American musician Charles Mingus.

Charles Mingus

(1922 - 1979)

Portrait bust of Roman poet Virgil.

Virgil

(70 BC - 19 BC)

Engraving of Scottish economist Adam Smith.

Adam Smith

(1723 - 1790)

Edwin Lefèvre

(1871 - 1943)

Photograph of Thorstein Veblen

Thorstein Veblen

(1857 - 1929)

American writer Philip Connors.

Philip Connors

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

Philip Larkin

(1922 - 1985)

St. Benedict

Saint Benedict

(c. 480 - c. 547)

Usama Ibn Munqidh

(1095 - 1188)

Freelance writer and former academic ghostwriter Dave Tomar.

Dave Tomar

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

Homer

(c. 800 BC - 725 BC)

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

Alain de Botton

Photograph of African-American poet and writer Langston Hughes.

Langston Hughes

(1902 - 1967)

American author, essayist, and editor Donovan Hohn.

Donovan Hohn

American abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs.

Harriet Jacobs

(1813 - 1897)

American novelist and short story writer Richard Yates.

Richard Yates

(1926 - 1992)

American author and scholar Norman Maclean.

Norman Maclean

(1902 - 1990)

Photo of stone Aristotle statue face

Aristotle

(384 BC - 322 BC)

British author Mary Shelley.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

(1797 - 1851)

Professor of critical theory and cultural history Ben Kafka.

Ben Kafka

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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(1756 - 1791)

French author Émile Zola.

Émile Zola

(1840 - 1902)

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

Mark Twain

(1835 - 1910)

Photograph of American writer Ralph Ellison.

Ralph Ellison

(1914 - 1994)

Portrait of Chinese Daoist Zhuangzi.

Zhuangzi

(c. 369 BC - 286 BC)

English cook and author Isabella Mary Beeton.

Isabella Mary Beeton

(1836 - 1865)

Bust of Hesiod

Hesiod

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

E.T.A. Hoffmann

(1776 - 1822)

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

Sven Birkerts

Chinese-American journalist Leslie T. Chang.

Leslie T. Chang

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

Karl Marx

(1818 - 1883)

English author Robert Southey.

Robert Southey

(1774 - 1843)

Italian literary critic and novelist Umberto Eco.

Umberto Eco

(1932 - 2016)

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

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

British philosopher, logician, and social critic Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell

(1872 - 1970)

Color portrait of German theologian and reformer Martin Luther.

Martin Luther

(1483 - 1546)

American poet Robert Frost.

Robert Frost

(1874 - 1963)

Japanese diarist and poet Sei Shōnagon.

Sei Shonagon

(c. 966 - c. 1025)

Daniel Defoe

(1660 - 1731)

British writer Bernard Mandeville.

Bernard Mandeville

(1670 - 1733)

American author Steven Millhauser.

Steven Millhauser

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

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

Charlotte Brontë

(1816 - 1855)

Polish-born French physicist Marie Curie.

Marie Curie

(1867 - 1934)

American journalist Susan Orlean.

Susan Orlean

American singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie.

Woody Guthrie

(1912 - 1967)

Russian author Anton Chekhov.

Anton Chekhov

(1860 - 1904)

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

Robert Burton

(1577 - 1640)

Ukrainian-born Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol.

Nikolai Gogol

(1809 - 1852)

Image of Chinese poet Bai Juyi.

Bai Juyi

(772 - 846)

Portrait of West African writer and former slave Olaudah Equiano.

Olaudah Equiano

(c. 1745 - 1797)

Bust of Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius

(121 - 180)

American author Tom Wolfe.

Tom Wolfe

(1931 - 2018)

Black and white image of American writer Herman Melville.

Herman Melville

(1819 - 1891)

Image of Japanese poet and essayist Yoshida Kenko.

Yoshida Kenko

(c. 1283 - c. 1351)

Black and white photograph of American novelist John Steinbeck.

John Steinbeck

(1902 - 1968)

American writer and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich.

Barbara Ehrenreich

American feminist, activist, and editor Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem

Irish writer George Moore.

George Moore

(1852 - 1933)

Painted portrait of Florentine statesman and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli.

Niccolò Machiavelli

(1469 - 1527)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

German philosopher and music critic Theodor Adorno.

Theodor Adorno

(1903 - 1969)

English writer Geoffrey Chaucer.

Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1342 - 1400)

American writer Lydia Davis.

Lydia Davis

Roman playwright Terence.

Terence

(c. 195 BC - c. 159 BC)

Painting of François Rabelais.

François Rabelais

(1494 - 1553)

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

Louis C.K.

French theologian John Calvin.

John Calvin

(1509 - 1564)

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

Agnès Humbert

(1894 - 1963)

American animator, writer, and director Mike Judge.

Mike Judge

Engraving of Pliny the Elder.

Pliny the Elder

(23 - 79)

American documentary filmmaker and writer Eleanor Coppola.

Eleanor Coppola

Ōyama Shirō

American playwright and author David Mamet.

David Mamet

American writer Theodore Dreiser.

Theodore Dreiser

(1871 - 1945)

American poet Theodore Roethke.

Theodore Roethke

(1908 - 1963)