American animator, writer, and director Mike Judge.

Mike Judge

Image of Chinese poet Bai Juyi.

Bai Juyi

(772 - 846)

Russian author Anton Chekhov.

Anton Chekhov

(1860 - 1904)

Photograph of Thorstein Veblen

Thorstein Veblen

(1857 - 1929)

American novelist and short story writer Richard Yates.

Richard Yates

(1926 - 1992)

St. Benedict

Saint Benedict

(c. 480 - c. 547)

Black and white photograph of German revolutionary, economist, sociologist, and historian Karl Marx.

Karl Marx

(1818 - 1883)

Chinese-American journalist Leslie T. Chang.

Leslie T. Chang

American author, essayist, and editor Donovan Hohn.

Donovan Hohn

Irish writer George Moore.

George Moore

(1852 - 1933)

Painting of François Rabelais.

François Rabelais

(1494 - 1553)

English author Robert Southey.

Robert Southey

(1774 - 1843)

Edwin Lefèvre

(1871 - 1943)

Roman playwright Terence.

Terence

(c. 195 BC - c. 159 BC)

Photograph of African-American poet and writer Langston Hughes.

Langston Hughes

(1902 - 1967)

American documentary filmmaker and writer Eleanor Coppola.

Eleanor Coppola

German philosopher and music critic Theodor Adorno.

Theodor Adorno

(1903 - 1969)

Photograph of American writer Ralph Ellison.

Ralph Ellison

(1914 - 1994)

Ōyama Shirō

American feminist, activist, and editor Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem

Usama Ibn Munqidh

(1095 - 1188)

Color portrait of German theologian and reformer Martin Luther.

Martin Luther

(1483 - 1546)

American journalist Susan Orlean.

Susan Orlean

American author and scholar Norman Maclean.

Norman Maclean

(1902 - 1990)

Black and white photograph of American novelist John Steinbeck.

John Steinbeck

(1902 - 1968)

German writer, composer, and painter E. T. A. Hoffmann.

E.T.A. Hoffmann

(1776 - 1822)

American abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs.

Harriet Jacobs

(1813 - 1897)

American musician Charles Mingus.

Charles Mingus

(1922 - 1979)

Professor of critical theory and cultural history Ben Kafka.

Ben Kafka

Painted portrait of Florentine statesman and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli.

Niccolò Machiavelli

(1469 - 1527)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

Portrait of West African writer and former slave Olaudah Equiano.

Olaudah Equiano

(c. 1745 - 1797)

Portrait bust of Roman poet Virgil.

Virgil

(70 BC - 19 BC)

British writer Bernard Mandeville.

Bernard Mandeville

(1670 - 1733)

Engraving of Pliny the Elder.

Pliny the Elder

(23 - 79)

French theologian John Calvin.

John Calvin

(1509 - 1564)

Engraving of Scottish economist Adam Smith.

Adam Smith

(1723 - 1790)

Bust of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

(121 - 180)

American writer Lydia Davis.

Lydia Davis

Bust of Hesiod

Hesiod

English writer Geoffrey Chaucer.

Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1342 - 1400)

Italian literary critic and novelist Umberto Eco.

Umberto Eco

(1932 - 2016)

British author Mary Shelley.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

(1797 - 1851)

American playwright and author David Mamet.

David Mamet

Black and white photograph of Sven Birkerts sitting in front of a bookshelf.

Sven Birkerts

Photo of stone Aristotle statue face

Aristotle

(384 BC - 322 BC)

Black and white photograph of English poet and librarian Philip Larkin.

Philip Larkin

(1922 - 1985)

American writer Philip Connors.

Philip Connors

Black and white photograph of German-language writer Franz Kafka.

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

Freelance writer and former academic ghostwriter Dave Tomar.

Dave Tomar

French author Émile Zola.

Émile Zola

(1840 - 1902)

American poet Theodore Roethke.

Theodore Roethke

(1908 - 1963)

Swiss writer, philosopher, and television presenter Alain de Botton.

Alain de Botton

American writer and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Japanese diarist and poet Sei Shōnagon.

Sei Shonagon

(c. 966 - c. 1025)

French art historian and member of the French Resistance Agnès Humbert.

Agnès Humbert

(1894 - 1963)

Portrait bust of presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey Homer.

Homer

(c. 800 BC - 725 BC)

English cook and author Isabella Mary Beeton.

Isabella Mary Beeton

(1836 - 1865)

American writer Theodore Dreiser.

Theodore Dreiser

(1871 - 1945)

Polish-born French physicist Marie Curie.

Marie Curie

(1867 - 1934)

Image of Japanese poet and essayist Yoshida Kenko.

Yoshida Kenko

(c. 1283 - c. 1351)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

Black and white image of American writer Herman Melville.

Herman Melville

(1819 - 1891)

Daniel Defoe

(1660 - 1731)

American comedian, writer, and director Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.

Ukrainian-born Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.

Nikolai Gogol

(1809 - 1852)

American singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie.

Woody Guthrie

(1912 - 1967)

Black and white photograph of a young Mark Twain with dark hair.

Mark Twain

(1835 - 1910)

American author Tom Wolfe.

Tom Wolfe

(1931 - 2018)

American author Steven Millhauser.

Steven Millhauser

American poet Robert Frost.

Robert Frost

(1874 - 1963)

Color image of English novelist Charlotte Brontë with book in hand.

Charlotte Brontë

(1816 - 1855)

Portrait of Chinese Daoist Zhuangzi.

Zhuangzi

(c. 369 BC - 286 BC)

Black and white image of English scholar, writer, and clergyman Robert Burton.

Robert Burton

(1577 - 1640)

color oil painting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a red tunic with gray hair

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(1756 - 1791)