Some of the most famous authors in American literature were born and raised in a literary home, but many others had to deal with literary rejection at home.
A look at the most prominent literary figures who lived, wrote and published outside of the United States reveals the diverse backgrounds that define a writer’s legacy.
The Hill spoke with some of the best-known writers of the 20th century about the influence they had on their craft and the books that influenced them.
The list includes:• Theodore Dreiser: A New York Times best-selling author who made his name as a writer for the Sunday Times and New Yorker.
He wrote for childrens’ magazines, children’s magazines, and the New York Sun.• David Foster Wallace: A writer and editor who is best known for his short fiction.
His best-seller Infinite Jest won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993.• Jane Austen: A novelist who lived through the Great Depression, and wrote the short story collection Emma and Marlowe.
She was born in London and died in England.• F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who wrote for the New Yorker, Harper’s Weekly and The New Yorker in the 1920s.
His novel, The Great Gatsby, won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize.• A. Philip Randolph: A best-sellers novelist who lived and wrote in the South during the Civil War and later became a staunch Southern segregationist.
His work, A Confederacy of Dunces and Southern Melancholy, won three Pulitzer Prizes.• J. D. Salinger: An early American novelist whose works include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Catcher in the Rye and The Catchers.
He was born and lived in New York City and wrote his first novel, Little Women, in 1949.• Arthur C. Clarke: A British writer who is often referred to as the father of science fiction.
He authored several novels, including the science-fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.
He died in 1990 at the age of 96.• Elizabeth Bishop: An American writer whose best-loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, won both the Pulitzer and the Nebula Awards.
She is best-remembered for the novel The Time of the Doctor, which won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.• Raymond Carver: An English novelist who wrote some of science-fictional fiction’s most memorable novels, among them The Cat in the Hat, The Raven in the Snow and The Year of the Flood.
He is best remembered for the best seller The Sea Devils and was also an acclaimed novelist.• John Steinbeck: An influential novelist who was born to a poor Irish immigrant family in Brooklyn and grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago.
He received a MacArthur Foundation grant in the 1950s and 1960s to help launch a literary journal.
He also wrote a series of short stories, including The Grapes of Wrath and The Long Goodbye.• George Orwell: An iconic writer who was an early critic and a pioneer of the use of nonfiction in his novels.
He became an international best-and-fairer author after his novel Animal Farm, published in 1949, won a Pulitzer Prize and the Pulitzer for fiction in 1953.• Kurt Vonnegut: An anti-war writer and a former publisher of the New Republic.
He founded the Vonnegt Institute for Literature in 1956.
He later became one of the founders of the literary journal, The New Criterion.• H. G. Wells: A bestselling author who is widely considered to be one of America’s most influential writers.
His novels The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Shadow of the Torturer won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize, and he was also the editor of The New Republic from 1965 to 1972.• Herman Melville: An author and illustrator whose work includes the works of Jane Auston, and later the bestseller The Screwtape Letters.
He won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize along with a 1956 Nobel Prize in Literature.• Virginia Woolf: A Nobel Prize-winner and a longtime critic of Victorianism.
Her novels The House of Leaves and A Room of One’s Own won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize as well as a 1956 Pulitzer Prize to the New American Library.• Mary Shelley: A prolific author who wrote stories for children, including Cinderella, the Grimm Brothers and Alice’s Wonderland.
She wrote some short stories and novellas and died at the young age of 93 in 1819.• Ernest Hemingway: A literary and essayist who became a leading critic of American and English literature.
He has been widely acclaimed for his novels, The Sun Also Rises, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and On the Road, among others.• Charles Bukowski: A Polish writer who became famous for his play, The Yellow Emperor, and is considered to have been the