Authors: Franz Werfel

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Czech novelist and playwright Identity: Jewish Biography Franz Werfel (VEHR-fuhl) was born into a Jewish family of Prague on September 10, 1890. His father, the owner of a glove factory, was intensely interested in art and music, but he saw in his son only a future partner and an heir to the business; consequently, he […]

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Authors: Eudora Welty

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American short-story writer and novelist Biography Eudora Alice Welty is one of the greatest writers of Southern fiction. She was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on April 13, 1909, the daughter of Mary Chestina Andrews Welty, a teacher originally from West Virginia, and Christian Webb Welty, originally from Ohio. Soon after marrying, the young couple moved […]

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Authors: Irvine Welsh

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Scottish novelist and short-story writer Author Works Long Fiction: Trainspotting, 1993 Marabou Stork Nightmares, 1995 Filth, 1998 Glue, 2001 Porno, 2002 Short Fiction: The Acid House, 1994 Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, 1996 Drama: Headstate, pr. 1994 You’ll Have Had Your Hole, pr., pb. 1998 Blackpool, pr. 2002 (musical; with Harry Gibson) Screenplay: The […]

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Authors: H. G. Wells

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2017 Author Born: September 21, 1866 Birthplace: Bromley, Kent, England Died: August 13, 1946 Place of death: London, England Biography Herbert George Wells, whose parents ran a china shop, was one of England’s most prolific and best-known writers. Although he had to work for a living early in life, he was determined to get […]

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Authors: Fay Weldon

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist, short-story writer, and playwright Biography Fay Weldon is a major contemporary writer on women’s issues, noted for short fiction and novels as well as for plays for stage, radio, and television. She was born Franklin Birkinshaw on September 22, 1931, in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, England, to Frank Thornton Birkinshaw, a doctor, and Margaret Jepson […]

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Authors: James Welch

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist and poet Identity: American Indian (Gros Ventre and Blackfoot) Author Works Long Fiction: Winter in the Blood, 1974 The Death of Jim Loney, 1979 Fools Crow, 1986 The Indian Lawyer, 1990 The Heartsong of Charging Elk, 2000 (also known as Heartsong) Poetry: Riding the Earthboy Forty, 1971, revised 1975 Nonfiction: Killing Custer: The […]

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Authors: Denton Welch

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist, short-story writer, and memoirist Identity: Gay or bisexual Author Works Long Fiction: Maiden Voyage, 1943 In Youth Is Pleasure, 1944 A Voice Through a Cloud, 1950 (unfinished) Short Fiction: Brave and Cruel, 1948 A Last Sheaf, 1951 The Stories of Denton Welch, 1985 Poetry: Dumb Instrument: Poems and Fragments, 1976 Nonfiction: I Left […]

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Authors: Peter Weiss

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

German-born Swedish playwright Biography Peter Ulrich Weiss (vis) is considered one of the most prominent playwrights and novelists of the German postwar era. Born in a suburb of Berlin to a Jewish family on November 8, 1916, he originally wanted to be a painter. When the Nazis came to power in the 1930’s, Weiss’s family […]

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Authors: Simone Weil

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

French philosopher and critic Author Works Nonfiction: La Pesanteur et la grâce, 1947 (Gravity and Grace, 1952) L’Enracinement, 1949 (social criticism; The Need for Roots, 1952) Attente de Dieu, 1950 (Waiting for God, 1951) La Connaissance surnaturelle, 1950 Intuitions pré-chrétiennes, 1951 Lettre à un religieux, 1951 (Letter to a Priest, 1953) La Condition ouvrière, 1951 […]

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Authors: Jerome Weidman

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright Identity: Jewish Author Works Long Fiction: I Can Get It for You Wholesale, 1937 What’s in It for Me?, 1938 I’ll Never Go There Anymore, 1941 The Lights Around the Shore, 1943 Too Early to Tell, 1946 The Price Is Right, 1949 The Hand of the Hunter, 1951 Give […]

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Authors: Frank Wedekind

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 German playwright and poet Born: July 24, 1864 Birthplace: Hanover, Kingdom of Hanover (now in Germany) Died: March 9, 1918 Place of death: Munich, Germany Biography Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Wedekind (VAY-duh-kihnt), one of the most controversial of fin de siècle German writers, was the son of a world-traveling doctor who, at sixty-four, had […]

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Authors: John Webster

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English playwright Author Works Drama: Westward Ho!, pr. 1604 (with Thomas Dekker) Northward Ho!, pr. 1605 (with Dekker) The White Devil, pr. c. 1609-1612 The Duchess of Malfi, pr. 1614 The Devil’s Law-Case, pr. c. 1619-1622 Monuments of Honour, pr., pb. 1624 A Cure for a Cuckold, pr. c. 1624-1625 (with William Rowley) Appius and […]

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Authors: Max Weber

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

German sociologist Author Works Nonfiction: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie, 1920–1921 (3 volumes: volume 1 Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus [first pb. 1904–1905; The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1930]; Die protestantischen Sekten und der Geist des Kapitalismus [The Protestant Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1946]; Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen […]

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Authors: Walter Prescott Webb

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American historian Author Works Nonfiction: Growth of a Nation: The United States of America, 1928 (history; with E. C. Barker and W. E. Dodd) The Story of Our Nation: The United States of America, 1929 (history; with Barker and Dodd) The Great Plains, 1931 (history) Our Nation Grows Up, 1933 (history; with Barker and Dodd) […]

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Authors: Mary Webb

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist Author Works Long Fiction: The Golden Arrow, 1916 Gone to Earth, 1917 The House in Dormer Forest, 1920 Seven for a Secret, 1922 Precious Bane, 1924 Armour Wherein He Trusted, 1929 Poetry: Fifty-one Poems, 1946 Miscellaneous: The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing, 1917 (poems and essays) Poems and “The Spring […]

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Authors: Evelyn Waugh

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist Biography From the 1940’s until his death in 1966, Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh (waw) served as bête noire for left-wing critics on both sides of the Atlantic, a role he seemed to enjoy. He was born in London on October 28, 1903, the second son of Arthur Waugh, author and managing director […]

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Authors: James D. Watson

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American biologist and memoirist Author Works Nonfiction: Molecular Biology of the Gene, 1965, 4th revised edition 1987 (with others) The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, 1968 (memoir) The DNA Story: A Documentary History of Gene Cloning, 1981 (with John Tooze) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 1983 (with […]

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Authors: Frank Waters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Identity: American Indian (Cheyenne) Author Works Long Fiction: Fever Pitch, 1930 (also known as The Lizard Woman) The Wild Earth’s Nobility, 1935 Below Grass Roots, 1937 The Dust Within the Rock, 1940 People of the Valley, 1941 River Lady, 1942 (with Houston Branch) The Man Who Killed the Deer, 1942 The Yogi of […]

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Authors: Hugo Wast

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Argentine novelist Born: October 23, 1883 Birthplace: Córdoba, Argentina Died: March 28, 1962 Place of death: Buenos Aires, Argentina Biography Gustavo Adolfo Martínez Zuviría, known in literature as Hugo Wast, was born in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1883. While still a university student he wrote his first novel, Alegre, published in 1905. Then he […]

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Authors: Wendy Wasserstein

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright Identity: Jewish Author Works Drama: Any Woman Can’t, pr. 1973 Happy Birthday, Montpelier Pizz-zazz, pr. 1974 When Dinah Shore Ruled the Earth, pr. 1975 (with Christopher Durang) Uncommon Women and Others, pr. 1975 (one act), pr. 1977 (two acts) Isn’t It Romantic, pr. 1981, revised pr. 1983 Tender Offer, pr. 1983 (one act) […]

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Authors: Jakob Wassermann

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

German novelist Identity: Jewish Biography Perhaps no writer of modern times, with the possible exception of Francis Thompson, has suffered greater indignities than Jakob Wassermann (VAHS-sehr-mahn) in the struggle to vindicate himself as an artist. He was born of Jewish parentage to his merchant father, a man with a narrow, conservative outlook who allowed his […]

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Authors: Booker T. Washington

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American philosopher and memoirist Identity: African American Author Works Nonfiction: The Future of the American Negro, 1899 The Story of My Life and Work, 1900 Up from Slavery, 1901 Working with the Hands, 1904 The Story of the Negro, 1909 My Larger Education, 1911 Biography Recognized during the early years of the twentieth century as […]

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Authors: Robert Penn Warren

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2017 American poet and novelist Born: April 24, 1905 Birthplace: Guthrie, Kentucky Died: September 15, 1989 Place of death: West Wardsboro, near Stratton, Vermont Biography Robert Penn Warren is the only American writer to have won the Pulitzer Prize in both fiction and poetry. Indeed, he won the award three times: for All the […]

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Authors: Sylvia Townsend Warner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English short-story writer Author Works Short Fiction: “Some World Far from Ours,” and “Stay Corydon, Thou Swain,” 1929 Elinor Barley, 1930 Moral Ending, and Other Stories, 1931 The Salutation, 1932 More Joy in Heaven, and Other Stories, 1935 Twenty-four Short Stories, 1939 (with Graham Greene and James Laver) The Cat’s Cradle Book, 1940 A Garland […]

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Authors: Rex Warner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist Author Works Long Fiction: The Wild Goose Chase: An Allegory, 1937 The Professor: A Forecast, 1938 The Aerodrome: A Love Story, 1941 Why Was I Killed? A Dramatic Dialogue, 1944 Men of Stones: A Melodrama, 1949 Escapade: A Tale of Average, 1953 The Young Caesar, 1958 Imperial Caesar, 1960 Pericles the Athenian, 1963 […]

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Authors: Marina Warner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English critic, novelist, and journalist Author Works Nonfiction: The Dragon Empress: Life and Times of Tz’u-hsi 1835–1908, 1972 Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary, 1976 Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism, 1981 Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of Female Form, 1985 Managing Monsters: Six Myths of […]

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Authors: Charles Dudley Warner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American essayist, editor, and novelist Author Works Nonfiction: My Summer in a Garden, 1870 Saunterings, 1872 Backlog Studies, 1873 Baddock, and That Sort of Thing, 1874 My Winter on the Nile, Among the Mummies and Moslems, 1876, revised 1881 In the Levant, 1876 Being a Boy, 1877 In the Wilderness, 1878 Captain John Smith, Sometime […]

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Authors: Mary Augusta Ward

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist Author Works Long fiction: Milly and Olly, 1881 Miss Bretherton, 1884 Robert Elsmere, 1888 The History of David Grieve, 1892 Marcella, 1894 The Story of Bessie Costrell, 1895 Sir George Thessady, 1896 Eleanor, 1900 Lady Rose’s Daughter, 1903 Fenwick’s Career, 1906 The Testing of Diana Mallory, 1908 Daphne: Or, Marriage à la Mode, […]

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Authors: Wang Wei

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Chinese poet Author Works Poetry: Major poems, including “Written While Crossing the Yellow River to Qing-he,” “To the Frontier,” “For Vice-Magistrate Zhang,” and “The Deer Enclosure,” can be found in The Poetry of Wang Wei: New Translations and Commentary, 1980 (Pauline Yu, translator); and in Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei, 1991 […]

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Authors: Joseph Wambaugh

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Author Works Long Fiction: The New Centurions, 1970 The Blue Knight, 1972 The Choirboys, 1975 The Black Marble, 1978 The Glitter Dome, 1981 The Delta Star, 1983 The Secrets of Harry Bright, 1985 The Golden Orange, 1990 Fugitive Nights, 1992 Finnegan’s Week, 1993 Floaters, 1996 Screenplays: The Onion Field, 1979 (adaptation of his […]

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Authors: Izaak Walton

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English biographer Author Works Nonfiction: The Life and Death of Dr. Donne, 1640 The Life of Sir Henry Wotton, 1651 The Compleat Angler: Or, The Contemplative Man’s Recreation, 1653 The Life of Mr. Richard Hooker, 1665 The Life of Mr. George Herbert, 1670 Biography Izaak Walton, often called the first professional English biographer, was born […]

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Authors: Robert Walser

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Swiss short-story writer Author Works Short Fiction: Fritz Kochers Aufsätze, 1904 Aufsätze, 1913 Geschichten, 1914 Kleine Dichtungen, 1914 Der Spaziergang, 1917 (The Walk, and Other Stories, 1957) Prosastücke, 1917 Kleine Prosa, 1917 Poetenleben, 1918 Seeland, 1919 Die Rose, 1925 Selected Stories, 1982 (foreword by Susan Sontag) Aus dem Bleistiftgebiet: Mikrogramme aus den Jahren 1924–1925, 1985 […]

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Authors: Martin Walser

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

German playwright and novelist Author Works Drama: Der Abstecher, pr., pb. 1961 (The Detour, 1963) Eiche und Angora, pr., pb. 1962 (The Rabbit Race, 1963) Überlebensgross Herr Krott: Requiem für einen Unsterblichen, pr. 1963 Der schwarze Schwan, pr., pb. 1964 Die Zimmerschlacht, pr., pb. 1967 (Home Front, 1971) Wir werden schon noch handeln, pr. 1968 […]

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Authors: Sir Hugh Walpole

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist Author Works Long Fiction: The Wooden Horse, 1909 Maradick at Forty, 1910 Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill, 1911 (also known as The Gods and Mr. Perrin) The Prelude to Adventure, 1912 Fortitude, 1913 The Duchess of Wrexe, 1914 The Golden Scarecrow, 1915 The Dark Forest, 1916 The Green Mirror, 1917 Jeremy, 1919 The […]

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Authors: Horace Walpole

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 English novelist, essayist, and historian. Born: September 24, 1717 Birthplace: London, England Died: March 2, 1797 Place of death: London, England Biography A brilliant essayist, historian, and letter writer, as well as a notable novelist, dramatist, and amateur antiquary, Horace (christened Horatio) Walpole was born in London on September 24, 1717. He was […]

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Authors: Edmund Waller

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English poet Author Works Poetry: Poems, 1645, 1664, 1686, 1690, 1693 “A Panegyrick to My Lord Protector,” 1655 “A Poem on St. James’ Park as Lately Improved by His Majesty,” 1661 “Instructions to a Painter,” 1666 Divine Poems, 1685 The Second Part of Mr. Waller’s Poems, 1690 Drama: Pompey the Great, pb. 1664 (translation of […]

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Authors: Edward Lewis Wallant

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Identity: Jewish Author Works Long Fiction: The Human Season, 1960 The Pawnbroker, 1961 The Tenants of Moonbloom, 1963 The Children at the Gate, 1964 Biography Edward Lewis Wallant was born October 19, 1926, in New Haven, Connecticut. The son of Sol and Ann (Mendel) Wallant, he received his elementary and secondary education in […]

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Authors: Lewis Wallace

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Author Works Long Fiction: The Fair God: Or, The Last of the ’Tzins–A Tale of the Conquest of Mexico, 1873 Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, 1880 The Prince of India, 1893 Biography Although General Lewis (Lew) Wallace spent his professional life (as a soldier and a politician) as a realist, in […]

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Authors: David Foster Wallace

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, short-story writer, and essayist Biography David Foster Wallace grew up in Urbana, Illinois, the son of a philosophy professor and community college English teacher. He was a talented, competitive tennis player whose gifts for the game included oversweating in order to keep well ventilated and the ability to ascertain the differential complications between […]

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Authors: Margaret Walker

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American poet, novelist, and essayist Identity: African American Biography Margaret Walker, poet, novelist, essayist, orator, and critic, is known for her humanistic approach to issues of race and for the totality of her historical perspective. She began publishing poetry in the 1930’s in magazines such as Poetry, Opportunity, and Crisis, but is perhaps best known […]

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Authors: Joseph A. Walker

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright, actor, and educator Identity: African American Author Works Drama: The Believers, pr. 1968 (with Josephine Jackson) The Harangues, pr. 1969, revised pb. 1971 (as Tribal Harangue Two) Ododo, pr. 1970 Yin Yang, pr. 1972 The River Niger, pr. 1972 Antigone Africanus, pr. 1975 The Lion Is a Soul Brother, pr. 1976 District Line, […]

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Authors: Alice Walker

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2017 Self-described womanist writer Born: February 9, 1944 Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia Biography Alice Walker identifies herself as a “womanist”—that is, by her definition, as a black feminist who seriously concerns herself with the double oppression of racism and sexism. These two themes dominate Walker’s poetry, fiction, and prose. Born in 1944 to Georgia sharecroppers, […]

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Authors: Derek Walcott

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

West Indian poet and playwright Identity: African descent Author Works Poetry: Twenty-five Poems, 1948 Poems, 1951 In a Green Night: Poems, 1948-1960, 1962 Selected Poems, 1964 The Castaway, and Other Poems, 1965 The Gulf, and Other Poems, 1969 Another Life, 1973 Sea Grapes, 1976 The Star-Apple Kingdom, 1979 The Fortunate Traveller, 1981 Midsummer, 1984 Collected […]

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Authors: Diane Wakoski

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American poet Author Works Poetry: Coins and Coffins, 1962 Discrepancies and Apparitions, 1966 The George Washington Poems, 1967 Inside the Blood Factory, 1968 The Moon Has a Complicated Geography, 1969 The Magellanic Clouds, 1970 The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems, 1971 Smudging, 1972 Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch, 1973 Looking for the […]

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Authors: John Wain

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English novelist, biographer, literary critic, and short-story writer Author Works Long fiction: Hurry on Down, 1953 (pb. in U.S. as Born in Captivity) Living in the Present, 1955 The Contenders, 1958 A Travelling Woman, 1959 Strike the Father Dead, 1962 The Young Visitors, 1965 The Smaller Sky, 1967 A Winter in the Hills, 1970 The […]

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Authors: Jane Wagner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American screenwriter, director, and producer Author Works Drama: Appearing Nitely, pr. 1977 (with Lily Tomlin) The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, pr. 1985 Screenplays: Moment by Moment, 1978 The Incredible Shrinking Woman, 1981 The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, 1991 (adaptation of her play) Teleplays: J. T., […]

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Authors: Lev Vygotsky

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Russian psychologist Author Works Nonfiction: Myshlenie i rech: Psikhologicheskie issledovaniya, 1934 (Thought and Language, 1962) Umstvennoe razvitie detei v protsesse obucheniya, 1935 Izbrannye psikhologicheskie issledovaniya, 1956 Razvitie vysshykh psikhicheskikh funktsii, 1960 Psikhologiya iskusstvo, 1965, 1968 (The Psychology of Art, 1971) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, 1978 Sobranie sochinenii, 1982-1984 (The Collected […]

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Authors: Mihály Vörösmarty

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Hungarian poet and playwright Author Works Poetry: Zalán futása, 1825 Minden munkái, 1864 (12 volumes) Összes munkái, 1884-1885 (8 volumes) Összes mûvei, 1960-1979 (18 volumes) Drama: Csongor és Tünde, pr. 1830 A kincskeresök, pr. 1833 Vérnász, pb. 1833 A fátyol titkai, pr. 1834 Árpád ébredése, pr. 1837 Marót Ban, pb. 1838 Drama Translations: Julius Caesar, […]

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Authors: Kurt Vonnegut

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, short-story writer, and essayist Biography Few comic fiction writers since Mark Twain have achieved the combination of popularity and critical acclaim attained by social satirist Kurt Vonnegut (VON-uh-guht) or had similarly long and productive careers. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11, 1922, to Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., and the former Edith Lieber, Vonnegut […]

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Authors: Voltaire

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 French playwright, historian, philosopher, fabulist, and poet Born: November 21, 1694 Birthplace: Paris, France Died: May 30, 1778 Place of death: Paris, France Biography The man who, under the name of Voltaire (vohl-tayr), was to be remembered as the foremost spokesman of the Age of Enlightenment, was born François-Marie Arouet in Paris on […]

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Authors: William T. Vollmann

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 American novelist Born: July 28, 1959 Birthplace: Santa Monica, California Biography William T. Vollmann, who burst onto the crowded late twentieth century literary scene and showed that there was still something new to say, spent the first five years of his life in Santa Monica, California. Beginning in 1964, his family made a […]

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Authors: Vladimir Voinovich

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Russian novelist Author Works Long Fiction: Zhizn’i neobychainye priklyucheniya soldata Ivana Chonkina, 1975 (The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, 1977) Ivan’kiada, ili rasskaz o vselenii pisatelya Voynovicha v novuyu kvartiru, 1976 (satire; The Ivankiad: Or, The Tale of the Writer Voinovich’s Installation in His New Apartment, 1977) Pretendent na prestol: Novye priklyucheniya […]

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Authors: Cynthia Voigt

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2017 Author Born: February 25, 1942 Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts Biography Cynthia Irving Voigt has produced dozens of young adult novels. Dicey’s Song merited the Newbery Medal in 1983 and the American Library Association (ALA) Best Children’s Book citation. A Solitary Blue was named a Newbery Honor Book in 1984 and the ALA Best Young […]

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Authors: Paula Vogel

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 American playwright Born: November 16, 1951 Birthplace: Washington, D.C. Biography Paula Anne Vogel was born to a working-class family in Washington, D.C. After her parents’ divorce, she was raised by her mother. Vogel’s family life, education, and early career were not free of problems, but the challenges and failures she faced taught her […]

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Authors: Eric Voegelin

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

German philosopher and historian Author Works Nonfiction: Der autoritäre Staat: Ein Versuch ûber das õsterreichische Staatsproblem, 1936 (The Authoritarian State: An Essay on the Problem of the Austrian State, 1999) The New Science of Politics, 1952 Order and History, 1956-1987 (includes Israel and Revelation, 1956; The World of the Polis, 1957; Plato and Aristotle, 1957; […]

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Authors: Gerald Vizenor

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2017 Ojibwe novelist, poet, journalist, short-story writer, and scholar Born: October 22, 1934 Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota Biography Gerald Vizenor is often recognized as the most innovative writer of Native American fiction ever to put pen to paper. Born to Clement William Vizenor and LaVerne Lydia Peterson Vizenor, he was raised in Minneapolis from the […]

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Authors: Elio Vittorini

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Italian novelist Biography Elio Vittorini (vee-toh-REE-nee) is remembered chiefly as one of Sicily’s great twentieth century authors, although only two of his major works deal with that island: In Sicily and La Garibaldina. Vittorini was born on July 23, 1908, in Syracuse, Sicily, the son of a railway stationmaster. He had little formal education, which […]

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Authors: Helena María Viramontes

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 American novelist, short-story writer, and anthologist Born: February 26, 1954 Birthplace: East Los Angeles, California Biography Helena María Viramontes made a name for herself as a fiction writer, educator, and active participant in Latino literary and artistic groups. A founder of Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers and its vice president from 1990 […]

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Authors: François Villon

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

French poet Author Works Poetry: Le Lais, wr. 1456, pb. 1489 (The Legacy, 1878; also known as Le Petit Testament, The Little Testament) Le Grand Testament, wr. 1461, pb. 1489 (The Great Testament, 1878) Ballades en jargon, 1489 (Poems in Slang, 1878) Les Œuvres de Françoys Villon, 1533 (Clément Marot, editor) The Poems of Master […]

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Authors: Victor Villaseñor

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, short-story writer, biographer, and screenwriter Identity: Mexican American Author Works Long Fiction: Macho!, 1973 Short Fiction: Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power, 1994 Screenplay: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, 1982 Nonfiction: Jury: The People vs. Juan Corona, 1977 Rain of Gold, 1991 Wild Steps of Heaven, 1996 Thirteen Senses: A Memoir, 2001 […]

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Authors: José Antonio Villarreal

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Identity: Mexican American Author Works Long Fiction: Pocho, 1959 The Fifth Horseman, 1974 Clemente Chacón, 1984 Short Fiction: “The Last Minstrel in California” and “The Laughter of My Father” (in Iguana Dreams, 1992) Biography The parents of José Antonio Villarreal (VEE-yah-ree-AHL) were born in Mexico and moved to the United States in 1921. […]

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Authors: Alfred de Vigny

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

French poet Author Works Poetry: Poèmes, 1822 Eloa, 1824 Poèmes antiques et modernes, 1826, 1829, 1837 Les Destinées, 1864 Long Fiction: Cinq-Mars, 1826 (Cinq-Mars: Or, A Conspiracy Under Louis XIII, 1847) L’Alméh, 1831 Stello, 1832 Daphné, 1912 Short Fiction: Servitude et grandeurs militaires, 1835 (The Military Necessity, 1919) Drama: Le More de Venise, pr. 1829 […]

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Authors: Gore Vidal

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, playwright, and critic Biography Regarded as one of the most promising novelists to emerge in the period after World War II, Gore Vidal (vee-DAHL) not only created an important body of fiction but also became an influential man of letters, rivaling his contemporary John Updike in the scope and consistency of his work. […]

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Authors: Jules Verne

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 French novelist Born: February 8, 1828 Birthplace: Nantes, France Died: March 24, 1905 Place of death: Amiens, France Biography Born in 1828, Jules Verne, who was to become one of the best-known science-fiction writers of all time, had a quiet childhood in Nantes. He attended the local lycée before going to Paris, intending […]

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Authors: Paul Verlaine

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 French poet of the nineteenth-century decadent movement. Born: March 30, 1844 Place of birth: Metz, France Died: January 8, 1896 Place of death: Paris, France Biography Paul-Marie Verlaine was the son of a former captain of engineers of Napoleon’s army. He was educated in Paris and then secured a minor position with an […]

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Authors: Vergil

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Roman poet Author Works Poetry: Eclogues, 43-37 b.c.e. (also known as Bucolics; English translation, 1575) Georgics, c. 37-29 b.c.e. (English translation, 1589) Aeneid, c. 29-19 b.c.e. (English translation, 1553) Biography Publius Vergilius Maro, known as Vergil (VUR-juhl), author of one of the most familiar epics in all literature, was born in the village of Andes, […]

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Authors: Giovanni Verga

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Italian novelist Born: September 2, 1840 Birthplace: Catania, The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (now in Sicily, Italy) Died: January 27, 1922 Place of death: Catania, Sicily, Italy Biography Widely considered the greatest Italian novelist after Alessandro Manzoni, Giovanni Verga was born in Catania, Sicily, in 1840, of a family supposed to have […]

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Authors: Lope de Vega Carpio

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Spanish playwright Author Works Drama: Los comendadores de Córdoba, wr. 1596-1598, pb. 1609 El nuevo mundo descubierto por Cristóbal Colón, wr. 1596-1603, pb. 1614 (The Discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, 1950) El mayordomo de la duquesa de Amalfi, wr. 1599-1606, pb. 1618 (The Majordomo of the Duchess of Amalfi, 1951) El anzuelo […]

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Authors: Thorstein Veblen

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Norwegian American economist and sociologist. Born: July 30, 1857 Birthplace: Cato, Wisconsin Died: August 3, 1929 Place of death: Menlo Park, California Biography Thorstein Bunde Veblen was born to Norwegian immigrant parents on a farm in Wisconsin when that state was still largely on the frontier. In 1865 the family moved to a […]

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Authors: Ivan Vazov

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Bulgarian novelist, poet, and playwright Born: June 27, 1850 Birthplace: Sopot, Bulgaria Died: September 22, 1921 Place of death: Sofia, Bulgaria Biography Ivan Minchov Vazov, for thirty years the outstanding writer in Bulgaria, was that country’s first great writer in the various creative genres of the novel, poetry, and drama. During his most […]

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Authors: Henry Vaughan

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Welsh poet Born: April 17, 1622 Birthplace: Newton-on-Usk, Wales Died: April 23, 1695 Place of death: Llansantffraed, Wales Biography A number of seventeenth century poets won new popularity in the mid-twentieth century in the wake of a revived interest in the Metaphysical poetry of John Donne. Among them was Henry Vaughan, whose works […]

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Authors: Mario Vargas Llosa

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Peruvian novelist Biography Peru’s leading contemporary novelist, Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa (VAHR-gahs YOH-sah), is regarded as one of the creators (along with such writers as Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, and Carlos Fuentes) of the new Latin American novel. Born in the town of Arequipa in southern Peru, Mario Vargas Llosa was the son […]

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Authors: Carl Van Vechten

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist and critic Identity: Gay or bisexual Biography Carl Van Vechten (van VEHK-tuhn) moved deftly through three careers: He began as a music, dance, and drama critic, producing several volumes of wide-ranging, urbane essays; then he devoted himself to fiction, writing seven well-received novels in a decade that saw the first publications of Ernest […]

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Authors: Jean-Claude van Itallie

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright Author Works Drama: War, pr. 1963 Almost Like Being, pr. 1964 The Hunter and the Bird, pr. 1964 I’m Really Here, pr. 1964 America Hurrah, pr. 1966 (trilogy; includes The Interview, TV, and Motel) Where Is De Queen?, pr. 1966 War, and Four Other Plays, pb. 1967 The Serpent: A Ceremony, pr. 1968 […]

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Authors: Mona Van Duyn

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American poet Author Works Poetry: Valentines to the Wide World, 1959 A Time of Bees, 1964 To See, to Take, 1970 Bedtime Stories, 1972 Merciful Disguises, 1973 Letters from a Father, and Other Poems, 1982 Near Changes, 1990 If It Be Not I: Collected Poems, 1959-1982, 1993 Firefall: Poems, 1993 Selected Poems, 2002 Biography Mona […]

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Authors: Mark Van Doren

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American poet Author Works Poetry: Spring Thunder, and Other Poems, 1924 7 p.m., and Other Poems, 1926 Now the Sky, and Other Poems, 1928 Jonathan Gentry, 1931 A Winter Diary, and Other Poems, 1935 The Last Look, and Other Poems, 1937 Collected Poems, 1922-1938, 1939 The Mayfield Deer, 1941 Our Lady Peace, and Other War […]

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Authors: Sir John Vanbrugh

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English playwright and architect Author Works Drama: The Relapse: Or, Virtue in Danger, pr., pb. 1696 Aesop, Part I, pr. 1696 Part II, pr., pb. 1697 (adaptation of Edmé Boursault’s play Les Fables d’Ésope) The Provok’d Wife, pr., pb. 1697 The Country House, pr. 1698 (adaptation of Florent-Carton Dancourt’s play La Maison de campagne) The […]

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Authors: Vālmīki

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Indian poet Author Works Poetry: Rāmāyana, c. 500 b.c.e. (The Ramayana, 1870-1874) Biography Vālmīki (vahl-MEE-kee) is one of those ancient authors who tantalize scholars because so little is known or can be known about them. According to Hindu tradition, Vālmīki lived in 867,000 b.c.e.; Westernized scholars have offered their own guesses ranging from about 700 […]

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Authors: César Vallejo

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Peruvian poet Born: March 16, 1892 Birthplace: Santiago de Chuco, Peru Died: April 15, 1938 Place of death: Paris, France Biography César Vallejo vies with the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda for recognition as the best Spanish American poet of the twentieth century, yet the semantic difficulty of his poetry has often meant that […]

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Authors: Paul Valéry

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

French poet and playwright Author Works Poetry: La Jeune Parque, 1917 (The Youngest of the Fates, 1947; also known as The Young Fate) Album de vers anciens, 1920 (Album of Early Verse, 1971) Charmes: Ou, Poèmes, 1922 (Charms, 1971) Short Fiction: “La Soirée avec Monsieur Teste,” 1896 (“An Evening with Monsieur Teste,” 1925) Drama: Amphion, […]

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Authors: Juan Valera

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Spanish novelist Author Works Long Fiction: Mariquita y Antonio, 1861 Pepita Jiménez, 1874 (Pepita Ximenez, 1886) Las ilusiones del doctor Faustino, 1875 El comendador Mendoza, 1877 (Commander Mendoza, 1893) Pasarse de listo, 1878 (Don Braulio, 1892) Doña Luz, 1879 (English translation, 1891) Juanita la larga, 1896 Genio y figura, 1897 Morsamor, 1899 Short Fiction: Cuentos […]

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Authors: Luisa Valenzuela

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Argentine novelist and short-story writer Author Works Long Fiction: Hay que sonreír, 1966 (Clara, 1976) El gato eficaz, 1972 Como en la guerra, 1977 (He Who Searches, 1979) Libro que no muerde, 1980 Cola de lagartija, 1983 (The Lizard’s Tail, 1983) Novela Negra con Argentinos, 1990 (Black Novel with Argentines, 1992) Realidad nacional desde la […]

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Authors: Luis Miguel Valdez

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright and political activist Identity: Mexican American Author Works Drama: The Theft, pr. 1961 The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa, pr. 1965 Las dos caras del patroncito, pr. 1965 La quinta temporada, pr. 1966 Los vendidos, pr. 1967 Dark Root of a Scream, pr. 1967 La conquista de México, pr. 1968 (puppet play) No […]

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Authors: Leon Uris

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Identity: Jewish Author Works Long Fiction: Battle Cry, 1953 The Angry Hills, 1955 Exodus, 1958 Mila 18, 1960 Armageddon, 1964 Topaz, 1967 QB VII, 1970 Trinity, 1976 The Haj, 1984 Mitla Pass, 1988 Redemption, 1995 A God in Ruins, 1999 Screenplays: Battle Cry, 1955 (adaptation of his novel) Gunfight at the OK Corral, […]

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Authors: John Updike

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist, short-story writer, and poet Biography John Hoyer Updike is widely acclaimed as one of the most accomplished stylists and prolific writers of his generation; his fiction represents a penetrating chronicle of the changing morals and manners of American society. He was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, on March 18, 1932, the only child of […]

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Authors: Giuseppe Ungaretti

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Italian poet Author Works Poetry: Il porto sepolto, 1916 Allegria di naufragi, 1919 La Guerre, 1919 L’allegria, 1931, 1942 (includes revisions of Il porto sepolto and Allegria di naufragi) Sentimento del tempo, 1933 Il dolore, 1947 La terra promessa, 1950 Gridasti, soffoco … , 1951 Un grido e paesaggi, 1952 Life of a Man, 1958 […]

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Authors: Sigrid Undset

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Norwegian novelist Biography Sigrid Undset (UHN-seht) was the daughter of Ingvald Martin Undset, a distinguished Norwegian archaeologist, and Anna Charlotte Gyth from the Danish town of Kalundborg. As a child, Sigrid lived with her mother’s family while her father conducted research in Mediterranean countries. When he became a lecturer at the University of Norway, the […]

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Authors: Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Spanish novelist, playwright, poet, and philosopher Author Works Long Fiction: Paz en la guerra, 1897 (Peace in War, 1983) Amor y pedagogía, 1902 Niebla, 1914 (Mist: A Tragicomic Novel, 1928) Abel Sánchez: Una historia de pasión, 1917 (Abel Sánchez, 1947) Tres novelas ejemplares y un prólogo, 1920 (Three Exemplary Novels and a Prologue, 1930) La […]

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Authors: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American historian Author Works Nonfiction: A Beginner’s Boston, 1970 (with others) Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750, 1982 A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812, 1990 The Significance of Trivia, 1992 The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the […]

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Authors: Alfred Uhry

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American playwright and screenwriter Author Works Drama: Here’s Where I Belong, pr. 1968 (lyrics; book by Alex Gordon, music by Robert Waldman; adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden) The Robber Bridegroom, pr. 1975 (lyrics and libretto; music by Waldman; adaptation of Eudora Welty’s novella) Chapeau, pr. 1977 Swing, pr. 1980 (lyrics; book by […]

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Authors: Nicholas Udall

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English playwright and translator Author Works Drama: Ralph Roister Doister, pr. c. 1552 Nonfiction: Compendiosa totius anatomie delineatio, 1552 Translations: Floures for Latine Spekynge, 1534 (of Terence) Apopthegmes, 1542 (of Erasmus) The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the New Testament, 1549 (of Erasmus) A Discourse or Tractise of Petur Martyr, 1550 (of Peter Martyr’s Tractatie de […]

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Authors: Tristan Tzara

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Romanian-born French poet and essayist Author Works Poetry: La Première Aventure céleste de Monsieur Antipyrine, 1916 La Deuxième Aventure céleste de Monsieur Antipyrine, wr. 1917, pb. 1938 Vingt-cinq poèmes, 1918 De nos oiseaux, 1923 Mouchoir de nuages, 1925 Indicateur des chemins de coeur, 1928 L’Arbre des voyageurs, 1930 L’Homme approximatif, 1931 (Approximate Man, and Other […]

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Authors: Anne Tyler

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Biography Although Anne Tyler’s books have always been popular with general readers, acclaim from critics came more slowly. With Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, however, Tyler’s position in American literature was firmly established. In addition to her many short stories and novels, Tyler is much in demand as a book reviewer. She has […]

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Authors: Mark Twain

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 American novelist, travel writer, short-story writer, essayist, and memoirist Born: November 30, 1835 Birthplace: Florida, Missouri Died: April 21, 1910 Place of death: Redding, Connecticut Biography Mark Twain is both the greatest humorist American literature has produced and one of its most important novelists. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the son of John Marshall […]

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Authors: Amos Tutuola

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Nigerian novelist and short-story writer Biography The reputation of Amos Tutuola (tew-tew-OH-lah) has been the subject of much controversy. Unlike the majority of African writers, who are not only university educated (and therefore well versed in and influenced by the formal structures of Western literature) but also often employ their second language with as much […]

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Authors: Scott Turow

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American novelist Author Works Long Fiction: Presumed Innocent, 1987 The Burden of Proof, 1990 Pleading Guilty, 1993 The Laws of Our Fathers, 1996 Personal Injuries, 1999 Reversible Errors, 2002 Nonfiction: One L, 1977 Edited Text: Guilty as Charged: The Penguin Book of New American Crime Writing, 1996 Biography Scott Turow (tuh-ROH) is a successful Chicago […]

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Authors: Frederick Jackson Turner

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American historian Author Works Nonfiction: The Significance of the Frontier in American History, 1894 The Frontier in American History, 1920 The Significance of Sections in American History, 1932 Biography Frederick Jackson Turner was born, and received his earliest education, in Portage, Wisconsin. Located along the Wisconsin River at the edge of the 1861 frontier, and […]

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Authors: Ivan Turgenev

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Last reviewed: June 2018 Russian novelist Born: November 9, 1818 Birthplace: Orel, Russia Died: September 3, 1883 Place of death: Bougival, France Biography Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (tewr-GYAYN-yuhf), the first of the great Russian novelists to be read widely in Europe, was born in Orel, Russia, in 1818. He was the second of three sons born to his […]

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Authors: Frank Tuohy

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

English short-story writer and novelist Author Works Short Fiction: The Admiral and the Nuns, with Other Stories, 1962 Fingers in the Door, and Other Stories, 1970 Live Bait, and Other Stories, 1978 The Collected Stories, 1984 Long Fiction: The Animal Game, 1957 The Warm Nights of January, 1960 The Ice Saints, 1964 Nonfiction: Portugal, 1970 […]

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Authors: Frederick Goddard Tuckerman

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

American poet Author Works Poetry: Poems, 1860, 1863 The Sonnets of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, 1931 (Witter Bynner, editor) The Complete Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, 1965 (N. Scott Momaday, editor) Biography Frederick Goddard Tuckerman was born to one of Boston’s wealthiest merchant families. Tuckerman’s father made a fortune in dry goods and real estate; his […]

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