What comes to your mind when you try to recall famous American writers? The country has introduced several unique genres and interesting topics to the world, stressing the important role of revolution in the history of every nation. We have developed the list of 10 famous American authors, including their famous essays and lessons learned from their writing.
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How to Create Powerful Essays: 10 Famous American Writers List!
Charles D’ambrosio does not specialize in novels or fiction/non-fiction books; he always positioned himself as a short story & essay writer. It was his Portland State University's MFA Program in Creative Writing, which helped one of the famous American writers develop his essential reading & writing skills. Oberlin College was his second place of education. D’Ambrosio never gives up studying English Language, Philosophy (discover how a Philosophy degree may be helpful), History, Literature, and other related humanitarian disciplines.
If you want to become popular one day to see your essays published in The New Yorker, Orphans, The Stranger, or A Public Space, observe the works written by Charles D’Ambrosio to absorb valuable lessons. We would recommend starting from “Documents” and “Loitering” essays.
- Loss and hardships are worth writing about.
- When you focus on things that make people sad (hate, injustice, depression, war, death), the readers would appreciate your short story/essay for stressing the value of life.
- Point to the importance of past events in the life of every human.
- Do not hesitate to share your personal notes, essays, and documents (in this context, documents mean diaries and other important outtakes, which reveals the nature of their owners.
Do you need more hints? Ask these expert writers from the field of academic, creative, & business writing to help by creating an inspiring literary piece!
Every second American President was a great artist. In most cases, the representatives of the US government dedicate their free time to sharing American values, customs, & traditions through writing manuals. Franklin is not an exception. One of the most famous American authors is a known historical figure – a Co-Founding Father of the United States depicted on $100 banknote. His activities cover a broad range of different fields, including literature, publishing, politics, science, inventions, civic activity, diplomacy, etc.
Benjamin Franklin belongs to the category of the famous American writers with democratic views. He did not release many novels or books; Franklin has established a lot of short stories and essays dedicated to the free, independent land. Since 1776, the moods of the American authors changed to more optimistic and confident. The main purpose of Franklin in his essays was to utilize economic benefits and flee oppressive governmental regimes.
Do you need the most distinguished works of Franklin? They contain “Advice on the Choice of a Mistress”, “The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams,” and “The Temple of Learning, The Whistle.”
- Democratic sensibility remains a popular thing to discuss.
- The American nation is an exceptional ethnic group made of every nationality in the world, all possible customs & traditions, and based on the equality, justice, and freedom.
- The Constitution of the United States is a powerful weapon to discuss.
- The topic of the changing generations will never lose its relevance.
After his death, another representative of the most famous American writers living today, David Foster Wallace, was disqualified because he committed suicide and his latest works were full of pessimistic notes. He has listed local authors who could continue his activity. Wallace mentioned Cynthia Ozick among the most budding and promising contemporary writers, capable of continuing his contribution to the literature world.
Along with Cormac McCarthy & Don DeLillo, the woman is the US best living fiction story author. By today, Cynthia Ozick has published seven essay collections. She created several works of short fiction and inspiring novels. She does not have a certain field of interest. Ozick likes talking about love, hate, life, death, the American nation, future, and other things preferred by the modern famous American writers, but she covers different topics, without limiting her interests. There is one subject we can frequently notice in her stories. Ozick loves the idea of the Jewish American lens.
The best essays of all time include her “Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body,” “The Shawl,” and Envy” on the list, and students can learn the following lessons:
- The tendency to favor the Jewish American lens instead of attacking it.
- Creating a short story with the next characteristics: self-consciousness, sharpness, wittiness, clarity, and life wisdom. Don’t be afraid to seem smarter than people around!
If you need more examples of great essays to study, the best place to visit is the online writing service, which offers FREE paper samples.
Another interesting man from the list of the famous American authors. Roger Ebert has an ability to criticize other written works and movies fairly brought his world recognition. Ebert specialized on movie directing, cinematography, history of the world and US in particular, journalism, and screenwriting. He worked in Chicago Sun-Times until 2013. Roger Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.
If you have a passion for writing argumentative, persuasive, or critical essays/book reviews, you should find and read the best critical works of Roger Ebert. Watch the popular TV show “Sneak Previews”. Roger Ebert is different from many contemporary American fellow-writers who focus on the dark sides of our world, often praising the depressive moods. Ebert prefers courage, erudition, humor, and humanism. This enthusiastic writer is capable of reflecting the matter of life & death in the most optimistic light.
To understand the writer better, read three critical essay collections. The names are “The Great Movies” (2002), “The Great Movies II” (2005), and “The Great Movies III” (2010); pay attention to his most popular work titled “Go Gentle into That Good Night.”
- Never give up; there is always a way out!
Ebert’s works full of life & optimism can be described in a known phrase said by John Keating in “Dead Poets Society:” “Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
- It is important to write more critical essays to become interesting to people.
- Watch more movie to have several inspiring ideas to discuss in your literary works.
- Try to cover the never-ending topic of death from the different perspective. Never stop praising this life by pointing to its main values!
Hey, how about including a female essay writer from the United Kingdom on our promising list of the contemporary short story & novel authors? We believe the woman who appears in the list of 20 most influential people in British culture deserves to appear on our list of famous writers, even though she is not American. British culture had affected the United States for centuries.
Her primary achievement, which predetermined Smith’s further faith as an author, was the degree from the New York University’s Creative Writing Program. She became the professor of the University. In the United States, the novel written by Zadie Smith, “White Teeth,” joined the Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels created since 1923. Smith is a brave author. She may condemn things like disrespect of literature, treatment of art in the modern world, and criticize authors who do not fulfill their literary obligations. This extraordinary female author prefers writing novels.
Her most famous essay is “Fail Better,” full of the following lessons:
- Never generalize things with the help of “all” or similar words – narrow down, take a part of the topic to make up a specific subject.
- There is no such thing as a perfect novel.
- A writing style is the result of the unique personality of each writer + the way this person views and understands the world.
- Avoid cliché – breathe a new life into your writing!
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”
Who else but The Great Gatsby, a good old fellow who tried to show the world the importance of love, life, and family values, and who was rejected for being too humanistic? Fitzgerald knew how important love is from his personal experience. “The Great Gatsby” appeared in the result of the feelings one of the most famous American writers shared with the love of his life, Zelda. Fitzgerald blamed the American people for underestimating the beauty of this life. He tried to recall the significant values in his novels, short stories & essays.
In Hollywood, Fitzgerald did his best. He developed scenarios & scripts for the future films. His popular “Gatsby” has been filmed several times, having the brilliant modern version starring Leo DiCaprio as the last successful attempt to interpret the way Fitzgerald viewed our world. Not all of his works were good; “Tender Is the Night” did not obtain wide recognition. The author became overwhelmed and depressed during the last years of life. The most known list of his essays includes "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and "The Camel's Back." Lessons Learned:
- Love is the only thing, which matters in the life of each person.
- American society is full of snobs who underestimate the role of love, undervalue the significance of friendship, and do not appreciate this life the way they should.
- Money has no value when you are lonely.
Another man who wrote several famous essays is Edward Hoagland. He was born in 1932; this enthusiastic young man from New York revealed his passion for reading & writing since the early age. He stated he would like to become a world’s known novelist to his parents. The two preferred genres were a novel and a short story; the two favorite topics he discussed were traveling & nature.
Hoagland did not want to cover dirty, filthy topics, so he decided to focus on describing the beauty of nature instead of discussing the way society changes and its never-ending conflicts. The list of top famous essays written by Edward Hoagland includes “The Big Cats,” “The Soul of the Tiger,” “Why This Extra Violence,” and “A World Worth Saving and Christmas Observed.” Lessons learned:
- Focus on depicting the beauty of nature.
- If you write about the human qualities, develop one short story dedicated to two strongest feelings that make us humans – love & friendship.
- The world is full of violence; avoid going deep into this topic to give people hope.
The list of the most famous American authors of all time has a name of Ernest Hemingway no matter which genre of literature is discussed. Teachers do not find his works suitable for the school/college program. Spend some time on reading his top works to learn valuable life & writing lessons from this distinguished man with the rich history. He was curious about studying the way people behave under pressure, the way their moods change.
Children will misunderstand the words of the author. It is better to start reading his literary works at the teen or grown-up age to understand Hemingway’s main ideas. Hemingway did not focus on the complicated, strange topics. He wrote about the things men love (e.g., bullfighting, fishing, hunting, and friendship). Papa Hemingway’s list of famous essays is made of the following titles: “The Old Man and the Sea,” “The Sun Also Rises,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Lessons learned:
- Symbolism is the best way to interpret your philosophical thoughts.
- Try establishing such features as the lean writing style, original sense of humor, and try showing the life based on your personal experience.
- Avoid literary allusions.
A little is known about this mysterious female writer. She is another female author on the list coming from the United Kingdom. Woolf is the foremost modernist of the XX century + a pioneer in the stream of consciousness (a narrative tool). The girl visited the King’s College London and became the early reformer of women’s higher education.
The top short stories created by this known female essayist involve “Death of the Moth,” “Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Devil in False Colors.” You may have watched a film “Hours” based on Woolf’s story. Her essays teach several lessons.
- Write how important the life is through the lens of survival & evanescence.
- Apply simple comparisons to make the writing style lucid.
- Do not hesitate to change from the optimistic voice to melancholic moods in the middle of your essay; the life is black-and-white, and it makes no sense sharing only positive/negative moments.
Edgar Allan Poe
Who loves detective stories? During the romantic period in the US history & literature, a world’s known Edgar Allan Poe appeared with his mystic stories. The man was a writer, editor, and literary critic in one face.
Poe is listed among the cofounders & developers of the short story & essay genres, providing innovative ideas such as making stories gloomy, dark, and mysterious. He developed many popular detective/science fiction works. Poe focused on the things like spirit, organic development, the significance of art, and motivation/inspiration. Start reading his “Philosophy of Furniture,” “The Raven,” or “The Black Cat” to be acquainted with his works. Lessons learned:
- There is nothing scary about being gloomy in your writing.
- People like reading about things they find dark and mysterious; it makes them value life more and start believing in the things they can’t see with the naked eye.
How to Become the Author of World’s Famous Essays?
We hope this list of the best American authors, their top preferred literary works, and the lessons shared between the lines of their stories would help with your writing career. Do you have any questions? If you need a professional writing help, the best thing you can do is to place an order with the time-tested and trusted US/UK academic service, which offers affordable prices!
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Jesmyn Ward was in her 20s when she first read James Baldwin's 1963 essay collection The Fire Next Time. Ward felt that Baldwin's essays — compiled in a year that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and the Birmingham church bombings — are especially resonant today and tease out similar racial tensions.
Jesmyn Ward's other books include Salvage the Bones and Men We Reaped. Kim Welsh/Courtesy of Scribner hide caption
Jesmyn Ward's other books include Salvage the Bones and Men We Reaped.Kim Welsh/Courtesy of Scribner
"I read the passage where James Baldwin alludes to the fire that will come when America again is denying its past with history and with racial inequality, and saying that the result will be a fire next time," Ward says. "And I thought, man, this really feels like a moment where we're burning."
So Ward invited some of the most prominent writers and thinkers of her generation, including Claudia Rankine, Jericho Brown and Daniel José Older, to contribute to her essay collection The Fire This Time— an homage to Baldwin's work.
NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with Ward about her pitch to today's black writers, the difficulties of looking toward the future for black folks in America and the importance of continuing to channel Baldwin's urgency toward reflecting on black life in America.
On how much direction she gave to the contributing writers
So I was like 'Oh, do you think you can write something about race in America for me right now?' Everybody was like 'What? can you give me some direction?' And I'm like, not really, because I wanted the essay topics to be very specific to the concerns of each writer. And so, we're sort of responding to Baldwin, you know? But really I just want you to talk about race in America right now, in this very heated present moment where you have the Black Lives Matter movement, where you have this sort of amazing movement across America like, from normal communities. And so I don't think I gave people good directions at all.
On how being black in America right now feels "overwhelming"
Sometimes you get tired of fighting. I think you just sort of come to this realization that yes, that you will get tired, but that doesn't mean that you can give up the fight.
I think that part of the reason that we did not receive a large number of essays that looked to the future is because I think it's hard for us to look to the future, because this moment can feel so overwhelming. I mean some of us have children, some of us don't. But I think that it's really difficult to think about having that conversation with the young people that we know and that we love. I mean, having that conversation about what it means to be a black person in America. What it means to, you know, as Claudia Rankine says, to be in a perpetual state of mourning. I mean, it's just so difficult to talk about that with young people that you love, that I think that that's the reason that few of the essays look toward the future.
On why she thinks it's important to continue talking about race
I do think that people will claim a certain fatigue about talking about race. But I think that even though they do, it's still necessary — completely necessary. Because if we don't, [and] if it's a conversation that we walk away from because we're too tired of having it, then nothing really changes.
Sometimes you get tired of fighting. I think you just sort of come to this realization that yes, that you will get tired, but that doesn't mean that you can give up the fight.
On how she thinks President Obama made an impact on the conversation about race in America
I think that his presidency is very important to the black American community. In several of his like, very important speeches, he said really important things about race in America, about the fact that he is a black man, that he could be a victim of the kind of senseless, random, state-sanctioned violence that many black Americans have been victim to in the past couple of years, or a son of his, hypothetically, could be a victim of it. Or his daughters, right? And so those statements were a revelation. Because without him, we would never have heard those things. I think it's really important for us to hear someone in position of power, like the position of power, to say that.
On the sense that things are changing
I feel like there's a certain sense of mobilization now. People are not afraid to be activists, to be vocal. And I think back to my years in college and that wasn't the case. I was in college in the late '90s, early 2000s, and it didn't feel like now. It was muffled. It was definitely muffled. It didn't feel as sort of young people with sort of big ideas. Like it didn't feel like we had any sort of voice, or even a part in the conversation. And that's very different now. And I think it's a great thing. I think it's a wonderful thing. And it's part of what I wanted to tap into with the book.