My 50 Favourite Writers

by kinoholik | created - 07 Dec 2016 | updated - 14 Dec 2016 | Public

1. William Shakespeare

Writer | M the Movie

William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an ...

2. Fyodor Dostoevsky

Writer | The Double

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children of Mikhail Andreevich and Maria Dostoevsky. His father, a doctor, was a member of the Russian nobility, owned serfs and had a considerable estate near Moscow where he lived with his ...

3. Thomas Mann

Writer | Le mirage

Thomas Mann was probably Germany's most influential author of the 20th century, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. Born on 6 June 1875 in Lübeck, his family moved to Munich in 1893, where he lived until 1933 and wrote some of his most successful novels like "Buddenbrocks" (1901), "...

4. Leo Tolstoy

Writer | Anna Karenina

Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in his ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, South of Moscow, Russia. He was the fourth of five children in a wealthy family of Russian landed Gentry. His parents died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his elder brothers and ...

5. Franz Kafka

Writer | Le procès

Franz Kafka was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Austrian Empire, in 1883. His father, Hermann Kafka, was a business owner and a domestic tyrant, frequently abusing his son. Kafka later admitted to his father, "My writing was all about you...". He believed that his father broke ...

6. Boleslaw Prus

Writer | Dusze w niewoli

Boleslaw Prus (real name Aleksander Glowacki), 1847-1912, writer and journalist; played critical role in modernizing the Polish novel; co-creator of Polish Realism; humoresques, novellas, short stories: Klopoty babuni (Grandmother's Troubles, 1874), Powracajaca fala (The Returning Wave, 1880), ...

7. Sophocles

Writer | Die Antigone des Sophokles nach der Hölderlinschen Übertragung für die Bühne bearbeitet von Brecht 1948 (Suhrkamp Verlag)

Versatile Greek poet and tragic dramatist. He was the son of Sophilus, a wealthy arms manufacturer. Sophocles studied tragedy under Aeschylus, whom he subsequently defeated in the dramatic festival of 468 BC, thus gaining his first victory at these competitions. He became a general under Nicias and...

8. Nikolay Gogol

Writer | The Inspector General

Nikolai (Mykola) Gogol was a Russian humorist, dramatist, and novelist of Ukrainian origin. His ancestors were bearing the name of Gogol-Janovsky and claimed belonging to the upper class Polish Szlachta. Gogol's father, a Ukrainian writer living on his old family estate, had five other children. He...

9. Emily Brontë

Writer | Wuthering Heights

The dreamiest of the talented Brontë clan, Emily Jane Brontë was born in 1818. Her mother died when she was barely more than a toddler, and Emily and her younger sister, Anne, became very close. Along with their other siblings, 'Charlotte Bronte' and Branwell Bronte, they invented the make-believe ...

10. Alexander Pushkin

Soundtrack | Florence Foster Jenkins

Born to noble parents (his father Sergei was a retired major, and his mother, Nadezhda, was the granddaughter of an ennobled Ethiopian general) on the 26th of May, 1799 in Moscow, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin became involved with a liberal underground revolutionary group that saw him exiled to the ...

11. William Golding

Writer | Lord of the Flies

William Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in St Columb Minor, Cornwall, England as William Gerald Golding. He was a writer, known for Lord of the Flies (1990), Lord of the Flies (1963) and Alkitrang dugo (1975). He was married to Ann Brookfield. He died on June 19, 1993 in Perranarworthal, ...

12. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Soundtrack | Valkyrie

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany as son of a lawyer. After growing up in a privileged upper middle class family, he studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768, although he was more interested in literature. As he was seriously ill, he had to interrupt ...

13. Anton Chekhov

Writer | Kis Uykusu

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1860, the third of six children to a family of a grocer, in Taganrog, Russia, a southern seaport and resort on the Azov Sea. His father, a 3rd-rank Member of the Merchant's Guild, was a religious fanatic and a tyrant who used his children as slaves. Young Chekhov...

15. Mikhail A. Bulgakov

Writer | Ivan Vasilevich menyaet professiyu

Mikhail A. Bulgakov was a Russian writer and medical doctor known for big screen adaptations of his books, such as Beg (1971) and Master i Margarita (1994).

He was born Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov on May 15, 1891, in Kiev, Russia (now Kiev, Ukraine). He was the first of six children in the family ...

16. Thomas Hardy

Writer | Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840 in Upper Bockhampton, Dorset, England. He was a writer, known for Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), Tess (1979) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1967). He was married to Florence Emily Dugdale and Emma Lavinia Gifford. He died on January 11, 1928 in Dorchester,...

17. Witold Gombrowicz

Writer | 30 Door Key

Witold Gombrowicz was born on August 4, 1904 in Maloszyce, Poland, Russian Empire. He was a writer, known for 30 Door Key (1991), El servicio (1978) and Television Theater (1953). He was married to Rita Labrosse. He died on July 25, 1969 in Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

18. Jonathan Swift

Writer | Gulliver's Travels

Anglo-Irish author of the celebrated novel "Gulliver's Travels" (1726). He has been called the foremost prose satirist in the English language.

19. Mario Puzo

Writer | The Godfather

Mario Puzo was born October 15, 1920, in "Hell's Kitchen" on Manhattan's (NY) West Side and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, "The Godfather," was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels...

20. Margaret Atwood

Writer | The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood was born on November 18, 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as Margaret Eleanor Atwood. She is a writer and producer, known for The Handmaid's Tale (2017), Alias Grace (2017) and Screen Two (1985). She was previously married to Jim Polk.

21. Molière

Writer | Herr Tartüff

Born between January 13 and January 15 of the year 1622, from a 25yo tapestry-maker, Jean Poguelin (who worked for the King of France from 1631), and a 20yo woman, Marie Cresé, in Paris, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin lost his mother when he was 10. From 1638 to 1640, he studied in the Jesuit college of ...

22. J.M. Coetzee

Writer | Dust

J.M. Coetzee was born on February 9, 1940 in Cape Town, South Africa as John Maxwell Coetzee. He is a writer, known for Dust (1985), Waiting for the Barbarians (2019) and Disgrace (2008).

23. Virginia Woolf

Writer | Orlando

London-born Virginia Woolf came from a wealthy family and, unlike her brothers, received her education at home, an unusual step for the times. Her parents had both had children from previous marriages, so she grew up with a variety of siblings, stepbrothers and stepsisters. Her father was a ...

24. George Orwell

Writer | Nineteen Eighty-Four

Born the son of an Opium Agent in Bengal, Eric Blair was educated in England (Eton 1921). The joined the British Imperial Police in Burma, serving until 1927. He then travelled around England and Europe, doing various odd jobs to support his writing. By 1935 he had adopted the 'pen-name' of 'George...

25. Philip Roth

Writer | The Human Stain

Philip Roth was born on March 18, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, USA as Philip Milton Roth. He was a writer and actor, known for The Human Stain (2003), Indignation (2016) and American Pastoral (2016). He was married to Claire Bloom and Margaret Martinson. He died on May 22, 2018 in Manhattan, New ...

26. Mark Twain

Writer | Lionizing Murderers

Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835, grew up in Hannibal. He was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. Throughout his career, Twain served as a writer, lecturer, reporter, editor, printer, and prospector. Twain took his pen name from an alert cry used on his...

27. Ernest Hemingway

Writer | To Have and Have Not

Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea (1958).

He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six ...

28. Joseph Conrad

Writer | Sabotage

Joseph Conrad was born in Berdichev, Kiev Province, now the Ukraine, to Polish parents Apollo Korzeniowski and Ewa Bobrowska. His father was a political activist and he and his family were exiled after he was suspected of involvement with revolutionary activities. Conrad had no friends as a child ...

29. Yan Mo

Writer | Xing fu shi guang

Mo Yan (a pseudonym for Guan Moye) was born in 1955 and grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in north-eastern China. His parents were farmers. As a twelve-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People's ...

30. Tadeusz Borowski

Writer | Pozegnanie z Maria

Tadeusz Borowski was born on November 12, 1922 in Zhitomir, Ukrainian SSR. He was a writer, known for Pozegnanie z Maria (1993), Landscape After Battle (1970) and Za wami pójda inni... (1949). He died on July 3, 1951 in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland.

31. Elfriede Jelinek

Writer | La pianiste

Elfriede Jelinek was born on October 20, 1946 in Mürzzuschlag, Styria, Austria. She is a writer and actress, known for The Piano Teacher (2001), Malina (1991) and Bambiland (2008). She has been married to Gottfried Hüngsberg since June 12, 1974.

32. Graham Greene

Writer | The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...

33. Zofia Nalkowska

Writer | Granica

Was born in Warsaw from a family of intellectuals dedicated to the socialist cause. Was to become one of Poland's most distinguished writers of prose, characterized by realism and psychological depth. Her first success was Romans Teresy Hennert (The love of Therese Hennert, 1923). She is best known...

34. Oscar Wilde

Writer | The Picture of Dorian Gray

A gifted poet, playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in 19th-century England. He was illustrious for preaching the importance of style in life and art, and of attacking Victorian narrow-mindedness.

Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin before ...

35. Slawomir Mrozek

Writer | Kalosze szczescia

Slawomir Mrozek was born on June 29, 1930 in Borzecin, Malopolskie, Poland. He was a writer and actor, known for Kalosze szczescia (1958), Szach (2001) and Television Theater (1953). He was married to Susana Osorio Rosas and Maria Obremba. He died on August 15, 2013 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

36. Hanna Krall

Writer | Teatr telewizji

Hanna Krall was born on May 20, 1935 in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland. She is a writer and actress, known for Television Theater (1953), Keep Away from the Window (2000) and Mellan ljus och mörker (1999).

37. Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont

Writer | Chlopi

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont was born on May 7, 1867 in Kobiele Wielkie, Poland, Russian Empire as Wladyslaw Stanislaw Rejment. He was a writer, known for Chlopi (1922), Ziemia obiecana (1927) and The Promised Land (1975). He was married to Aurelia Szablowska. He died on December 5, 1925 in Warsaw, ...

38. Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski

Writer | Teatr telewizji

Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski was born on May 20, 1919 in Kielce, Swietokrzyskie, Poland. He was a writer, known for Television Theater (1953), The Death Train (1998) and Obywatel poeta (2000). He was married to Croce, Lidia and Stojanowska, Krystyna. He died on July 4, 2000 in Naples, Campania, Italy.

39. Astrid Lindgren

Writer | The Brothers Lionheart

Grew up in Småland outside Vimmerby in the south of Sweden. Her first book came out in 1944, and she made a breakthrough the following year with the stories about Pippi Longstocking. Countless stories about Pippi and other characters of Astrid's imagination and excellent story telling ability were ...

40. Michael Blake

Writer | Dances with Wolves

Michael Blake was born on July 5, 1945 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA as Michael Lennox Webb. He was a writer, known for Dances with Wolves (1990), Winnetou and The One. He was married to Marianne Mortensen. He died on May 2, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

41. Jonathan Littell

Writer | Wrong Elements

Littell said that the original inspiration for his novel "The Kindly Ones" ["Les Bienveillantes", first published in Sept. 2006] was Claude Lanzmann's acclaimed documentary Shoah (1985). He first saw it in 1989 or 1991.

42. Maria Konopnicka

Writer | Teatr telewizji

Maria Konopnicka was born on May 23, 1842 in Suwalki, Poland, Russian Empire as Maria Stanislawa Wasilowska. She was a writer, known for Television Theater (1953), Marysia i krasnoludki (1961) and Jak to ze lnem bylo (1958). She was married to Jaroslaw Konopnicki. She died on October 8, 1910 in ...

43. Jerzy Pilch

Writer | Spis cudzoloznic

Jerzy Pilch was born on August 10, 1952 in Wisla, Slaskie, Poland. He is a writer and actor, known for Spis cudzoloznic (1994), The Mighty Angel (2014) and Television Theater (1953).

44. Henryk Sienkiewicz

Writer | Quo Vadis

Henryk Sienkiewicz was born on May 5, 1846 in Wola Okrzejska, Poland, Russian Empire as Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz. He was a writer, known for Quo Vadis (1951), Invasion 1700 (1962) and Na jasnym brzegu (1921). He was married to Maria Babska, Maria Romanowska and Maria Emilia Kazimiera...

45. James Joyce

Writer | The Dead

Joyce was born at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin, on 2 February 1882. His father invested unwisely, and the family's fortunes declined steadily. Joyce graduated from University College Dublin (UCD), in 1902. He briefly studied medicine in Paris but his mother's impending death from cancer ...

46. Ivan Turgenev

Writer | Il pane altrui

Ivan Turgenev was born into a wealthy landowning family with many serfs, in the city of Oryol in Southern Russia. His father, a cavalry colonel, died when he was 15, and he was raised by his abusive mother, who ruled her 5000 serfs ruthlessly with a whip. He never married, but fathered a daughter ...

47. Aleksander Fredro

Writer | Pawel i Gawel

He had two children with Zofia: son, Jan Aleksander (born September 2, 1829; died May 15, 1891); and daughter, Zofia Ludwika Cecyla Konstancja (born May 27, 1837; died April 17, 1904).

48. J.D. Salinger

Writer | My Foolish Heart

U.S. writer whose novel "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951) won critical acclaim and devoted admirers, especially among the post-World War II generation of college students. His entire corpus of published works consists of that one novel and 13 short stories, all originally written in the period 1948-...

49. Imre Kertész

Writer | Sorstalanság

Imre Kertész was born on November 9, 1929 in Budapest, Hungary. He was a writer, known for Fateless (2005), Emelet (2006) and Csacsifogat (1984). He was married to Magda Ambrus-Sass and Albina Vas. He died on March 31, 2016 in Budapest.

50. Karl May

Writer | Die Teufelsanbeter

Karl May was born on February 25, 1842 in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Kingdom of Saxony as Karl Friedrich May. He was a writer, known for Die Teufelsanbeter (1920), Caravan of Death (1920) and Durch die Wüste (1936). He was married to Klara Plöhn and Emma Pollmer. He died on March 30, 1912 in ...



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