50 Cool Authors, Period

Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

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The other day a website posted the 50 Coolest Authors of All Time. Turns out almost all of those authors were men, and almost all of the authors were white. I have nothing against white people (I’m white), and I have nothing against men people (in fact, I rather like you guys, you’re just my type)… however, I find it hard to believe that the 50 coolest authors actually were white men (ok, and like, three white women). In fact, I find it hard to think that there are 50 coolest authors in general. So how about this… this list of 50 Cool Authors, period. Some of these you’ll know like the back of your hand, some might be new to you. That’s kind of the point – hopefully you will find a kick-ass new-to-you author whom you can add to your Cool Author shelf.

I admit at the get-go that this is female heavy, turns out I read a lot of women (and on top of that, a lot of white women). There is not a specific genre that I targeted, nor did I try to make this list equal in who is represented. It’s not a “politically correct” list, it’s just another version of a 50 Coolest Authors list, in which SO MANY of the coolest authors ever have been left out (as they always are on limited lists). On that note: leave your version of the coolest authors down below, and let me know if there are any on this list that you particularly love (or don’t love).

Sylvia Plath

Zadie Smith

Joan Didion

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Emily Brontë


Albert Camus

Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Marquis de Sade


Virginia Woolf

Maya Angelou

Sandra Cisneros

Amy Tan

Ernest Hemingway



Edna St. Vincent Millay

Dorothy Parker

Sigrid Undset

Edna O’Brien

zora neal hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

Haruki Murakami

John Krakauer

Patti Smith


John Milton

Sarah Vowell

Flannery O’Connor

Shirley Jackson

Fran Lebowitz

Shaun Tan

Truman Capote

China Mieville

Colson Whitehead

Junot Diaz

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Charles Yu

Sherman Alexie

Jhumpa Lahiri

Margaret Atwood

James Baldwin

Roald Dahl


Alexandre Dumas

Mary Shelley

Nella Larsen

Octavia Butler

N.K. Jemisin

Langston Hughes

Dave Eggers

Judy Blume

Tom Robbins

Yoko Ogawa