A.R. Ammons

(1926 - 2001)

Scottish novelist Tobias Smollett.

Tobias Smollett

(1721 - 1771)

Anna Jameson

(1794 - 1860)

W.J. McGee

(1853 - 1912)

David Grann

Sarah Ruden

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek

(1632 - 1723)

Engraving of Pliny the Elder.

Pliny the Elder

(23 - 79)

Scottish anthropologist and historian of religion James G. Frazer.

James G. Frazer

(1854 - 1941)

Robert Towne

Sextus Julius Frontinus

(c. 40 - 103)

Cyrus Thomas

(1825 - 1910)

Ur-Nammu

(2112 BC - 2095 BC)

Theodore H. White

(1915 - 1986)

Black and white photograph of Irish poet and writer W. B. Yeats.

W.B. Yeats

(1865 - 1939)

Gregory of Nyssa

(c. 335 - c. 395)

Paracelsus

(1493 - 1541)

Annalee Jacoby

(1916 - 2002)

Color portrait of Chinese writer and poet Han Yu.

Han Yu

(768 - 824)

Nicolas Pelham

Joseph Brodsky

(1940 - 1996)

Idris Ali

(1940 - 2010)

Olivia Laing

François-René de Chateaubriand

(1768 - 1848)

Oscar Olivera

French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault.

Michel Foucault

(1926 - 1984)

Scholastique Mukasonga

Scholastique Mukasonga

Bernard DeVoto

(1897 - 1955)

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

(1817 - 1862)

Wheel of Fortune from the Carmina Burana.

Carmina Burana

Huynh Sanh Thong

(1926 - 2008)

French author Émile Zola.

Émile Zola

(1840 - 1902)

John Snow

(1813 - 1858)

Philip Ball. Photograph by Richard Haughton.

Philip Ball

C.A. Davids

Kim Stanley Robinson

Photograph of American novelist Mary Austin.

Mary Austin

(1868 - 1934)

Anna Lenzer

Loren Eiseley

(1907 - 1977)

Claudio Magris, 2005. Photograph by Mariusz Kubik.

Claudio Magris

Carolina Maria de Jesus

(1914 - 1977)

Wang Gai

(c. 1650 - c. 1710)

Louise Erdrich

Ambai

Engraving of the medieval Arab traveler Ibn Battuta.

Ibn Battuta

(1304 - c. 1369)

Fleur Adcock

Wu Cheng’en

(c. 1500 - c. 1582)

John McPhee

Portrait of Francis Bacon in sixteenth-century armor.

Francis Bacon

(1561 - 1626)

Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Saint Teresa of Ávila.

Saint Teresa of Ávila

(1515 - 1582)

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

Mark Twain

(1835 - 1910)

John Thomas Stanley

(1766 - 1850)

Li Daoyuan

(c. 472 - 527)

American author, essayist, and editor Donovan Hohn.

Donovan Hohn

Elias Khoury

Wilfred Thesiger

(1910 - 2003)

Photograph of Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson

(1907 - 1964)

Alexis Wright

Jonathan Watts

Portrait bust of Roman poet Virgil.

Virgil

(70 BC - 19 BC)

Color photograph of American writer Annie Dillard.

Annie Dillard

Edward Abbey

(1927 - 1989)

William Bullein

(c. 1515 - 1576)

Photo of stone Aristotle statue face

Aristotle

(384 BC - 322 BC)

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk.

Orhan Pamuk

Rabindranath Tagore

(1861 - 1941)

Anne Carson

French novelist Gustave Flaubert.

Gustave Flaubert

(1821 - 1880)

Bartolomé de Las Casas

(1484 - 1566)

Photograph of William Faulkner sitting in a chair.

William Faulkner

(1897 - 1962)

Painted portrait of German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Alexander von Humboldt

(1769 - 1859)

Jeff Goodell

Engraving of Greek satirist Lucian.

Lucian

(125 - c. 180)

Henry Pollack

Black and white photograph of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez.

Gabriel García Márquez

(1928 - 2014)

Graham Swift

Italian artist, engineer, and scientist Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci

(1452 - 1519)

Solomon Northup

(1808 - 1863)

Decimus Magnus Ausonius

(c. 310 - c. 395)

Jesmyn Ward

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

(1254 - 1324)