In the world of literature there are a lot of names of authors that are synonymous with “genius” and “prodigy”. Although it’s impossible to do them justice as we would like, we have compiled a list of what we consider to be the 15 best American writers in history . America’s 15 Greatest Writers and Their Most Important Works
We’re aware that key names are missing, but we believe that these 15 American writers are some of the best in all of history. Do you miss someone 15. Cormac McCarthy (1933)
Our list could not miss the great Cormac Mccarthy, one of the best American writers, specialized in locating his novels in the vast North American plainsas a background and that usually deal with issues such as ambition or the limits to which the human being can reach.
Among his most recognized works are: El guardian del Vergel (1965), Son of God (1974), No country for old men (2005), The road (2006); these last two adapted to the cinema with great critical and public success. 14. Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992)
In the field of science fiction novels, Isaac Asimov has no rival (well, we can’t forget Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, or Arthur C. Clarke); however, Asimov was ahead of his time. This professor, a graduate in Biochemistry, left teaching to devote himself to writing.
Generally remembered for a prolific work heavily focused on science fiction, Asimov also delved into crime, fantasy, historical, and science fiction genres. Father of “The Three Laws of Robotics”, we owe him novels such as: Yo, robot (1951), the Fundacion saga, El hombre bicentenario (1976) or Suenos de robot (1986), among others. 13. Henry James (1843 – 1916)
Although he changed his nationality to British, we believe that we have to do justice to Henry James, since his work was not valued until decades after his death, but rather was mercilessly beaten by criticizes it . In addition to being a great writer of novels, he used his passion for the written word to dedicate himself to being a critic of plays.
Some of his fundamental books are: Another Turn of the Screw (1898), The Portrait of a Lady (1881) or The Golden Cup (1904). 12. Patricia Highsmith (1921 – 1995)
Among the names of the best American authors in history, there are also women like Patricia Highsmith, creator of the mythical character Tom Ripley, the protagonist of some of her most celebrated literary saga Of her; although among her bibliography there are also short stories and essays.
Strangers on a Train (1950), The Price of Salt/Carol (1951), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955), Ripley’s Game (1974) or Ripley in Danger (1991), are some of his most remembered. 11. Truman Capote (1924 – 1984)
Controversial as anyone else, Truman Capote was one of those who did not bite his tongue or hide, at a time when showing himself as one is openly was not well seen. However, he used to be seen at the celebrations of American high society, due to his people skills.
Capote combined the writing of opinion articles for The New Yorker, with his work as a screenwriter for theater and cinema, along with the writing of novels of different genres, among which the police and the “non-fiction novel” stand out. of which he is considered a precursor. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) or In Cold Blood (1966), are two of his best-known novels, the latter being the one that would lead to his descent into a spiral of antidepressants and alcohol from which he would never recover until his death. .
⭐ To know more: Truman Capote: the writer who empathized with the murderers. 10. Nelle Harper Lee (1926 – 2016)
She’s not by far the most prolific author on our list, which is no reason why we’ve given Harper Lee a spot among America’s best writers. She is also famous for her close friendship with the controversial Truman Capote , as well as her opinion pieces in the newspaper she worked for.
She won the Pulitzer after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), a novel that would shake the racist prejudices of the time; The brave writer dared to dust off her old notes kept under lock and key to publish, more than 55 years later, Go and Put a Sentinel (2015), a prequel to her great success.9. Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
The prolific Massachusetts poet has some of the most beautiful verse in written art. Generally, Dickinson’s poems are about love, probably the frustrated area of ​​her life. Due to her personal style, her great rhymes and her way of narrating , she is without a doubt one of the best American writers in the literary world.
Some of her most celebrated poems are: La ring, Certainty or When I count the seeds. 8. F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940) His debut was in March 1920, when he was only 23 years old , thanks to the publication of This Side of Paradise. From there, Fitzgerald ascended to the podium of the best American writers of the time.
Between the 1920s and 1930s, he would write about the Jazz Age in his novels The Great Gatsby (1925) and Tender Is the Night (1934), to name a few mythical examples. 7. Stephen King (1947)
“The master of terror” is a title granted to a privileged few, specialists in the genre. Without a doubt, Stephen King is one of the best writers in North America in this field , an author capable of connecting the reader with his most basic fears, using diabolical monsters, aliens or deranged murderers. Although his specialty is being scary, he has also written dramatic or fantasy novels.
Among his more than 50 books, we could highlight: Misery (1987), It (1986), The threshold of the night (1978), The mystery of Salem’s Lot (1975) or Everything is eventual (2003).
⭐ To know more: 20 books by Stephen King that you have to read before you die. 6. Herman Melville (1819 – 1891)
Before becoming a writer, Herman Melville joined a whaling ship for a year and a half, something that would influence him, along with his friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, in the writing process of his great novel: Moby Dick (1851), which tells how a deranged captain of a whaler has set out to sail the seven seas in search of a giant white sperm whale that years ago tore his leg off.
Although today he is remembered for being the author of this great story about revenge, Melville also wrote other narratives and short stories: Typee (1846), Omoo (1847) Mardi (1849) or Tales of Piazza (1856). 5. HP Lovecraft (1890-1937)
During his lifetime he did not receive the recognition he deserved, neither by critics nor by the few followers he had gathered. However, today he is considered one of the best writers in the world, thanks to the great universe he created from his imagination , which included beings and deities from other dimensions who, in turn, have inspired writers and other artists. contemporaries.
His work is divided into 3 periods, each of them with a series of recommendable titles from the great master: Macabre Stories (1905-1920), The Dream Cycle (1920-1927) and The Cthulhu Mythos (1925-1935) 4 William Faulkner (1897 – 1967)
If there is another name that deserves to be included in this compilation, it is that of William Faulkner. Like many other writers, his work was not appreciated in his country of origin , although he was in France.
He tried his luck with poetry, but discovered that the novel was really his thing. His works have focused on portraying the transition from rural society to a more modernized one, without forgetting the inequalities between social classes or the violence that human beings are capable of exerting.
The Sound and the Fury (1929), Light of August (1932) or The Wild Palms (1939) are some of the must-reads of the first half of the 20th century. 3. Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)
We cannot make such a list without mentioning the great Edgar Allan Poe. Creator of the genre of detective fiction, he was also a great adept in short stories and was a precursor to written science fiction stories. However, his fame is due to his narratives of mystery and terror.
Like many others, his success came posthumously , although he tried by all means to dedicate himself professionally to writing, which caused him to go through various economic hardships.
His work also includes some poems, such as The Raven (1845), as well as several short and medium length stories: The Mask of the Red Death (1842) or Manuscript found in a bottle (1832); all of them collected over time in various volumes that include the best stories of him.
⭐ To know more: The 5 best stories Edgar Allan Poe and the impact of him. 2. Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
William Faulkner himself would refer to Mark Twain as the “father of American literature.” However, it was not only Faulkner who saw it this way, sinceMark Twain is considered today as one of the best American novelists of the late nineteenth century.
Twain was able to combine, on the one hand, the carefree and illusions of childhood in contrast to the disillusionment of the adult world, less happy, colder and with fewer illusions.
Of the more than 500 novels by him, which have transcended the years, we highlight The Prince and the Pauper (1882) or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). 1. Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
We end this list with a regular that cannot be missed: Ernest Hemingway. This novelist has had a remarkable influence on the way of writing of other authors after him. Hemingway wasan expert in representing in his novels the society of the years in which he lived . He was present in various conflicts during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, which would inspire him to write some of his best known books.
He was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1953 thanks to The Traveler and the Sea, but also noteworthy are A Farewell to Arms (1929), To Have and Have Not (1937), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940).
He committed suicide in 1960 due to a long history of mental problems that had led to a depression that he could not overcome. Hemingway is probably the best American writer of the last century.
⭐ Read our list of the 15 most famous writers in history.