Essayists List

Essayists are the writers who produce essays. Essays are the literary pieces of work in which the author presents their own arguments and reflections. Since essays convey the author’s individual views, they make for compelling and interesting reading. Essayists may write on a number of topics like politics, education, social issues, literary criticisms, environment, human rights, etc. Even though essays are primarily written in prose, essayists like Alexander Pope have taken the liberty to compose their essays in verse. Essayists, like writers of other genres, do not always believe in conforming to traditions. John Locke was one such essayist who chose to ignore the brevity element in composing his voluminous essays like ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’. The French author Michel de Montaigne who lived during the 16th century is often hailed as the first essayist, though he himself claimed to have been influenced by the writings of Plutarch and Seneca. Essayists like Joseph Addison, Richard Steele and Samuel Johnson flourished during the Age of Enlightenment when essays became the preferred literary form for convincing people of their position. Scroll down further for more information on famous essayists from all over the world who enriched literature with their writings.

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This is a list of essayists—people notable for their essay-writing.

Note: Birthplaces (as listed) do not always indicate nationality.

A[edit]

  • Augurio Abeto, (1900–1977, Philippines)
  • André Aciman, (born 1951, Egypt)
  • Joseph Addison (1672–1719, England)
  • Theodor W. Adorno (1903–1969, Germany)
  • José de Alencar, (1829–1877, Brazil)
  • Kingsley Amis (1922–1995, United Kingdom)
  • Martin Amis (born 1949, United Kingdom)
  • Oswald de Andrade, (1890–1954, Brazil)
  • Jacob M. Appel (born 1973, United States)
  • Helena Araújo Ortiz (1934–2015, Colombia)
  • Matthew Arnold (1822–1888, United Kingdom)
  • Anastasia Ashman (born 1964, United States)
  • Margaret Atwood (born 1939, Canada)
  • Isaac Asimov (1920–1992, Russia)
  • W. H. Auden (1907–1973, United Kingdom)
  • Joxe Azurmendi (born 1941, Spain)

B[edit]

  • Rambriksh Benipuri (1902–1968, India)
  • Francis Bacon (1561–1626, England)
  • Walter Bagehot (1826–1877, England)
  • James Baldwin (1924–1987, United States)
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743–1825, England)
  • John Perry Barlow (1947–2018, United States)
  • Julian Barnes (born 1946, United Kingdom)
  • Jacques Barzun (1907–2012, France)
  • Enis Batur (born 1952, Turkey)
  • Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867, France)
  • Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953, United Kingdom)
  • Walter Benjamin (1892–1940, Germany)
  • Wendell Berry (born 1934, United States)
  • Jens Bjørneboe (1920-1976, Norway)
  • Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986, Argentina)
  • Alain de Botton (born 1969, Switzerland)
  • Giannina Braschi (born 1953, Puerto Rico)
  • William Brandon (1914–2002, United States)
  • Alfred Brendel (born 1931, Czech Republic)
  • Christopher Buckley (born 1952, United States)
  • Anthony Burgess (1917–1993, United Kingdom)
  • Richard de Bury (1287–1345, England)

C-D[edit]

  • Erskine Caldwell (1903– 2007, United States)
  • Italo Calvino (1923–1985, Italy)
  • Albert Camus (1913–1960, Algeria)
  • Rafael Cansinos Assens (1882–1964, Spain)
  • John Carey (born 1934, United Kingdom)
  • Simon Carmiggelt (1913–1987, Netherlands)
  • Otto Maria Carpeaux (1900–1978, Austria)
  • Kelly Cherry (born 1940, United States)
  • G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936, United Kingdom)
  • Noam Chomsky (1928, United States)
  • Winston Churchill (1874–1965, Great Britain)
  • J. M. Coetzee (born 1940, South Africa)
  • William Cobbett (1763–1835, Great Britain)
  • Charles Caleb Colton (1780–1832, Great Britain)
  • Cyril Connolly (1903–1974, United Kingdom)
  • Abraham Cowley (1618–1667, Great Britain)
  • Emil Cioran (1911–1995, Romania)
  • A. J. Cronin (1896–1981, Scotland)
  • Orson Scott Card (born 1951, United States)
  • Richard Dawkins (born 1941, United Kingdom)
  • Mike Daisey (born 1976, United States)
  • Anthony Daniels (Theodore Dalrymple) (born 1949, United Kingdom)
  • Nik De Dominic (born 1981, United States)
  • Joan Didion (born 1934, United States)
  • Annie Dillard (born 1945, United States)
  • Alfred Döblin (1878-1957, Germany)
  • John Dolan (born 1955, United States)
  • Joe Dolce (born 1947, Australia)
  • Denis Donoghue (born 1928, Ireland)
  • John Dryden (1631–1700, England)

E-G[edit]

  • Klaus Ebner (born 1964, Austria)
  • Umberto Eco (1932–2016, Italy)
  • T. S. Eliot (1888–1965, United States)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882, United States)
  • Joseph Epstein (born 1937, United States)
  • Filip Erceg (born 1979, Croatia)
  • Barbara Ehrenreich (born 1941, United States)
  • Jaime Eyzaguirre, (1908–1968, Chile)
  • Anne Fadiman (born 1953, United States)
  • Femi Fani-Kayode (born 1960, Nigeria)
  • Frantz Fanon (1925–1961, Martinique)
  • Richard Farmer (1735–1797, England)
  • Benito Jerónimo Feijoo e Montenegro (1676–1764, Spain)
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born 1919, United States)
  • Predrag Finci (born 1946, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • E. M. Forster (1879–1970, England)
  • John Foster (1770–1843, United Kingdom)
  • Ian Frazier (born 1951, United States)
  • Robert Fulghum (born 1937, United States)
  • Joan Fuster (1922–1992, Spain)
  • Harry Gamboa, Jr. (born 1951, United States)
  • Karl-Markus Gauß (born 1954, Austria)
  • Malcolm Gladwell (born 1963, United Kingdom)
  • Adam Gopnik (born 1956, United States)
  • Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002, United States)
  • Muhammad Loutfi Goumah (1886–1953, Egypt)
  • Paul Graham (born 1964, England)
  • Clement Greenberg (born 1909, United States)
  • A. C. Grayling (born 1949, United Kingdom)
  • Gordon Grice (born 1965, United States)
  • Stanka Gjurić (born 1956, Croatia)

H-J[edit]

  • Carla Harryman (born 1952, California)
  • William Hazlitt (1778–1830, England)
  • Peter Handke (born 1942 Griffen, Austria)
  • Saeko Himuro (1957–2008, Japan)
  • Fumi Hirano (born 1955, Japan)
  • Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011, United Kingdom)
  • Peter Hitchens (born 1951, United Kingdom)
  • Hugh Hood (1928–2000, Canada)
  • Langston Hughes (1902–1967, United States)
  • David Hume (1711–1776, United Kingdom)
  • Leigh Hunt (1784–1859, England)
  • Shigesato Itoi (born 1948, Japan)
  • Jwalamukhi (1938–2008, India)
  • Michael Johns (born 1964, United States)
  • Diane Johnson (born 1934, United States)
  • Samuel Johnson (1709–1784, England)
  • June Jordan (1936–2002, United States)

K-L[edit]

  • Steven G. Kellman (born 1947, United States)
  • Frank Kermode (1919–2010, United Kingdom)
  • Tracy Kidder (born 1945, United States)
  • Chuck Klosterman (born 1972, United States)
  • Rudy Kousbroek (1929–2010, Netherlands)
  • Hans Krieger (born 1933, Germany)
  • Miroslav Krleža (1893–1981, Croatia)
  • Tomislav Ladan (1932–2008, Serbia)
  • Laila Lalami (born 1968, Morocco)
  • Charles Lamb (1775–1834, England)
  • Shankar Lamichhane (Nepal)
  • Corinne Lee (United States)
  • Albert Leung (born 1961, Hong Kong)
  • C. S. Lewis (1898–1963, Ireland)
  • Li Ao (born 1935, China, Taiwan)
  • Liang Shiqiu (1903–1987. China, Taiwan)
  • Alan Lightman (born 1948, United States)
  • Tim Lilburn (born 1950, Canada)
  • Lin Wenyue (born 1933, Taiwan)
  • Joan Lindsay (1896–1984, Australia)
  • Lu Xun (1881–1936, China)

M-N[edit]

  • John McPhee (born 1931, United States)
  • Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949), Belgium)
  • Norman Mailer (1923–2007, United States)
  • Jorge Majfud (born 1969, Uruguay)
  • Nathan McCall (born 1955, United States)
  • Mary McCarthy (1912–1989, United States)
  • Tim McKay (1947–2006, United States)
  • Louis Menand (born 1952, United States)
  • H. L. Mencken (1880–1956, United States)
  • Arthur Miller (1915–2005, United States)
  • Pankaj Mishra (born 1969, India)
  • Donald Grant Mitchell (1822–1908, United States)
  • Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592, France)
  • Angela Morales (born 1966, United States)
  • Michele Moramarco (born 1953, Italy)
  • V. S. Naipaul (born 1932, Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Nakane Kōtei (1839–1913, Japan)
  • Ukichiro Nakaya (1900–1962, Japan)
  • Marie NDiaye (born 1967, France)
  • Virgil Nemoianu (born 1940, Romania)
  • Kathleen Norris (born 1947, United States)

O-R[edit]

  • Joyce Carol Oates (born 1938, United States)
  • George Orwell (1903–1950, United Kingdom)
  • Borislav Pekić (1930–1992, Serbia)
  • Noel Perrin (1927–2004, United States)
  • Samuel F. Pickering Jr. (born 1941, United States)
  • Mestrius Plutarch (46–127, Boeotia, Ancient Greece)
  • Katherine Ann Porter (1890–1980, United States)
  • Kevin Prufer (born 1969, United States)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849, United States)
  • Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859, England)
  • Indra Bahadur Rai (born 1927, India)
  • Kenneth Rexroth (1905–1985, United States)
  • Tjalie Robinson (1911–1974, Netherlands)
  • Richard Rodriguez (born 1944, United States)
  • Arundhati Roy (born 1961, India)
  • Bertrand Russell (1872–1970, United Kingdom)

S[edit]

  • Rahul Sankrityayan (1893–1963, India)
  • Edward Said (1935–2003, Palestine)
  • John Ralston Saul (born 1947, Canada)
  • Dan Schneider (born 1965, United States)
  • Robert Schumann (1810–1856, Germany)
  • David Sedaris (born 1956, United States)
  • John Robert Seeley (1834–1895, England)
  • Rafael Calvo Serer (1916–1988, Spain)
  • George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950, Ireland)
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822, England)
  • David Shields (1956, United States)
  • Clay Shirky (born 1964, United States)
  • Simeon Simev (born 1949, Republic of Macedonia)
  • Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' (1908–1974, India)
  • Jean Edward Smith (born 1932, United States)
  • Zadie Smith (born 1975, England)
  • Walid Soliman (born 1975, Tunisia)
  • Rebecca Solnit (born 1961, United States)
  • Susan Sontag (1933–2004, United States)
  • Dejan Stojanović (born 1959, Serbia)
  • Lytton Strachey (1880–1932, United Kingdom)
  • Cheryl Strayed (born 1968, United States)
  • Matias Skard (1846-1827, Norway)

T-Y[edit]

  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb (born 1960, Lebanon)
  • Alain Tasso (born 1962, Lebanon)
  • Vijay Tendulkar (1928–2008, India)
  • Issa Laye Thiaw (born 1943, Senegal)
  • Colm Tóibín (born 1955, Ireland)
  • Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910, Russia)
  • Lionel Trilling (1905–1975, United States)
  • George W. S. Trow (1943–2006, United States)
  • Andrew Vachss (born 1942, United States)
  • Paul Valéry (1871–1945, France)
  • Erico Verissimo (1905–1975, Brazil)
  • Gore Vidal (1925–2012, United States)
  • Voltaire (1697–1778, France)
  • Richard Wagner (1813–1883, Germany)
  • David Foster Wallace (1962–2008, United States)
  • Rebecca West (1892–1983, United Kingdom)
  • E. B. White (1899–1985, United States)
  • Oscar Wilde (1852–1900, Ireland)
  • Tom Wolfe (born 1931, United States)
  • Virginia Woolf (1882–1941, United Kingdom)
  • Yang Jiang (1911–2016, China)
  • Marguerite Yourcenar (1903–1987, France)

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