John le Carré

Sydney Smith

(1771 - 1845)

Image of French writer Honoré de Balzac with hand on chest.

Honoré de Balzac

(1799 - 1850)

Princess Der Ling

(1885 - 1944)

Color drawing of Jane Austen sitting in a chair wearing a blue dress

Jane Austen

(1775 - 1817)

Black and white photograph of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy

(1828 - 1910)

Black and white photograph of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud with cigar.

Sigmund Freud

(1856 - 1949)

Painted portrait of former American first lady Abigail Adams.

Abigail Smith Adams

(1744 - 1818)

Deborah Cohen

Welsh clergyman and historian Gerald of Wales.

Gerald of Wales

(c. 1146 - c. 1223)

Samar Yazbek

Renata Adler

American writer Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison

Black and white photograph of English poet and librarian Philip Larkin.

Philip Larkin

(1922 - 1985)

German philosopher and music critic Theodor Adorno.

Theodor Adorno

(1903 - 1969)

Black and white photograph of a young Mark Twain with dark hair.

Mark Twain

(1835 - 1910)

English critic and author G. K. Chesterton.

G.K. Chesterton

(1874 - 1936)

American abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs.

Harriet Jacobs

(1813 - 1897)

Herbert Gans

Witold Rybczynski

Alice Munro

English novelist, essayist, and critic George Orwell.

George Orwell

(1903 - 1950)

Vincent van Gogh

(1853 - 1890)

Greek philosopher Epictetus.

Epictetus

(c. 55 - c. 135)

Photograph of African-American poet and writer Langston Hughes.

Langston Hughes

(1902 - 1967)

Martin Heidegger

(1889 - 1976)

Photograph of American short-story writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe

(1809 - 1849)

Yasunari Kawabata

(1899 - 1972)

Liezi

(c. 450 BC - c. 375 BC)

Italian literary critic and novelist Umberto Eco.

Umberto Eco

(1932 - 2016)

Sigrid Undset

(1882 - 1949)

Photograph of American writer James Baldwin.

James Baldwin

(1924 - 1987)

John Waters

English poet and satirist Alexander Pope.

Alexander Pope

(1688 - 1744)

Sinclair Lewis

(1885 - 1951)

Daniel Defoe

(1660 - 1731)

Japanese diarist and poet Sei Shōnagon.

Sei Shonagon

(c. 966 - c. 1025)

Phoebe Judson

(1831 - 1926)

Gaston Bachelard

(1884 - 1962)

V.S. Naipaul

Ivan Vladislavić

St. Benedict

Saint Benedict

(c. 480 - c. 547)

Nuruddin Farah

L.J. Davis

(1940 - 2011)

Cheryl Mendelson

Ben Metcalf

Paul Veyne

Herbert Asbury

(1889 - 1963)

Henrik Ibsen

(1828 - 1906)

Amitav Ghosh

Charles Reznikoff

(1894 - 1976)

Judith Flanders

Catharine Beecher

(1800 - 1878)

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Sa‘d

(784 - 845)

Black and white photograph of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez.

Gabriel García Márquez

(1928 - 2014)

black and white photo of James Thurber lighting a cigarette in the new york times office

James Thurber

(1894 - 1961)

Le Corbusier

(1887 - 1965)

Gertrude Stein

(1874 - 1946)

Betty Friedan

(1921 - 2006)

John Stands in Timber

(1884 - 1967)

Kamo no Chomei

(1155 - 1216)

Black and white photograph of Mencken looking over his shoulder at the camera

H.L. Mencken

(1880 - 1956)

Jacob Riis

(1849 - 1914)

Pope Paul IV

(1476 - 1559)

Black and white photograph of Czech writer Karel Čapek.

Karel Čapek

(1890 - 1938)

Freya Stark

(1893 - 1993)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

Black and white photograph of Italian writer and chemist Primo Levi.

Primo Levi

(1919 - 1987)

Andrew Ross

Marie Kondo

Theano