American Writers


Between the founding of Jamestown (1607) and the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776), scattered English settlements grew into a group of colonies ready to declare themselves a nation. The colonists changed from thinking and acting as Englishmen to full awareness of themselves as Americans.

During this time almost all writing was devoted to spiritual concerns and to practical matters of politics and promotion of settlements. In New England, fiction was considered sinful and little poetry was written. A few interesting personal journals and diaries survive.

Bradford, William (1590-1657), historian - 'History of Plimoth Plantation'.

Bradstreet, Anne (1612?-72), poet - 'The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America'; 'Contemplations'.

Byrd, William (1674-1744), historian and diarist - 'History of the Dividing Line'; 'Secret Diary'.

Edwards, Jonathan (1703-58), theologian - 'Personal Narrative'; 'The Freedom of the Will'.

Knight, Sarah Kemble (1666-1727), diarist - 'The Journal of Mme. Knight'.

Mather, Cotton (1663-1728), theologian - 'Wonders of the Invisible World'; 'Magnalia Christi Americana'.

Rowlandson, Mary (1635?-78?), essayist - 'A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson'.

Sewall, Samuel (1652-1730), diarist - 'Diary of Samuel Sewall 1674-1729'; 'The Selling of Joseph'.

Smith, John (1580-1631), historian - 'A Description of New England'; 'The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles'.

Taylor, Edward (1642-1729), poet - 'God's Determinations'; 'Sacramental Meditations'.

Ward, Nathaniel (1578?-1652), essayist - 'The Simple Cobler of Aggawam'.

Wigglesworth, Michael (1631-1705), poet - 'The Day of Doom'.

Williams, Roger (1603?-83), historian - 'A Key into the Language of America'; 'The Bloody Tenet of Persecution'.


The great questions in the last years of the 18th century were political ones. Should the colonists declare independence from England? Once they had done so, how, they asked, should they govern themselves? The literature of political discussion and debate in these years is of high quality. Immediately following independence, writers also made efforts to develop a native literature. This is the period of beginning for poetry, fiction, and drama in the United States.

Adams, Abigail (1744-1818), epistolist -'Letters of Mrs. Adams'.

Adams, John (1735-1826), president and epistolist -'Diary and Autobiography'; 'The Adams-Jefferson Letters'.

Barlow, Joel (1754-1812), poet -'The Vision of Columbus' ('The Columbiad'); 'The Hasty Pudding'.

Brown, Charles Brockden (1771-1810), novelist -'Wieland'; 'Edgar Huntly'; 'Jane Talbot'.

Crevecoeur, Michel Guillaume St. Jean de (1735-1813), essayist -'Letters from an American Farmer'.

Equiano, Oloudah (Gustavus Vassa) (1745-1801), prose writer -'The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oloudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African'.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-90), prose writer -'Autobiography'; 'Poor Richard's Almanack'.

Freneau, Philip (1752-1832), poet -'The Indian Burying-Ground'; 'The British Prison Ship'.

Hamilton, Alexander (1755?-1804), essayist -'The Federalist' (coauthor).

Hopkinson, Francis (1737-91), poet -'The Battle of the Kegs'.

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826), historian -'Notes on the State of Virginia'.

Paine, Thomas (1737-1809), political philosopher -'Common Sense'; 'The Crisis'; 'The Rights of Man'.

Payne, John Howard (1791-1852), playwright -'Clari, or the Maid of Milan' (with song 'Home, Sweet Home').

Rowson, Susanna (Haswell) (1762-1824), novelist -'Charlotte Temple'; 'Rebecca'.

Tecumseh (1768-1813), orator -'We All Belong to One Family'.

Trumbull, John (1750-1831), poetic satirist -'M'Fingal'; 'Progress of Dullness'.

Webster, Noah (1758-1843), lexicographer -'Spelling Book'; 'American Dictionary of the English Language'.

Wheatley, Phillis (1753?-84), poet -'Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral'.

Weems, Mason Locke (1759-1825), biographer -'The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington'.


In the early years of the 19th century several full-fledged American writers developed. The most notable among them were Bryant, Cooper, and Irving. These writers were recognized even in England. In different ways each of them tried to make his works American.

Bird, Robert M. (1806-54), novelist and playwright -'Nick of the Woods'; 'The Gladiator'.

Brackenridge, Hugh Henry (1748-1816), novelist -'Modern Chivalry'.

Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878), poet -'Thanatopsis'; 'To a Waterfowl'; 'A Forest Hymn'.

Cooper, James Fenimore (1789-1851), novelist -'The Pilot'; 'The Last of the Mohicans'; 'The Spy'; 'The Deerslayer'; 'The Pathfinder'; 'The Pioneers'.

Irving, Washington (1783-1859), essayist and short-story writer -'A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker'; 'The Alhambra'; 'The Sketch Book'.

Kennedy, John Pendleton (1795-1870), novelist -'Swallow Barn'; 'Horse-Shoe Robinson'.

Simms, William Gilmore (1806-70), novelist and poet -'The Yemassee'; 'Atalantis'.

Thompson, Daniel Pierce (1795-1868), novelist -'The Green Mountain Boys'; 'The Rangers'.


From 1836 to the Civil War was a period of rapid growth in the United States. The nation was self-sufficient in agriculture, and the Eastern cities buzzed with commerce. War with Mexico brought California into the Union just when gold was discovered there. This event and the opening of Oregon sent thousands of pioneers westward. However, slavery in the South and in new Western territories became a fighting issue.

In the East the period was a golden age. Essays by Emerson and Thoreau vied with tales by Poe. Novels were popular, and Longfellow's poems were best sellers. Historians such as Parkman and Prescott added knowledge of the American past.

Bancroft, George (1800-91), historian -'History of the United States'.

Dana, Richard Henry, Jr. (1815-82), autobiographer -'Two Years Before the Mast'.

Douglass, Frederick (1817-95), orator and essayist -'The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass'.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-82), poet and essayist -'Self-Reliance'; 'Compensation'; 'Nature'; 'Poems'.

Fuller, Margaret (1810-50), sociological writer and critic -'Woman in the Nineteenth Century'; 'Papers on Literature and Art'.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1804-64), novelist and short-story writer -'The Scarlet Letter'; 'The House of the Seven Gables'; 'Tanglewood Tales'.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell (1809-94), poet, essayist, novelist -'Old Ironsides'; 'The Chambered Nautilus'; 'The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table'.

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-65), president and essayist -'First Inaugural Address'; 'Gettysburg Address'; 'Second Inaugural Address'.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807-82), poet -'The Song of Hiawatha'; 'Paul Revere's Ride'; 'Evangeline'; 'The Courtship of Miles Standish'.

Longstreet, Augustus Baldwin (1790-1870), novelist -'Georgia Scenes'.

Lowell, James Russell (1819-91), poet, critic, essayist -'The Vision of Sir Launfal'; 'Biglow Papers'; 'Among My Books'; 'My Study Windows'.

Melville, Herman (1819-91), novelist -'Moby-Dick'; 'Typee'; 'Omoo'; 'White-Jacket'; 'Billy Budd'.

Motley, John Lothrop (1814-77), historian -'The Rise of the Dutch Republic'.

Parkman, Francis (1823-93), historian -'The Oregon Trail'; 'A Half-Century of Conflict'.

Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-49), poet, critic, short-story writer -'The Raven'; 'The Poetic Principle'; 'Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque'; 'The Bells'.

Prescott, William Hickling (1796-1859), historian -'Conquest of Mexico'; 'Conquest of Peru'.

Thoreau, Henry David (1817-62), essayist -'Walden; or, Life in the Woods'; 'Excursions'; 'Cape Cod'.

Whitman, Walt (1819-92), poet -'Leaves of Grass'; 'November Boughs'; 'Drum-Taps'; 'Democratic Vistas'.

Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807-92), poet -'Snow-Bound'; 'The Barefoot Boy'; 'Barbara Frietchie'.


The Civil War scarred the United States for four bloody years. The North was quick to recover; the South less so. As the nation revived, however, the pulse of expansion and growth quickened. Cities boomed; industries expanded; and rail lines stretched from coast to coast. The conquest of the wilderness was nearly complete. Great fortunes were made, by a few individuals, and may social and economic injustices arose from the ruthless competition of getting ahead.

Writers reacted in various ways. Some wrote of the lawless West, others of the culture of the East. Many found subjects for fiction and poetry among their surroundings; these were the first regional, or local-color, writers. A few protested against what they considered the evils of the age.

Adams, Henry (1838-1918), historian -'The Education of Henry Adams'; 'Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres'.

Alcott, Louisa May (1832-88), novelist and short-story writer -'Little Women'; 'Little Men'; 'Moods'.

Bierce, Ambrose (1842-1914?), short-story writer -'In the Midst of Life'; 'Can Such Things Be?'.

Cable, George Washington (1844-1925), novelist and short-story writer -'The Grandissimes'; 'Old Creole Days'.

Chopin, Kate (1851-1904), novelist -'The Awakening'.

Crane, Stephen (1871-1900), novelist -'The Red Badge of Courage'; 'The Little Regiment'; 'Maggie: A Girl of the Streets'.

De Forest, John William (1826-1906), novelist -'Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty'.

Dickinson, Emily (1830-86), poet -'Poems'; 'Letters'.

Dreiser, Theodore (1871-1945), novelist -'Sister Carrie'; 'An American Tragedy'; 'The Genius'.

Du Bois, W(illiam) E(dward) B(urghardt) (1868-1963), essayist -'The Souls of Black Folk'; 'Dusk of Dawn'.

Eggleston, Edward (1837-1902), novelist and historian -'The Hoosier Schoolboy'; 'The Hoosier Schoolmaster'; 'The Circuit Rider'.

Frederic, Harold (1856-98), novelist -'The Damnation of Theron Ware'; 'The Copperhead'.

Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins (1852-1930), novelist and short-story writer -'A New England Nun'; 'Madelon'.

Garland, Hamlin (1860-1940), novelist and short-story writer -'Main-Travelled Roads'; 'A Son of the Middle Border'; 'Prairie Folks'.

Hale, Edward Everett (1822-1909), novelist -'The Man Without a Country'.

Harris, Joel Chandler (1848-1902), short-story writer -'Uncle Remus' stories; 'On the Plantation'.

Harte, (Francis) Bret(t) (1836-1902), short-story writer -'The Luck of Roaring Camp'; 'The Outcasts of Poker Flat'; 'The Twins of Table Mountain'.

Hayne, Paul Hamilton (1830-86), poet -'Legends and Lyrics'; 'The Broken Battalions'.

Hearn, Lafcadio (1850-1904), essayist -'In Ghostly Japan'; 'Creole Sketches'; 'Chita'.

Howe, E(dgar) W(atson) (1853-1937), novelist, journalist -'The Story of a Country Town; 'Plain People'.

Howells, William Dean (1837-1920), novelist -'A Modern Instance'; 'The Rise of Silas Lapham'.

James, Henry (1843-1916), novelist -'Daisy Miller'; 'The American'; 'The Portrait of a Lady'; 'The Turn of the Screw'; 'The Ambassadors'.

James, William (1842-1910), psychologist and philosopher -'Principles of Psychology'; 'Pragmatism'; 'Varieties of Religious Experience'.

Jewett, Sarah Orne (1849-1909), novelist and short-story writer -'Tales of New England'.

Kilmer, (Alfred) Joyce (1886-1918), poet -'Trees and Other Poems'; 'Rouge Bouquet'.

Lanier, Sidney (1842-81), poet -'The Marshes of Glynn'; 'The Song of the Chattahoochee'.

London, Jack (1876-1916), novelist -'The Call of the Wild'; 'The Sea Wolf'; 'Martin Eden'.

Miller, Joaquin (Cincinnatus Hiner Miller) (1841?-1913), poet -'Songs of the Sierras'.

Moody, William Vaughn (1869-1910), playwright and poet -'Gloucester Moors'; 'Ode in Time of Hesitation'.

Norris, Frank (1870-1902), novelist -'The Octopus'; 'The Pit'; 'McTeague'.

O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) (1862-1910), short-story writer -'Cabbages and Kings'; 'The Four Million'; 'Whirligigs'.

Page, Thomas Nelson (1853-1922), novelist and short-story writer -'In Ole Virginia'.

Riley, James Whitcomb (1849-1916), poet -'Rhymes of Childhood'; 'The Old Swimmin' Hole'.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1811-96), novelist -'Uncle Tom's Cabin'; 'Oldtown Folks'.

Twain, Mark (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835-1910), novelist and humorist -'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'; 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'; 'Life on the Mississippi'.

Washington, Booker T. (1856-1915), orator and essayist -'Up From Slavery'; 'The Future of the American Negro'.

Wister, Owen (1860-1938), novelist -'The Virginian'.


The 20th century began quietly, but soon new forces brought profound changes. Although science and technology enriched material life, two world wars and the prospect of a third raised grave concern about the future. The federal government intervened increasingly in the activities of the people. The nation also learned that it was involved in the problems of peoples around the globe.

Literature reflected the various reactions to the new circumstances. Some writers were deeply pessimistic; others viewed the same realities with hope for the future. One literary school surveyed the American past in an attempt to find meaning for the present. The writing that seemed most likely to survive emphasized enduring human values and the unquenchable vitality of the human spirit.

Agee, James (1909-55), poet, novelist, critic -'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men'; 'A Death in the Family'; 'The Morning Watch'; 'Agee on Film'.

Albee, Edward (Franklin) (born 1928), playwright -'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'; 'The Death of Bessie Smith'; 'A Delicate Balance'; 'Tiny Alice'.

Algren, Nelson (1909-81), novelist and short-story writer -'The Man with the Golden Arm'; 'The Neon Wilderness'; 'A Walk on the Wild Side'.

Anderson, Maxwell (1888-1959), playwright -'Mary of Scotland'; 'Valley Forge'; 'Winterset'; 'Key Largo'.

Anderson, Sherwood (1876-1941), novelist and short-story writer -'Poor White'; 'Dark Laughter'; 'Winesburg, Ohio'; 'The Triumph of the Egg'.

Ashbery, John (born 1927), poet -'The Poems'; 'Rivers and Mountains'; 'Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror'; 'Shadow Train'.

Auden, W.H. (1907-73), poet -'Paid on Both Sides'; 'Another Time'; 'Nones'; 'City Without Walls'.

Baldwin, James (1924-87), novelist, essayist, playwright -'Go Tell It on the Mountain'; 'Notes of a Native Son'; 'The Fire Next Time'; 'Giovanni's Room'.

Baraka, Imamu Amiri (LeRoi Jones) (born 1934), playwright, poet, essayist -'Dutchman'; 'Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note'; 'Blues People'; 'The Slave'.

Barry, Philip (1896-1949), playwright -'Holiday'; 'The Philadelphia Story'; 'The Animal Kingdom'.

Barth, John (born 1930), novelist -'The Sot-Weed Factor'; 'Giles Goat-boy'; 'Lost in the Funhouse'.

Barthelme, Donald (1931-89), short-story writer and novelist -'Snow White'; 'Come Back, Dr. Caligari'.

Bellow, Saul (born 1915), novelist -'The Adventures of Augie March'; 'Herzog'; 'Mr. Sammler's Planet'; 'Humboldt's Gift'; 'The Dean's December'.

Benet, Stephen Vincent (1898-1943), poet, novelist, short-story writer -'Five Men and Pompey'; 'John Brown's Body'; 'The Devil and Daniel Webster'.

Berryman, John (1914-72), poet -'Homage to Mistress Bradstreet'; '77 Dream Songs'; 'Love & Fame'.

Bishop, Elizabeth (1911-79), poet and short-story writer -'North and South'; 'The Complete Poems'; 'Questions of Travel'.

Bradbury, Ray (Douglas) (born 1920), short-story writer and novelist -'The Martian Chronicles'; 'Fahrenheit 451'; 'The Illustrated Man'; 'Dandelion Wine'; 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'.

Brooks, Gwendolyn (born 1917), poet -'Annie Allen'; 'The Bean Eaters'; 'To Disembark'.

Brooks, Van Wyck (1886-1963), critic -'America's Coming-of-Age'; 'The Flowering of New England'.

Brown, Claude (born 1937), essayist -'Manchild in the Promised Land'.

Buck, Pearl S(ydenstricker) (1892-1973), novelist -'The Good Earth'; 'The Mother'; 'The Patriot'.

Burroughs, William S(eward) (born 1914), novelist -'Naked Lunch'; 'The Soft Machine'; 'Junkie'.

Caldwell, Erskine (1903-87), novelist, short-story writer, essayist -'Tobacco Road'; 'God's Little Acre'; 'Jackpot'; 'You Have Seen Their Faces'.

Capote, Truman (1924-84), novelist, short-story writer, playwright -'Other Voices, Other Rooms'; 'The Grass Harp'; 'In Cold Blood'; 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

Carver, Raymond (1938-88), poet and short-story writer -'Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?'; 'Cathedral'; 'Where I'm Calling From'.

Cather, Willa (1873-1947), novelist and short-story writer -'O Pioneers!'; 'My Antonia'; 'A Lost Lady'; 'Death Comes for the Archbishop'.

Cheever, John (1912-82), novelist and short-story writer -'The Wapshot Chronicle'; 'Falconer'; 'The Wapshot Scandal'; 'Bullet Park'.

Coffin, Robert P(eter) Tristram (1892-1955), poet, novelist, essayist -'Strane Holiness'; 'An Attic Room'.

Connelly, Marc(us) (1890-1980), playwright -'The Green Pastures'; 'Beggar on Horseback' (coauthor).

Crane, (Harold) Hart (1899-1932), poet -'White Buildings'; 'The Bridge'.

Creeley, Robert (born 1926), poet -'For Love'; 'Pieces'.

Cullen, Countee (1903-46), poet -'Color'; 'Copper Sun'; 'The Ballad of the Brown Girl'.

Cummings, E(dward) E(stlin) (1894-1962), poet and novelist -'No Thanks'; 'The Enormous Room'.

De Vries, Peter (1910-93), novelist and short-story writer -'The Blood of the Lamb'; 'I Hear America Swinging'; 'Reuben, Reuben'; 'Madder Music'.

Dos Passos, John (1896-1970), novelist -'Manhattan Transfer'; 'U.S.A.' (trilogy).

Duncan, Robert (1919-88), poet -'The Opening of the Field'; 'Roots and Branches'; 'Bending the Bow'; 'Ground Work'.

Dunne, Finley Peter (1867-1936), humorist -'Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War'; 'Mr. Dooley's Philosophy'.

Durant, Will(iam James) (1885-1981), historian -'The Story of Philosophy'; 'The Story of Civilization'.

Edmonds, Walter D(umaux) (born 1903), novelist -'Drums Along the Mohawk'; 'The Night Raider'.

Eliot, T(homas) S(tearns) (1888-1965), poet, critic, playwright -'Prufrock and Other Observations'; 'The Waste Land'; 'Murder in the Cathedral'; 'The Cocktail Party'.

Ellison, Ralph (Waldo) (born 1914), novelist -'Invisible Man'.

Farrell, James T(homas) (1904-79), novelist -'Studs Lonigan' (trilogy); 'A World I Never Made'.

Faulkner, William (1897-1962), novelist -'The Sound and the Fury'; 'Light in August'; 'Sanctuary'; 'Absalom, Absalom!'; 'The Town'; 'Intruder in the Dust'.

Ferber, Edna (1887-1968), short-story writer and novelist -'So Big'; 'Show Boat'; 'Cimarron'; 'Giant'.

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence (born 1920), poet -'Pictures of the Gone World'; 'A Coney Island of the Mind'.

Field, Rachel (1894-1942), novelist -'All This and Heaven Too'; 'Time Out of Mind'.

Fitzgerald, F(rancis) Scott (1896-1940), novelist and short-story writer -'The Great Gatsby'; 'This Side of Paradise'; 'Tender Is the Night'; 'The Last Tycoon'.

Freeman, Douglas Southall (1886-1953), biographer -'R.E. Lee'; 'George Washington'.

Friedman, Bruce Jay (born 1930), novelist and playwright -'Stern'; 'Scuba Duba'.

Frost, Robert (1874-1963), poet -'A Boy's Will'; 'North of Boston'; 'In the Clearing'.

Gale, Zona (1874-1938), novelist and short-story writer -'Miss Lulu Bett'; 'Friendship Village'.

Ginsberg, Allen (born 1926), poet -'Howl'; 'Kaddish'.

Giovanni, Nikki (born 1943), poet -'Black Feeling, Black Talk'; 'Black Judgement'; 'Gemini'.

Glasgow, Ellen (1873-1945), novelist -'Barren Ground'; 'The Romantic Comedians'; 'Vein of Iron'.

Green, Paul Eliot (1894-1981), novelist and playwright -'In Abraham's Bosom'; 'Johnny Johnson'.

Guthrie, A(lfred) B(ertram), Jr. (1901-91), novelist -'The Big Sky'; 'The Way West'.

Hart, Moss (1904-61), playwright -'You Can't Take It with You' (coauthor); 'Act One' (autobiography).

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) (1886-1961), poet -'Sea Garden'; 'Red Roses for Bronze'.

Heinlein, Robert A(nson) (1907-88), novelist -'Rocket Ship Galileo'; 'Stranger in a Strange Land'.

Heller, Joseph (born 1923), novelist -'Catch-22'.

Hellman, Lillian (1905-84), playwright and essayist -'The Little Foxes'; 'Watch on the Rhine'; 'Pentimento'.

Hemingway, Ernest (1899-1961), novelist and short-story writer -'A Farewell to Arms'; 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'.

Hersey, John (Richard) (1914-93), novelist and essayist -'Hiroshima'; 'A Bell for Adano'.

Howard, Sidney (Coe) (1891-1939), playwright -'They Knew What They Wanted'; 'The Silver Cord'.

Hughes, (James Mercer) Langston (1902-67), poet -'Crisis'; 'The Negro Mother'; 'A New Song'.

Hurston, Zora Neale (1903-60), essayist, folklorist, and prose writer -'Their Eyes Were Watching God'; 'Jonah's Gourd Vine'; 'Moses: Man of the Mountain'.

Inge, William (Motter) (1913-73), playwright -'Picnic'.

Irving, John (born 1942), novelist -'The World According to Garp'; 'The Hotel New Hampshire'.

Jarrell, Randall (1914-65), poet and prose writer -'Little Friend, Little Friend'; 'Losses'; 'The Lost World'.

Jeffers, (John) Robinson (1887-1962), poet -'Roan Stallion'; 'Boats in a Fog'; 'The Torch-Bearers' Race'.

Jones, James (1921-77), novelist -'From Here to Eternity'.

Kaplan, Justin (born 1925), biographer -'Lincoln Steffens, A Biography'; 'Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain'; 'Walt Whitman'.

Kaufman, George S(imon) (1889-1961), playwright -'You Can't Take It with You' (coauthor).

Kelley, William Melvin (born 1937), novelist -'dem'; 'A Different Drummer'; 'A Drop of Patience'.

Kerouac, Jack (Jean-Louis) (1922-69), novelist and poet -'On the Road'; 'The Dharma Bums'; 'The Subterraneans'.

Kingsley, Sidney (born 1906), playwright -'Dead End'.

Kopit, Arthur (born 1937), playwright -'Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad'.

Lardner, Ring(gold Wilmer) (1885-1933), humorist and short-story writer -'You Know Me Al'.

Lash, Joseph P. (1909-87), biographer -'Eleanor and Franklin'; 'Helen and Teacher'.

Levertov, Denise (born 1923), poet -'Here and Now'; 'Relearning the Alphabet'; 'Breathing the Water'.

Lewis, (Harry) Sinclair (1885-1951), novelist -'Main Street'; 'Babbitt'; 'Arrowsmith'; 'Dodsworth'.

Lindsay, (Nicholas) Vachel (1879-1931), poet -'The Congo'; 'General William Booth Enters into Heaven and Other Poems'.

Lowell, Amy (1874-1925), poet and critic -'Sword Blades and Poppy Seed'; 'John Keats'.

Lowell, Robert (Traill Spence) Jr. (1917-77), poet -'Lord Weary's Castle'; 'Life Studies'.

McCarthy, Mary (Therese) (1912-89), novelist and critic -'The Group'; 'The Groves of Academe'.

McCullers, (Lula) Carson (1917-67), novelist -'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter'; 'The Member of the Wedding'.

McGinley, Phyllis (1905-78), poet -'Times Three'.

MacLeish, Archibald (1892-1982), poet and playwright -'Conquistador'; 'Land of the Free'; 'J.B.'.

Mailer, Norman (born 1923), novelist and essayist -'The Naked and the Dead'; 'The Deer Park'; 'The Presidential Papers'; 'The Armies of the Night'; 'An American Dream'.

Malamud, Bernard (1914-86), novelist and short-story writer -'The Assistant'; 'The Fixer'; 'The Magic Barrel'.

Markham, Edwin (1852-1940), poet -'The Man with the Hoe and Other Poems'.

Marquand, J(ohn) P(hillips) (1893-1960), novelist -'The Late George Apley'; 'Wickford Point'.

Masters, Edgar Lee (1869-1950), poet and novelist -'Spoon River Anthology'; 'Domesday Book'.

Mencken, H(enry) L(ouis) (1880-1956), essayist and critic -'Prejudices'; 'The American Language'.

Michener, James A(lbert) (born 1907), novelist, short-story writer, essayist-'Tales of the South Pacific'; 'Centennial'.

Millay, Edna St. Vincent (1892-1950), poet -'Renascence and Other Poems'; 'Second April'.

Miller, Arthur (born 1915), playwright -'All My Sons'; 'Death of a Salesman'; 'The Crucible'.

Miller, Henry (1891-1980), novelist and essayist -'Tropic of Cancer'; 'Tropic of Capricorn'; 'Black Spring'.

Miller, Merle (1919-86), novelist and biographer -'Reunion'; 'Plain Speaking'; 'Lyndon'.

Mitchell, Margaret (1900-49), novelist -'Gone with the Wind'.

Moore, Marianne (1887-1972), poet -'Poems'; 'Collected Poems'; 'What Are Years'; 'Observations'.

Morrison, Toni (born 1931), novelist -'Song of Solomon'; 'Sula'; 'Tar Baby'; 'Beloved'; 'The Bluest Eye'.

Nemerov, Howard (1920-91), poet and novelist -'The Image and the Law'; 'Blue Swallows'; 'Sentences'.

Oates, Joyce Carol (born 1938), novelist and short-story writer -'Them'; 'Do with Me What You Will'.

O'Connor, (Mary) Flannery (1925-64), novelist and short-story writer -'Wise Blood'; 'Everything that Rises Must Converge'; 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find'.

O'Hara, Frank (1926-66), poet -'A City Winter, and Other Poems'; 'The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara'.

O'Hara, John (Henry) (1905-70), novelist and short-story writer -'Appointment in Samarra'; 'Butterfield 8'.

Olson, Charles (John) (1910-70), poet -'The Maximus Poems'; 'The Distances'; 'Projective Verse'.

O'Neill, Eugene (Gladstone) (1888-1953), playwright -'The Iceman Cometh'; 'Mourning Becomes Electra'; 'Strange Interlude'; 'Long Day's Journey into Night'.

Parker, Dorothy (1893-1967), short-story writer and poet -'Collected Poems: Not So Deep as a Well'; 'Here Lies'.

Percy, Walker (1916-90), novelist -'The Moviegoer'; 'Love in the Ruins'; 'The Thanatos Syndrome'.

Plath, Sylvia (1932-63), poet and novelist -'Ariel'; 'The Bell Jar'.

Porter, Katherine Anne (1894-1980), short-story writer and novelist -'Flowering Judas'; 'Ship of Fools'.

Pynchon, Thomas (born 1937), novelist -'V'; 'The Crying of Lot 49'; 'Gravity's Rainbow'; 'Vineland'.

Rabe, David (born 1940), playwright -'Sticks and Bones'; 'The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel'; 'Streamers'.

Ransom, John Crowe (1888-1974), poet -'Chills and Fever'.

Rice, Elmer (1892-1967), playwright -'Street Scene'.

Roberts, Kenneth (Lewis) (1885-1957), novelist and essayist -'Northwest Passage'; 'Oliver Wiswell'.

Robinson, Edwin Arlington (1869-1935), poet -'The Man Who Died Twice'; 'Tristram'; 'Merlin'.

Roethke, Theodore (1908-63), poet -'The Waking'; 'Words for the Wind'.

Roth, Philip (Milton) (born 1933), novelist and short-story writer -'Goodbye, Columbus'; 'When She Was Good'; 'Portnoy's Complaint'; 'My Life as a Man'.

Salinger, J(erome) D(avid) (born 1919), short-story writer and novelist -'Nine Stories'; 'The Catcher in the Rye'; 'Franny and Zooey'.

Sandburg, Carl (1879-1967), poet and biographer -'The People, Yes'; 'Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years'; 'Abraham Lincoln: The War Years'.

Saroyan, William (1908-81), short-story writer, novelist, playwright -'The Time of Your Life'; 'The Human Comedy'.

Shapiro, Karl (Jay) (born 1913), poet -'V-Letter'.

Shaw, Irwin (1913-84), playwright, short-story writer, novelist -'Bury the Dead'; 'The Young Lions'.

Sherwood, Robert E(mmet) (1896-1955), playwright -'Abe Lincoln in Illinois'; 'The Petrified Forest'.

Simpson, Louis (Aston Marantz) (born 1923), poet and essayist -'Caviare at the Funeral'; 'A Revolution in Taste'.

Sinclair, Upton (1878-1968), novelist -'The Jungle'.

Sontag, Susan (born 1933), novelist and essayist -'Against Interpretation'; 'Illness as a Metaphor'.

Steinbeck, John (1902-68), novelist and short-story writer -'Of Mice and Men'; 'The Grapes of Wrath'.

Stribling, T(homas) S(igismund) (1881-1965), novelist -'The Forge'; 'The Store'; 'Unfinished Cathedral'.

Stuart, Jesse (Hilton) (1907-84), novelist and poet -'Taps for Private Tussie'; 'Beyond Dark Hills'.

Styron, William (born 1925), novelist -'The Confessions of Nat Turner'; 'Lie Down in Darkness'; 'Sophie's Choice'.

Teasdale, Sara (1884-1933), poet -'Rivers to the Sea'.

Thurber, James (Grover) (1894-1961), humorist and essayist -'My Life and Hard Times'.

Tuchman, Barbara W(ertheim) (1912-89), historian -'The Guns of August'; 'A Distant Mirror'; 'The First Salute'.

Updike, John (Hoyer) (born 1932), novelist and short-story writer -'Rabbit Run'; 'Rabbit is Rich'; 'Rabbit Redux'; 'Rabbit at Rest'; 'The Centaur'; 'Couples'; 'Bech: A Book'.

Van Doren, Carl (1885-1950), critic and biographer -'American Literature'; 'Benjamin Franklin'.

Vidal, Gore (born 1925), novelist and playwright -'Julian'; 'Burr'; 'The Best Man'; 'Washington, D.C.'.

Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr. (born 1922), novelist and short-story writer -'Cat's Cradle'; 'Welcome to the Monkey House'; 'Slaughterhouse-Five'; 'Breakfast of Champions'.

Warren, Robert Penn (1905-89), poet and novelist -'All the King's Men'; 'Night Rider'; 'Being Here'.

Welty, Eudora (born 1909), short-story writer and novelist -'A Curtain of Green'; 'The Ponder Heart'.

West, Nathanael (Nathan Weinstein) (1903-40), novelist -'Miss Lonelyhearts'; 'The Day of the Locust'.

Wharton, Edith (1862-1937), novelist and short-story writer -'Ethan Frome'; 'The Age of Innocence'.

Wilder, Thornton (Niven) (1897-1975), playwright and novelist -'The Bridge of San Luis Rey'; 'Our Town'.

Williams, Tennessee (Thomas Lanier Williams) (1911-83), playwright -'The Glass Menagerie'; 'A Streetcar Named Desire'; 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'.

Williams, William Carlos (1883-1963), poet and novelist -'The White Mule'; 'Paterson'.

Wilson, Lanford (born 1937), playwright -'Lemon Sky'; 'The Hot l Baltimore'; 'Burn This'.

Wolfe, Thomas (Clayton) (1900-38), novelist -'Look Homeward, Angel'; 'You Can't Go Home Again'.

Wolfe, Tom (Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr.) (born 1931), essayist and novelist -'The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby'; 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'; 'The Right Stuff'; 'The Bonfire of the Vanities'.

Wright, Richard (1908-60), novelist and short-story writer -'Native Son'; 'Black Boy'.

Wylie, Elinor (1885-1928), poet and novelist -'Nets to Catch the Wind'; 'The Orphan Angel'.

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