Top Ten Most Iconic Authors in American Literature

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The Top Ten

1 Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American ...read more.
2 Mark Twain Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.
3 Stephen King Stephen King Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. Many of his most well-known novels include Carrie, It, The Shinning, The Stand, Misery, The Dark Tower series, and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, which was later ...read more.
4 Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet . Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts . ...read more.
5 Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced ...read more.
6 William Faulkner William Faulkner William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha ...read more.
7 John Steinbeck John Steinbeck John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories.
8 Jack Kerouac Jack Kerouac Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969), born Jean-Louis Kérouac (though he called himself Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac) was an American novelist and poet of French-Canadian descent. ...read more.
9 J.D. Salinger J.D. Salinger Jerome David "J.D." Salinger (January 1, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an American writer who won acclaim early in life. He led a very private life for more than a half-century. He published his final original work in 1965 and gave his last interview in 1980.

"The Catcher In The Rye" was one of the most subversive books ever published.

10 Harper Lee Harper Lee Nelle Harper Lee, better known by her pen name Harper Lee, was an American novelist widely known for To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. Immediately successful, it won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic of modern American literature.

The Contenders

11 H.P. Lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and published only in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century ...read more.
12 Herman Melville Herman Melville Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period best known for Typee, a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick.
13 F. Scott Fitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist and short story writer, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age.
14 Tennessee Williams Tennessee Williams Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American playwright. Along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he is considered among the three foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama.
15 Walt Whitman Walt Whitman Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called ...read more.
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