Essays Written By American Authors

What comes to your mind when you try to recall famous American writers? The country has introduced several unique genres and interesting topics to the world, stressing the important role of revolution in the history of every nation. We have developed the list of 10 famous American authors, including their famous essays and lessons learned from their writing.


Writing is not a piece of cake. If you have troubles with your school or college homework, do not hesitate to contact professional academic writers online!

How to Create Powerful Essays: 10 Famous American Writers List!

Charles D’Ambrosio

Charles D’ambrosio does not specialize in novels or fiction/non-fiction books; he always positioned himself as a short story & essay writer. It was his Portland State University's MFA Program in Creative Writing, which helped one of the famous American writers develop his essential reading & writing skills. Oberlin College was his second place of education. D’Ambrosio never gives up studying English Language, Philosophy (discover how a Philosophy degree may be helpful), History, Literature, and other related humanitarian disciplines.

If you want to become popular one day to see your essays published in The New Yorker, Orphans, The Stranger, or A Public Space, observe the works written by Charles D’Ambrosio to absorb valuable lessons. We would recommend starting from “Documents” and “Loitering” essays.

Lessons learned:
  • Loss and hardships are worth writing about.
  • When you focus on things that make people sad (hate, injustice, depression, war, death), the readers would appreciate your short story/essay for stressing the value of life.
  • Point to the importance of past events in the life of every human.
  • Do not hesitate to share your personal notes, essays, and documents (in this context, documents mean diaries and other important outtakes, which reveals the nature of their owners.

Do you need more hints? Ask these expert writers from the field of academic, creative, & business writing to help by creating an inspiring literary piece!

Benjamin Franklin

Every second American President was a great artist. In most cases, the representatives of the US government dedicate their free time to sharing American values, customs, & traditions through writing manuals. Franklin is not an exception. One of the most famous American authors is a known historical figure – a Co-Founding Father of the United States depicted on $100 banknote. His activities cover a broad range of different fields, including literature, publishing, politics, science, inventions, civic activity, diplomacy, etc.

Benjamin Franklin belongs to the category of the famous American writers with democratic views. He did not release many novels or books; Franklin has established a lot of short stories and essays dedicated to the free, independent land. Since 1776, the moods of the American authors changed to more optimistic and confident. The main purpose of Franklin in his essays was to utilize economic benefits and flee oppressive governmental regimes.

Do you need the most distinguished works of Franklin? They contain “Advice on the Choice of a Mistress”, “The Art of Procuring Pleasant Dreams,” and “The Temple of Learning, The Whistle.”

Lessons learned:
  • Democratic sensibility remains a popular thing to discuss.
  • The American nation is an exceptional ethnic group made of every nationality in the world, all possible customs & traditions, and based on the equality, justice, and freedom.
  • The Constitution of the United States is a powerful weapon to discuss.
  • The topic of the changing generations will never lose its relevance.

Cynthia Ozick

After his death, another representative of the most famous American writers living today, David Foster Wallace, was disqualified because he committed suicide and his latest works were full of pessimistic notes. He has listed local authors who could continue his activity. Wallace mentioned Cynthia Ozick among the most budding and promising contemporary writers, capable of continuing his contribution to the literature world.

Along with Cormac McCarthy & Don DeLillo, the woman is the US best living fiction story author. By today, Cynthia Ozick has published seven essay collections. She created several works of short fiction and inspiring novels. She does not have a certain field of interest. Ozick likes talking about love, hate, life, death, the American nation, future, and other things preferred by the modern famous American writers, but she covers different topics, without limiting her interests. There is one subject we can frequently notice in her stories. Ozick loves the idea of the Jewish American lens.

The best essays of all time include her “Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body,” “The Shawl,” and Envy” on the list, and students can learn the following lessons:

  1. The tendency to favor the Jewish American lens instead of attacking it.
  2. Creating a short story with the next characteristics: self-consciousness, sharpness, wittiness, clarity, and life wisdom. Don’t be afraid to seem smarter than people around!

If you need more examples of great essays to study, the best place to visit is the online writing service, which offers FREE paper samples.

Roger Ebert

Another interesting man from the list of the famous American authors. Roger Ebert has an ability to criticize other written works and movies fairly brought his world recognition. Ebert specialized on movie directing, cinematography, history of the world and US in particular, journalism, and screenwriting. He worked in Chicago Sun-Times until 2013. Roger Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

If you have a passion for writing argumentative, persuasive, or critical essays/book reviews, you should find and read the best critical works of Roger Ebert. Watch the popular TV show “Sneak Previews”. Roger Ebert is different from many contemporary American fellow-writers who focus on the dark sides of our world, often praising the depressive moods. Ebert prefers courage, erudition, humor, and humanism. This enthusiastic writer is capable of reflecting the matter of life & death in the most optimistic light.

To understand the writer better, read three critical essay collections. The names are “The Great Movies” (2002), “The Great Movies II” (2005), and “The Great Movies III” (2010); pay attention to his most popular work titled “Go Gentle into That Good Night.”

Lessons learned:
  • Never give up; there is always a way out!
Ebert’s works full of life & optimism can be described in a known phrase said by John Keating in “Dead Poets Society:” “Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
  • It is important to write more critical essays to become interesting to people.
  • Watch more movie to have several inspiring ideas to discuss in your literary works.
  • Try to cover the never-ending topic of death from the different perspective. Never stop praising this life by pointing to its main values!

Zadie Smith

Hey, how about including a female essay writer from the United Kingdom on our promising list of the contemporary short story & novel authors? We believe the woman who appears in the list of 20 most influential people in British culture deserves to appear on our list of famous writers, even though she is not American. British culture had affected the United States for centuries.

Her primary achievement, which predetermined Smith’s further faith as an author, was the degree from the New York University’s Creative Writing Program. She became the professor of the University. In the United States, the novel written by Zadie Smith, “White Teeth,” joined the Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels created since 1923. Smith is a brave author. She may condemn things like disrespect of literature, treatment of art in the modern world, and criticize authors who do not fulfill their literary obligations. This extraordinary female author prefers writing novels.

Her most famous essay is “Fail Better,” full of the following lessons:

  • Never generalize things with the help of “all” or similar words – narrow down, take a part of the topic to make up a specific subject.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect novel.
  • A writing style is the result of the unique personality of each writer + the way this person views and understands the world.
  • Avoid cliché – breathe a new life into your writing!


F. Scott Fitzgerald

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”

Who else but The Great Gatsby, a good old fellow who tried to show the world the importance of love, life, and family values, and who was rejected for being too humanistic? Fitzgerald knew how important love is from his personal experience. “The Great Gatsby” appeared in the result of the feelings one of the most famous American writers shared with the love of his life, Zelda. Fitzgerald blamed the American people for underestimating the beauty of this life. He tried to recall the significant values in his novels, short stories & essays.

In Hollywood, Fitzgerald did his best. He developed scenarios & scripts for the future films. His popular “Gatsby” has been filmed several times, having the brilliant modern version starring Leo DiCaprio as the last successful attempt to interpret the way Fitzgerald viewed our world. Not all of his works were good; “Tender Is the Night” did not obtain wide recognition. The author became overwhelmed and depressed during the last years of life. The most known list of his essays includes "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and "The Camel's Back." Lessons Learned:

  • Love is the only thing, which matters in the life of each person.
  • American society is full of snobs who underestimate the role of love, undervalue the significance of friendship, and do not appreciate this life the way they should.
  • Money has no value when you are lonely.

Edward Hoagland

Another man who wrote several famous essays is Edward Hoagland. He was born in 1932; this enthusiastic young man from New York revealed his passion for reading & writing since the early age. He stated he would like to become a world’s known novelist to his parents. The two preferred genres were a novel and a short story; the two favorite topics he discussed were traveling & nature.

Hoagland did not want to cover dirty, filthy topics, so he decided to focus on describing the beauty of nature instead of discussing the way society changes and its never-ending conflicts. The list of top famous essays written by Edward Hoagland includes “The Big Cats,” “The Soul of the Tiger,” “Why This Extra Violence,” and “A World Worth Saving and Christmas Observed.” Lessons learned:

  1. Focus on depicting the beauty of nature.
  2. If you write about the human qualities, develop one short story dedicated to two strongest feelings that make us humans – love & friendship.
  3. The world is full of violence; avoid going deep into this topic to give people hope.

Ernest Hemingway

The list of the most famous American authors of all time has a name of Ernest Hemingway no matter which genre of literature is discussed. Teachers do not find his works suitable for the school/college program. Spend some time on reading his top works to learn valuable life & writing lessons from this distinguished man with the rich history. He was curious about studying the way people behave under pressure, the way their moods change.

Children will misunderstand the words of the author. It is better to start reading his literary works at the teen or grown-up age to understand Hemingway’s main ideas. Hemingway did not focus on the complicated, strange topics. He wrote about the things men love (e.g., bullfighting, fishing, hunting, and friendship). Papa Hemingway’s list of famous essays is made of the following titles: “The Old Man and the Sea,” “The Sun Also Rises,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Lessons learned:

  • Symbolism is the best way to interpret your philosophical thoughts.
  • Try establishing such features as the lean writing style, original sense of humor, and try showing the life based on your personal experience.
  • Avoid literary allusions.

Virginia Woolf

A little is known about this mysterious female writer. She is another female author on the list coming from the United Kingdom. Woolf is the foremost modernist of the XX century + a pioneer in the stream of consciousness (a narrative tool). The girl visited the King’s College London and became the early reformer of women’s higher education.

The top short stories created by this known female essayist involve “Death of the Moth,” “Eclipse of the Heart,” and “Devil in False Colors.” You may have watched a film “Hours” based on Woolf’s story. Her essays teach several lessons.

  • Write how important the life is through the lens of survival & evanescence.
  • Apply simple comparisons to make the writing style lucid.
  • Do not hesitate to change from the optimistic voice to melancholic moods in the middle of your essay; the life is black-and-white, and it makes no sense sharing only positive/negative moments.

Edgar Allan Poe

Who loves detective stories? During the romantic period in the US history & literature, a world’s known Edgar Allan Poe appeared with his mystic stories. The man was a writer, editor, and literary critic in one face.

Poe is listed among the cofounders & developers of the short story & essay genres, providing innovative ideas such as making stories gloomy, dark, and mysterious. He developed many popular detective/science fiction works. Poe focused on the things like spirit, organic development, the significance of art, and motivation/inspiration. Start reading his “Philosophy of Furniture,” “The Raven,” or “The Black Cat” to be acquainted with his works. Lessons learned:

  1. There is nothing scary about being gloomy in your writing.
  2. People like reading about things they find dark and mysterious; it makes them value life more and start believing in the things they can’t see with the naked eye.

How to Become the Author of World’s Famous Essays?

We hope this list of the best American authors, their top preferred literary works, and the lessons shared between the lines of their stories would help with your writing career. Do you have any questions? If you need a professional writing help, the best thing you can do is to place an order with the time-tested and trusted US/UK academic service, which offers affordable prices!

 Wishing for a magic writing solution? – We’ve got one for you 

Get a price quote & proceed with the order!

They say that there are the writers a separate universe in which they can produce, create their work. An ordinary person is not given the opportunity to know the deep writer’s life, but even every day we see a new crowd of people who stand in line for a new book. Everyone expects a miracle, take a new book with the hope that something wonderful, inexplicably beautiful, willing to drown in a completely different world, a world of fantasies and dreams, which appears to the reader in the next bought book in the various forms: essays, novels, stories, poem.

Today we are going to talk about the famous essay writers. ESSAY (fran. Essai) it is the literary form of small prose text, which express emphasize the author’s individuality. In relief, to the story, the writer’s essay’s facility is to communicate or interpret, but not ever a picture or a histrionic retelling of any life position. The work reaches its purpose through the outright copyright approvals, which do not take the perpetration of no one fictional personage or the plot of a binder. Nevertheless, there is not any hardly absolute difference between different types of essays and short stories. The main essay’s feature is its brevity, it usually takes from ten up to twenty pages.  

There are a great amount of interesting, fascinating works, essays, literary works, which were written by the great world famous authors and writers. More than three centuries ago, the first essay was published at first. Now, we can find a lot of essays in libraries or have an easy possibility to order by the Internet miscellanea of works written by well-known authors from all the world from different centuries. Ever since ancient times, essays were published in magazines, books, were grouped by theme, genre, years, and the authors. Details included a variety of genres, among which are comedy, non-fiction, romance, instructive, historical facts, life stories, and current events. There are many authors and essays (detailed list you can read below), and it was difficult to identify the most important and well-known essayists of all time.

The list, about which I have mentioned earlier, includes writers from different backgrounds and periods of history. Some of they are still currently continuing to write. Because this fact, it is nothing surprising in the fact that essay remains a popular literary format. And the authors, who can quickly, briefly, concisely and interesting tell the story will always be on top. Edusson, the Essay Writing Service company, selected essayists, but not essays. Because, the best essays are only personal, authorial and deep engaged with author’s issues, internal feelings and ideas. 

James Baldwin (1924-1987) 

Baldwin grew up in a family of his stepfather, a priest, where he was the eldest of nine children. His own father, Baldwin have never known and was very suffered from that, which was reflected in some of his works (“Tell me when the train left”, “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, “Giovanni’s Room” and others. After Bronx high school graduating, Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village, where he began his literary career.

Greenwich Village has always been considered one of the most deprived New York areas, caused a wave of optimism in Baldwin’s source, who started to write about his views and understandings of what is happening around him. His first journalistic articles, essays were imbued with the spirit of racism denial which was prevailing in America at that times. That negative attitude makes young writer move Paris.

Baldwin felt like he caught a breath of fresh air in France, have been saving there from the racist and homophobic America of 40-th. XX century. His main works were written on the banks of the Seine, and there Baldwin have spent the most of his life, producing his creations among which are next well-known essays:

  • James Baldwin and his popular essays published in 1956 “Notes of a Native Son” essays;
  • James Baldwin and his book of interesting essays named  “The Devil Finds Work” which was presented to the mass in 1976;
  • James Baldwin and his The Evidence of Things Not Seen (essays; 1985);
  • James Baldwin and his list of essays created in the romantic atmosphere of 85th with the strange name “The Price of the Ticket”;

Norman Mailer (1923-2007) 

Norman Mailer was born in New Jersey in the Jewish immigrants family. He was the first child in the family, and after him, there was also two children - a brother and sister. Norman grew up in New York, and in 1939 decided to become a student of Harvard university, where he have fallen in love with literary activity. His first story was published at the age of 18, in 1941. The University of Harvard received young author the university magazine award. Among the entire set of his works we would like to highlight the most famous essays:

  • Norman Mailer and his New York book of essays called in the world as “The Presidential Papers”;
  • Norman Mailer and his second New York creation which is known by the loud name “Cannibals and Christians”;
  • Norman Mailer and his “Pieces and Pontifications” in which the author opens the deep world of Little Boston’s Life.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004)


Susan Sontag was born in New York, 16 January 1933 year. Since her childhood, the friends of hers were always only booked. In 1952 Sontag’s family have moved to Boston where Sontag passed entry exams to Harvard University. There young writer studied English literature and received a Master of Philosophy in 1954. While have been studying at Oxford in 1955-1957, she has faced with the sexism challenge, and because of this soon moved to Paris. From that time she was actively engaged in the French cinema, philosophy and wrote a lot. Among her essay collection we can emphasize the nest ones: “Against Interpretation”, “Where the Stress Falls”, “Regarding the Pain of Others Styles of Radical Will”.

Joan Didion (1934-present) 

Joan Didion was born and grew up in Sacramento, California. She was just a five-year-old little girl when she have begun to write her first string. She read everything she could get into her hands while the parents were not home. In 1956, she graduated from the University of Berkeley and got their Bachelor Degree in Arts and English language. Within her senior years, Joan won the first place in an essay writing inworld-known Vogue magazine. She created own first work which was named “Run” and issued in 1963 has been working there in Vogue. Among her essays work we want to mention the next ones:

  • Joan Didion and her “Joan Didion” essays works;
  • Joan Didion and her “Salvador”;
  • Joan Didion and her essays about Earth planet called “After Henry” (twelve geographical essays);

Annie Dillard (1945-present)

Annie Dillard was born in 1945 and is already alive to present us a lot of her magnificent works. Anni is an American author. She was always well-known for her clear story prose in both nonfiction/fiction, poetry, essays, literary criticism and etc. Among her essays Edusson want to emphasize the next ones:

  • Education stone”, the book of short nonfiction essays;
  • Life on the rocks, the book of 14 essays: Total Eclipse, In the Jungle, The Deer at Providencia, A Field of Silence, On a Hill Far Away, God in the Doorway, Mirage's, Aces and Eights);

Robert Atwan (1940- present) 

Robert Atwan was born in 1940, November 2, in New Jersey. He graduated from 2 universities: Seton Hall and Rutgers. He is known as one of the best American essay writers. Among the entire set of his works we highlighted the most famous ones:

  • “Great Moments in Literary Baseball”, on the basis of the first game of the season;
  • “Poems and Essays”, essays about Autumn and Winter (Snowy essays); 

Edward Hoagland (1932- present) 

Edward Hoagland is an American writer, who was born in 1932, in New York. Since his childhood, he was fond of writing, literature and from that time, he decided to become a novelist, essayist. He has a huge number of essays, the whole list of which you can find here, and we will mention in our article just a little part of it:

  • “The Big Cats”, written in 1961;
  • “Why this Extra Violence” in April;
  • “The Soul of the Tiger” written when he has fallen in love for the first time;
  • “Big Frog, Very Small Pond”, unknown data;
  • “A World Worth Saving and Christmas Observed”, written in 1989;
  • “Two Kinds of People” which was published just in Europe;
  • “Last Call”, 2010, a very interesting one;
  • “On Friendship”, which he wrote in 2013, when he was already a deep old man.

David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

David Foster Wallace was born in 1968 in the USA.He has graduated the little-known college, where he studied philosophy, there got a degree in English language and literature. For many years, he experienced severe bouts of depression.
in June 2007, according to the doctor recommendations David stopped taking medication. Depression particularly increased  In the last months of his life. On September 12, 2008, he committed suicide.There some of this essays:

  • David Foster and his essay “Television and U.S. Fiction”, (an interesting and comic essays book);
  • David Foster and his essays book named “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley”;
  • David Foster and his “A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again” and “Consider the Lobster”, which were both published in 2005;
  • David Foster and his “Both Flesh and Not” unknown date of publication.

So we see, that the concept  “essay” goes beyond the simple students essays writing in college. The best and well-known writers from all over the world created a lot of essays to share with readers their ideas and feelings. Continue to read and study the world of famous essay writers, and perhaps, in one day you will have the chance to become a popular essayist too.

Read more Types of essays articles:


0 thoughts on “Essays Written By American Authors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *