, she suffered from mental illnesses, probably including bipolar disorder, and she took her own life in 1941. She was 59. Her posthumous reputation suffered after the Second World War, but it was re-established with the growth of feminist criticism during the 1970s. Woolf's novels can be described as highly experimental: a narrative, frequently uneventful, and commonplace, is seen to be refracted, or dissolved, in the receptive consciousness of the character.
An American writer, she is best known for The Land of Little Rain, a work that describes the animals, plant life, and people of the Mojave Desert of Southern California.
American novelist who is known for the semi-autobiographical novel We the Animals. The novel was adapted into a film.
Hailed as the greatest national hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal was a man of strong convictions who sacrificed his life for the nationalist cause. During his time Philippines was under Spanish colonial rule and Rizal advocated for peaceful reforms in his home country. Rizal was not just a nationalist, he was a multifaceted personality who was a qualified doctor, writer, and an artist who could draw, paint, sculpt and carve. He was a prolific writer and poet who through his eloquent writings inspired the nationalists for peaceful reforms as well as armed conflicts where the need arose. Born into a family which valued education, he was encouraged to study well and gain knowledge about a variety of subjects. Even as a youngster he was known to harbor thoughts of political freedom and individual rights which were considered radical by the authorities who frowned upon him. A well traveled man, he became involved in the Propaganda Movement where he joined other Filipinos who wanted reforms. He also wrote about the dark aspects of Spanish rule in a book which was banned in Philippines. Even though he was a supporter of peaceful reforms, he was exiled from his home country, and later on convicted of sedition and sentenced to death. The execution of this young nationalist fuelled the Filipinos' desire for independence further.
If you have been in love with the character of Rip Van Winkle since you were an adolescent, you need to thank Washington Irving time and again for helping you escape into the world of fantasy, leaving aside the realities of life. The creator of the character, Irving was an American author and essayist of the early 19th century who shot to fame with the famous short story, ˜The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'. Irving's got interested in writing at an early age. He started off by writing a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle. It was when he relocated to England that he penned his debut book, ˜The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent'. The book brought him international fame and reputation. It was superlative success of his debut venture that led him to continue his writing spree. Interestingly, all his publications were a major hit and contributed to his success. Other than short stories and essays, he also penned biographies of well-known and eminent world personalities like Oliver Goldsmith and George Washington, the latter of which extended to five volumes. In his lifetime, he also served as US Ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846. All his life, he worked for making writing a legitimate profession. He even worked to bring up strong laws to protect the writers from copyright problems.
Ernest Hemingway was a Nobel Prize-winning American writer who touched the pinnacles of fame with his novel ˜The Old Man and the Sea' which catapulted him to international glory. Over the course of his writing career, he published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works which greatly influenced later generations of writers. A highly acclaimed writer, most of his works are considered classics of American literature. Born as the first son to well-educated and well-respected parents in Illinois, he had a comfortable childhood during which he developed a keen interest in reading and writing. As a school student he excelled in English and was a regular contributor to his school newspaper, ˜Trapeze and Tabula'. An athletic boy, he also took part in boxing, track and field, water polo, and football. He decided early on that he wanted a career in writing and started off as a journalist before becoming a writer of short-stories and novels. He went on to serve in World War I as an ambulance driver in the Italian Army before returning to America and establishing himself as a distinguished fiction writer. In spite of all his professional successes as a writer, Hemingway's personal life was a constant struggle with numerous broken marriages and bouts of depression. Deeply troubled by his personal sufferings, he committed suicide in 1961.
One of the first authors to have his works published in the Library of America, Herman Melville was an acclaimed American novelist, poet and a short story writer. An enigma of American literature, Melville's first few books brought him fame and literary recognition. He first gained critical acclaim with his book ˜Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life', after which his most popular novel, ˜Moby-Dick' elevated his status as a prolific writer. Some of his other books include, ˜Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas', ˜Mardi and a Voyage Thither', White-Jacket', ˜Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land' and the posthumously published novel ˜Billy Budd'. Unfortunately, the books published before the success of ˜Moby-Dick' did not do very well. In the 20th century, he was catapulted to great fame as a writer for his book ˜Moby-Dick', a book that is regarded as one of the most acclaimed pieces of literature in the world. Although he was not a financially successful writer, yet he received worldwide recognition for his writings.
Known for such popular novels as A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, and P.S., I Love You, this Irish-born writer also penned and produced the American situation comedy Samantha Who? She has been published in nearly 50 countries.
The American author Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was without a doubt among the greatest authors of the 20th century and is still regarded as among the finest authors to have been produced by the USA. Fitzgerald was a product of the period that was better known as the Jazz Age in the 1920s and excelled in writing short stories and novels. Writers from all over the world and his contemporaries, all considered him to be a writer of exquisite quality and it is not a wonder that he is still revered by devotees of literature and casual readers alike. Fitzgerald was a better just plain writer than all of us put together. Just words writing, wrote John O' Hara to another famous American writer John Steinbeck and similar sentiments have been expressed by plenty of authors, critics, readers and scholars alike over the past decades. Although F. Scott Fitzgerald is primarily known as a great novelist, it should not be forgotten that he started off his writing career as a short story writer and wrote plenty of critically acclaimed stories. In addition to that, he has also written poems and that is something that makes him a versatile literary genius. Keep reading to know more about the life and works of this accomplished writer.
Herbert George Wells, often referred to as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for his science fiction works that gave a vision of the future. He was well-known for being proficient in many other genres as well, and had written several novels, short stories, biographies, and autobiographies. An avid reader since a very young age, he read books by Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, and many other important writers of the Enlightenment period. His works were influenced by them in some way or the other. While in college, he devoted a lot of his time to writing and one of his short stories about time travel, ˜The Chronic Argonauts', published in a journal, displayed his talent as an upcoming writer. A futurist, he became a literary sensation with the publication of his novel ˜The Time Machine'. Besides fiction, he wrote social satires, essays, articles, and non-fiction books as well. He also worked as a book reviewer for many years and promoted the careers of other writers like James Joyce and Joseph Conrad. An outspoken socialist, he openly supported pacifist views, and most of his later works were political and pedagogic. Wells was also an artist, and often illustrated the endpapers and title pages of his own works. Even after seven decades of his death, he is remembered as a futurist and a great author.