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The Literary World

Prose Writers of the 20th Century

Distinguished prose writers, from 1900 to the turn of the millennium.

  • Agatha Christie (born 1890, died 1976)

    English mystery writer.

    • Wrote Murder on the Orient Express
  • Alice Adams (born 1926, died 1999)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Careless Love
  • Alison Lurie (born 1926)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The War Between the Tates
  • Amy Tan (born 1952)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The Joy Luck Club
  • Anne Rice (born 1941)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Interview with the Vampire
  • Anne Tyler (born 1941)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
  • Ayn Rand (born 1905, died 1982)

    Russian-American novelist.

    • Wrote The Fountainhead
  • Carson McCullers (born 1917, died 1967)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
  • Christina Stead (born 1903, died 1983)

    Australian novelist.

    • Wrote The Man Who Loved Children
  • (Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine) Colette (born 1873, died 1954)

    French novelist and short-story writer.

    • Wrote Claudine
  • Dorothy Parker (born 1893, died 1967)

    American short-story writer and poet.

    • Wrote Enough Rope
  • E. Annie Proulx (born 1935)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Postcards
  • Erica Jong (born 1942)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Fear of Flying
  • Flannery O'Connor (born 1925, died 1964)

    American short-story writer and novelist.

    • Wrote ''''Everything That Rises Must Converge''''
  • Gail Godwin (born 1937)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Glass People
  • Gertrude Stein (born 1874, died 1946)

    American experimental novelist, playwright and poet.

    • Wrote The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
  • Grace Paley (born 1922)

    American short-story writer.

    • Wrote Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Hortense Calisher (born 1911)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The Bobby-Soxer
  • Janet Dailey (born 1944)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Calder Born, Calder Bred
  • Jean Kerr (born 1923)

    American playwright.

    • Wrote Please Don''t Eat the Daisies
  • Joan Didion (born 1934)

    American novelist and essayist.

    • Wrote The White Album
  • Joyce Carol Oates (born 1938)

    American novelist and short-story writer.

    • Wrote Black Water
  • Judith Krantz (born 1928)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Scruples
  • Judy Blume (born 1938)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Wifey
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder (born 1867, died 1957)

    American children's author who wrote the autobiographical novels on which the popular television series ''Little House on the Prairie'' was based.

    • Wrote The Little House in the Big Woods
  • Lillian Hellman (born 1905, died 1984)

    American playwright.

    • Wrote The Little Foxes
  • Marge Piercy (born 1936)

    American novelist and poet.

    • Wrote Woman on the Edge of Time
  • Marilyn French (born 1929)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The Women''s Room
  • Mary Gordon (born 1949)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Final Payments
  • Mary Higgins Clark (born 1931)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote A Stranger Is Watching
  • Mary McCarthy (born 1912, died 1989)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Memories of a Catholic Girlhood
  • Maxine Hong Kingston (born 1940)

    American prose writer.

    • Wrote The Woman Warrior
  • Zora Neale Hurston (born 1903, died 1960)

    American novelist, short-story writer and folklorist.

    • Wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Rebecca West (born 1892, died 1983)

    Pseudonym of English journalist, novelist and critic Cicily Isabel Andrews.

    • Wrote The Count and the Castle
  • Susan Eloise ''S.E.'' Hinton (born 1948)

    American writer of juvenile fiction.

    • Wrote The Outsiders
  • Selma Lagerlöf (born 1858, died 1940)

    Swedish novelist.

    • Wrote The Outcast
  • Shirley Ann Grau (born 1929)

    American novelist and journalist.

    • Wrote Nine Women
  • Shirley Hardie Jackson (born 1919, died 1965)

    American short-story writer.

    • Wrote ''''The Lottery''''
  • Sigrid Undset (born 1882, died 1949)

    Norwegian novelist.

    • Wrote Kristin Lavransdatter
  • Simone de Beauvoir (born 1908, died 1986)

    French novelist and essayist.

    • Wrote Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
  • Toni Morrison (born 1931)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote Song of Solomon
  • Ursula K. LeGuin (born 1929)

    American novelist.

    • Wrote The Left Hand of Darkness.
  • Wendy Wasserstein (born 1950)

    American playwright.

    • Wrote Uncommon Women and Others
  • Willa Cather (born 1873, died 1947)

    American novelist and short-story writer.

    • Wrote My Antonia
  • Alice Walker (born 1944)

    American novelist, essayist and poet.

    • Wrote The Color Purple
  • Katherine Mansfield (born 1888, died 1923)

    New Zealand short-story writer.

    • Wrote The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • Virginia Woolf (born 1882, died 1941)

    English novelist and essayist.

    • Wrote A Room of One''s Own
  • Doris Lessing (born 1919)

    African-born English novelist.

    • Wrote African Stories
  • Nadine Gordimer (born 1923)

    South African novelist.

    • Wrote The Lying Days
  • Edna O'Brien (born 1931)

    Irish novelist.

    • Wrote Sister Imelda
  • Susan Hill (born 1942)

    English novelist.

    • Wrote How Soon Can I Leave?
  • (Estelle) Sylvia Pankhurst (born 1882, died 1960)

    English poet and writer.

    • Wrote a biography of her mother, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Eudora Welty (born 1909)

    American novelist and short-story writer.

    • Wrote One Writer''s Beginnings
  • Daphne du Maurier (born 1907, died 1989)

    English gothic novelist.

    • Wrote Rebecca
  • Anne Frank (born 1929, died 1945)

    Dutch diarist.

    • Her diary, written largely while her family was hiding from the Nazis, was published after her death
  • Gilda Radner (born 1946, died 1989)

    American actress, writer, and comedienne.

    • Wrote the autobiography It''s Always Something
  • Enid Bagnold (born 1889, died 1981)

    English author.

    • Wrote the novel National Velvet
  • Iris Murdoch (born 1919, died 1999)

    Irish novelist.

    • Wrote The Black Prince
  • Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (born 1890, died 1995)

    Matriarch of the Kennedy family.

    • Wrote the autobiography Times to Remember
  • Margaret Atwood (born 1939)

    Canadian novelist and poet.

    • Wrote The Handmaid''s Tale
  • Layla Ba'labakki

    Lebanese writer.

    • Wrote the semiautobiographical novel I Live
  • Ama Ata Aidoo (born 1942)

    Ghanaian writer

    • Ghanaian novelist, winner of the 1992 Commonwealth Writer''s Prize for Africa for the novel Changes
  • Aisha Abd al-Rahman (born 1913)

    Egyptian writer.

    • Best known for Contemporary Arab Women Poets
  • Nawal El Saadawi (born 1931)

    Egyptian physician and feminist author.

    • Wrote The Naked Face of the Arab Woman
  • Thea Astley (born 1925)

    Australian novelist and short-story writer.

    • Wrote The Acolyte
  • Caryl Churchill (born 1938)

    English playwright.

    • Wrote Serious Money
  • Mahasweta Devi (born 1926)

    Bengalese novelist and short story writer

    • Wrote Nati 1957
  • Meena Alexander (born 1951)

    Poet, novelist and literary critic from India

    • Wrote the novel Manhattan Music
  • Elspeth Josceline Grant Huxley (born 1907, died 1997)

    British author.

    • Wrote The Flame Trees of Thika
  • Marguerite Duras (born 1914, died 1996)

    French novelist and screenwriter. Original name: Marguerite Donnadieu.

    • Wrote The Lover
  • Jessie Fauset (born 1882, died 1961)

    American writer. The most-published novelist of the Harlem Renaissance.

    • Wrote The Chinaberry Tree

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