Which Ancient Greek poet wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are central to the history of literature?
It is believed that he was blind. He is likely to have lived in the 7th or 8th centuries B.C.
Which English poet and playwright of the 16th and 17th centuries wrote famous plays such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, and Othello?
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
He wrote over 150 sonnets and is regarded as the greatest Anglophone writer. A large number of familiar English sayings and expressions come from his works. He spent most of his life in London, where he managed the Globe Theatre.
Which Spanish writer of the 16th and 17th centuries wrote Don Quixote, published in two volumes (in 1605 and 1615)?
Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
Don Quixote is considered the first modern European novel and a classic of Western literature. De Cervantes was greatly influential to the Spanish language in general.
Which 20th-century American author wrote The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and A Farewell to Arms and was a member of the Lost Generation of American writers in Paris in the 1920s?
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
He was known for his economical, simple writing and adventurous lifestyle. He won both a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Which 20th-century American author wrote a total of five novels, the most famous of which was The Great Gatsby (1925), and was a member of the Lost Generation of American writers in Paris in the 1920s?
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of his many short stories.
Which 20th-century American author wrote The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying?
William Faulkner (1897-1962)
He won two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction and a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Which ancient Greek playwright of the 5th century B.C. is famous for his tragedies, many of which feature Antigone and Oedipus?
He is one of three Greek authors of tragedies, along with Aeschylus and Euripides, whose plays have survived.
Which American abolitionist, author, philosopher, and transcendentalist of the 19th century wrote an essay called "Civil Disobedience"?
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
He is also known for his book Walden.
Which 20th-century American author wrote Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden?
John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
He won both a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Which 19th-century English author wrote A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield?
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
His work was immensely popular during his lifetime, and he is seen as one of the great writers of the Victorian era.
Which American professor and writer of the 20th and 21st centuries is best known for her novels Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon?
Toni Morrison (1931- )
She was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1993 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Which 20th-century American author published the novel To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960?
Harper Lee (1926- )
To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962.
Which 20th-century British writer wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945."
Which British writer is best known as the author of the widely read Harry Potter series, the best-selling book series in history?
J.K. Rowling (1965- )
Which American author and columnist of the 20th and 21st centuries wrote The Shining, Carrie, Misery, and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption?
Stephen King (1947- )
His popular suspense novels and short stories have frequently been adapted into films.
Which English authors of the 19th century originally published their poems and novels under the male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell?
Emily (1818-1848), Charlotte (1816-1855), and Anne (1820-1849) Brontë
Emily most famously wrote Wuthering Heights, Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre, and Anne wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Which 18th- and 19th-century English novelist is famous for her works Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma?
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
She is known for the love stories she crafted, as well as her social commentary and sense of irony.
Which American writer of the 20th century is best known for his novels Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five?
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007)
His works mixed satire and fantasy.
Which 20th- and 21st-century American playwright penned Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, and The Crucible?
Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
He was a Pulitzer Prize winner and was married for five years to Marilyn Monroe. He is also known for having testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Which 20th-century American writer is best known for his plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and The Rose Tattoo?
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
Which 19th-century French Romantic author is best known for his novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Which 19th-century French author wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Journey to the Center of the Earth?
Jules Verne (1828-1905)
His novels laid the groundwork for science fiction.
Which Russian writer of the 19th and early 20th centuries is regarded as one of the great Russian novelists along with Fyodor Dostoyevsky and best known for his novels Anna Karenina and War and Peace?
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Which Russian author of the 19th century is best known for his works The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, and The Idiot?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
Along with Leo Tolstoy, is regarded as one of the greatest Russian novelists.
Which German author and politician of the 18th and 19th centuries is best known for the two-part play Faust and the novels The Sorrows of Young Werther and Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
Which 19th-century American humanist poet and journalist is most famous for the collection Leaves of Grass, which contains the poem "Song of Myself"?
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
He is known for his use of free verse, sexuality, and celebration of the material world.
Which 19th- and 20th-century American humorist and author is best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
His real name was Samuel Clemens.
Which 20th-century English author is best known for his works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, a satirical novel depicting totalitarianism?
George Orwell (1903-1950)
Known for his witty social commentary, Orwell's real name was Eric Blair.
Which 20th-century American-born English poet and playwright is best known for his play Murder in the Cathedral and the poems "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Waste Land"?
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Which 19th-century American writer is considered a major American poet and is famous for her short, unconventional poems that were, for the most part, published posthumously?
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
She was known in her later years for being reclusive and introverted.
Which 20th-century American author is best known for his poems "The Weary Blues" and "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and is primarily associated with the Harlem Renaissance?
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
Which 19th-century American essayist and lecturer is best known for championing individualism and for his essay "Self-Reliance"?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
He was a major leader of Transcendentalism.
Which 20th-century English author is best known for her essay A Room of One's Own and her novels To the Lighthouse and Orlando?
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
She is known as a modernist, particularly for her adoption of stream-of-consciousness writing.
Which 19th-century English poet is best known for his works "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and "Crossing the Bar" and for the famous lines "'Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved at all"?
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
He was a Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and was highly popular during his time.
Which 20th-century American author is best known for Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, about the murder of a Kansas family?
Truman Capote (1924-1984)
His works have frequently been adapted into films or TV dramas. His childhood friend, Harper Lee, helped him research and write In Cold Blood.
Which English writer of the 19th and 20th centuries is most famous for the poems "The White Man's Burden" and "Gunga Din", the novella "The Man Who Would Be King", and the collection The Jungle Book?
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
He wrote extensively about British imperialism.
Which 19th- and 20th-century American poet penned "Mending Wall", "Acquainted with the Night", and "The Road Not Taken"?
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Frost was celebrated by critics and readers alike and noted for his realistic treatment of rural life in America.
Which 19th-century American author's best-known works include the poem "The Raven" and the story "The Fall of the House of Usher"?
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
He is known for his macabre horror stories and for establishing the detective fiction genre with his mysteries.
Which 18th- and 19th-century German siblings collected folklore and published collections including classics like "Hansel and Gretel", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Sleeping Beauty", "Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White", and "Cinderella"?
The Brothers Grimm
Which 20th-century American illustrator and author wrote children's books, most famously Oh, the Places You'll Go!, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Green Eggs and Ham?
Dr. Seuss (1904-1991)
His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Which 20th- and 21st-century American author and illustrator of children's books was best-known for his works Where the Wild Things Are, Outside Over There, and In the Night Kitchen?
Maurice Sendak (1929-2012)
Which 20th-century British author is best known for his children's stories such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Witches?
Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
Which 20th-century American musical theatre writing team is best known for The Sound of Music and The King and I?
Richard Rodgers (1902–1979)
Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960)
Rodgers composed the music and Hammerstein wrote the lyrics.
Which 19th-century English author is best known for writing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass?
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
His real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
Which Italian poet of the 13th and 14th centuries is best known for his Divine Comedy, an epic poem about heaven, hell, and purgatory and considered a masterpiece of Italian and world literature?
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
He is commonly known by his first name alone.
Which 14th-century English poet wrote The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories written in rhyme (and in Middle English) about a group of pilgrims who tell stories to one another?
Geoffrey Chaucer (1336-1387)
He is regarded as the father of English poetry and the first major poet to write in English.
Which 17th-century English poet is best known as the author of Paradise Lost, an epic poem about the Biblical fall of man?
John Milton (1608-1674)
Paradise Lost is regarded as one of the greatest works of English literature.
Who were the creators of the comic book superhero Superman?
Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and Joe Shuster (1914-1992)
Siegel was a writer and Shuster an artist.
Which American comic book writer is best known as the co-creator of characters such as Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, and Spider-Man?
Stan Lee (1922- )
Which American comic book writer and artist is best known for co-creating Batman, along with Bill Finger?
Bob Kane (1915-1998)
Which 20th-century English author wrote the children's book Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car and the James Bond series of spy novels?
Ian Fleming (1908-1964)
Which 20th-century Russian-born American writer is best known for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged?
Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
She was noted for her promotion of individual rights and reason as the central mode of knowledge and learning, as well as her philosophical system Objectivism.
Which Ancient Greek storyteller was credited with a series of fables such as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "The Tortoise and the Hare"?
The tales are characterized by animal characters who can speak, and each contains a moral lesson.
Which 19th-century Danish author is known for his children's fairy tales, which include "The Ugly Duckling", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Princess and the Pea", "Thumbelina", and "The Little Mermaid"?
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Which Colombian writer of the 20th and 21st centuries is best known for his novels, which include One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, and Love in the Time of Cholera?
Gabriel García Márquez (1924-2014)
He was regarded as one of the great authors of his generation and won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Which Chilean statesman and poet was revered during his lifetime in Latin America and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971?
Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
Which 19th-century French writer is best known for his historical novels such as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo?
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)
Which 20th- and 21st-century American author was most famous for her autobiographical work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Which 20th-century American satirical writer is best known for his war novel Catch-22, whose title entered the English lexicon, meaning any situation that puts one in a double bind?
Joseph Heller (1923-1999)
Which Scottish writer of the 19th and 20th centuries is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
Which 19th-century Scottish author is best known for The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island?
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Which 20th-century English author is best known for her crime and detective novels?
Agatha Christie (1890-1976)
Christie is one of the most widely read and translated authors of all time.
Which 20th-century American poet and author is noted for his sometimes unconventional style and use of presentation or typography?
E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)
Which 20th-century American poet and figure of the Beat Generation is best known for his epic poem "Howl"?
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Which 20th- and 21st-century English author, physicist, and professor wrote the popular book A Brief History of Time?
Hawking is a noted physicist, particularly for his research in general relativity. He suffers from a disease related to ALS, which has left him almost entirely paralyzed.
Which Irish satirist and author of the 17th and 18th centuries is best known for writing the novel Gulliver's Travels and the satirical essay "A Modest Proposal"?
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Which 20th-century American writer and poet committed suicide at the age of 30 but left behind notable works such as The Bell Jar, Ariel, and The Colossus and Other Poems?
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
Plath is remembered for the confessional nature of her poetry.
Which 20th-century expatriate American writer, intellectual, and literary figure hosted American artists at her Parisian home for many years and published The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas?
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
She is often credited with coining the term "Lost Generation."
Which 19th-century Irish author is best known for his wit, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the play The Importance of Being Earnest?
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Which English author of the 19th and 20th centuries is most famous as a writer of science fiction, having penned such works as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man?
H.G. Wells (1866-1946)
Which English Romantic poet of the 19th century is best known for his satirical poem "Don Juan"?
Lord Byron (1788-1824)
He is also noted for his rebellious nature and many love affairs. A hero in Greece for his aid in fighting against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, he died at age 36 from a fever contracted in Greece.
Which 20th-century American writer and journalist is best known as the co-author of The Elements of Style and the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web?
E.B. White (1899-1985)
Which 20th-century American author and member of the Beat Generation is known for the spontaneous nature of his writing and for works such as On the Road and The Dharma Bums?
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
He remains a countercultural icon.
Which Ancient Roman poet of the first century B.C. wrote the epic masterpiece Aeneid and served as an inspiration to many, including Dante, who included him in his Divine Comedy?
Virgil (70 B.C.-19 B.C.)
Which British-Canadian journalist of the 20th and 21st centuries is known for his popular books that often deal with social psychology and academic research, such as The Tipping Point and Outliers?
Malcolm Gladwell (1963- )
He works for The New Yorker.
Which 19th-century English author is most famous for penning the novel Frankenstein?
Mary Shelley (1797-1851)
Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the founding feminist philosophers.
Which 20th-century African American writer is best known for her novel The Color Purple, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was adapted into a film?
Alice Walker (1944- )
Which American author of the 20th and 21st centuries is best known for her nonfiction works that explore American culture and family life such as the essay collections The White Album and The Year of Magical Thinking?
Joan Didion (1934- )
Which 19th-century French novelist known for his complex, fully human characters is famous for La Comédie Humaine, a long series of novels and short stories about modern French society after the fall of Napoleon?
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
He is regarded as one of the founders of Realism in European literature.
Which 10th- and 11th-century Japanese writer and lady-in-waiting at the Japanese Imperial court is best known as the author of the classic work The Tale of Genji, often regarded as the world's first novel?
Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978 - c. 1014 or 1025)
Which Nigerian writer and professor of the 20th and 21st centuries is best known for his novel Things Fall Apart?
Chinua Achebe (1930-2013)
He often focused on colonialism, the effect of Christianity, and the clash between African and Western values.
Which celebrated Irish author of the 20th century is best known for Ulysses, Dubliners, and Finnegans Wake?
James Joyce (1882-1941)
He is noted as an avant-garde modernist and for his occasional use of stream-of-consciousness writing.
Which 20th-century French existentialist, feminist writer, and philosopher is most famous for the treatise The Second Sex and the novels Les Mandarins and L'Invitée?
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
She is also known for her lifelong relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre.
Which Argentinian writer and poet of the 20th century wrote Aleph, Ficciones, and Los Conjurados?
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)
He is also known for his short stories that combine myth, fantasy, magical realism, and philosophy.
Which Brazilian author of the 19th and 20th centuries wrote Dom Casmurro, Quincas Borba, and The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas?
Machado de Assis (1839-1908)
He is regarded as one of the greatest writers in Brazilian literature.
Which Austrian author of the 20th century wrote The Metamorphosis and the novels The Castle and The Trial?
Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
He is noted for the surreal, bizarre nature of his writing.
Which American author of the 20th century is most famous for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye?
J.D Salinger (1919-2010)
From the mid-sixties on, he was reclusive and did not publish any new material.
Which American journalist of the 20th century wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72?
Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)
He is known for his eccentric lifestyle and development of Gonzo journalism, for which reporters heavily involve themselves in the action.
Which influential 20th-century Irish author and playwright wrote in both French and English and is best known for his novel Molloy and his plays Endgame and Waiting for Godot?
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)
He is associated with modernism, minimalism, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
Which Algerian-born French author and philosopher of the 20th century is best known for L'Étranger, La Peste, and La Chute?
Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Which 19th-century Norwegian playwright wrote plays such as A Doll's House, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, and Hedda Gabler?
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
He is regarded as one of the founders of Modernism in drama.
Which Czech-born English playwright is best known for his plays Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Travesties, and The Real Thing?
Tom Stoppard (1937- )
He also co-wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love.
Which 17th-century French author is known for his classic Fables, a series of stories about animal characters that poke fun of and dispense moral lessons about the human condition?
Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695)
Which 20th- and 21st-century Czech-born writer, now a French citizen, wrote The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and The Unbearable Lightness of Being?
Milan Kundera (1929- )
He is the Czech Republic's most famous living author.
Which American author of the 20th century is known for his autobiography Black Boy and his novels The Outsider and Native Son?
Richard Wright (1908-1960)
Which Portuguese author of the 20th and 21st centuries wrote Blindness and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ?
José Saramago (1922-2010)
He was a celebrated world literary figure who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998.
Which Indian-born British writer of the 20th and 21st centuries wrote Midnight's Children, Shame and the highly controversial The Satanic Verses?
Salman Rushdie (1947- )
Which French poet of the 19th century is most famous for his collection of poems called Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil)?
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
His verse is known for its morbid beauty, depictions of the fleeting nature of modernity, and its use of and mixture with prose. He influenced later poets such as Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Verlaine.
Which French author of the 19th and 20th centuries is best known for his multi-volume novel À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), which explores the theme of memory?
Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
Which French playwright and actor of the 17th century wrote Tartuffe, or The Impostor, The Miser, and The Imaginary Invalid?
Considered a genius of comedy, his real name was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, and he was adored by Parisian aristocrats and the court of Louis XIV.