American literary critic and novelist Elizabeth Hardwick.

Elizabeth Hardwick

(1916 - 2007)

Painting of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes

(1588 - 1679)

Maya Angelou

(1928 - 2014)

Black and white photograph of French writer Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo

(1802 - 1885)

Suetonius

(69 - c. 130)

Norman Mailer

(1923 - 2007)

Black and white photograph of Mencken looking over his shoulder at the camera

H.L. Mencken

(1880 - 1956)

Photograph of American writer William S. Burroughs.

William S. Burroughs

(1914 - 1977)

Greek dramatist Sophocles.

Sophocles

(c. 496 BC - 406 BC)

Depiction of Greek philosopher Plato.

Plato

(c. 427 BC - c. 347 BC)

English critic and author G. K. Chesterton.

G.K. Chesterton

(1874 - 1936)

Rick Perlstein

English novelist, essayist, and critic George Orwell.

George Orwell

(1903 - 1950)

Colorized engraving of Voltaire wearing a wig.

Voltaire

(1694 - 1778)

Anna Akhmatova

(1889 - 1966)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

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

Homer

(c. 800 BC - 725 BC)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

(1918 - 2008)

Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller

(1923 - 1999)

Ha Jin

Roman historian Sallust.

Sallust

(c. 86 BC - c. 34 BC)

Jack Henry Abbott

(1944 - 2002)

Color portrait of French radical Jacobin leader Maximilien de Robespierre.

Maximilien de Robespierre

(1758 - 1794)

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr.

(1929 - 1968)

Image of Japanese poet and essayist Yoshida Kenko.

Yoshida Kenko

(c. 1283 - c. 1351)

At the age of seventeen, Hawthorne mused to his mother about the possibility of “relying for support upon my pen.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

(1804 - 1864)

Russian author Yevgenia Semyonova Ginzburg.

Yevgenia Semyonova Ginzburg

(1904 - 1977)

Seamus Heaney, 1970. Photograph by Simon Garbutt.

Seamus Heaney

(1939 - 2013)

Thomas Nashe

(1567 - c. 1601)

Black and white photograph of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy

(1828 - 1910)

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

(1842 - c. 1914)

Nathaniel Rich

Péter Nádas

Black and white photograph of political scientist and philosopher Hannah Arendt holding a cigarette.

Hannah Arendt

(1906 - 1975)

Painted portrait of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

Jeremy Bentham

(1748 - 1832)

British scholar and military officer T.E. Lawrence.

T.E. Lawrence

(1888 - 1927)

black and white pencil drawing of Moliere in an ornate frame

Molière

(1622 - 1673)

Black and white image of American writer Herman Melville.

Herman Melville

(1819 - 1891)

Sculpture bust of Greek historian Herodotus.

Herodotus

(c. 484 BC - c. 425 BC)

Charles Taylor

Félix Fénéon

(1861 - 1944)

Saul Levitt

(1911 - 1977)

Haruki Murakami

Don Delillo standing outside in a jacket, black and white photo

Don DeLillo

Classical engraving of Aristophanes with a long beard.

Aristophanes

(c. 446 BC - c. 386 BC)

American writer John Cheever.

John Cheever

(1912 - 1982)

St. Augustine

Saint Augustine

(354 - 430)

Engraving of William Shakespeare from the first folio edition.

William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)

Studio headshot of a young Charlie Chaplin without his signature mustache.

Charlie Chaplin

(1889 - 1977)

Richard I

Richard I

(1157 - 1199)

Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Portrait of Swiss-born philosopher, writer, and political theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(1712 - 1778)

Daniil Kharms looking serious with an intent stare

Daniil Kharms

(1905 - 1942)

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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

(1756 - 1791)

Matthew Power

(1974 - 2014)

Black and white photograph of Italian writer and chemist Primo Levi.

Primo Levi

(1919 - 1987)

Christopher Hitchens

(1949 - 2011)

Shirley Jackson

(1916 - 1965)

Livy

(c. 59 BC - c. 17)

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault.

Michel Foucault

(1926 - 1984)

Photograph of American novelist Willa Cather.

Willa Cather

(1873 - 1947)

Photograph of American novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler.

Raymond Chandler

(1888 - 1959)

Jean Genet

(1910 - 1986)

Black and white engraving of Roman poet Ovid in profile.

Ovid

(43 BC - c. 17)

Dexter Filkins

Color portrait of English philosopher John Locke.

John Locke

(1632 - 1704)

Cesare Lombroso

(1835 - 1909)

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

(1821 - 1881)

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

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

Portrait of English essayist and critic Thomas De Quincey.

Thomas De Quincey

(1785 - 1859)

Black and white photograph of African-American leader Malcolm X.

Malcolm X

(1925 - 1965)