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.