Famous 21st Century Critics & Connoisseurs

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 1 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)
Margaret Atwood
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Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 2 
Roger Ebert
(Film Critic for the "Chicago Sun-Times")
Roger Ebert
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Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Urbana, Illinois, United States
Died: April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert was an American journalist, author, screenwriter, film historian, and film critic. While working as a film critic for the daily newspaper Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, becoming the first film critic to be honored with the prestigious award. He was often described as America's most influential and prominent film critic of all time.

 3 
Ursula K. Le Guin
(American Author Best Known for Her Works of Speculative Fiction)
Ursula K. Le Guin
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Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

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 4 
Lewis Black
(Comedian)
Lewis Black
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Birthdate: August 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
 5 
Jean-Luc Godard
(Film Director and a Pioneer of the 1960s 'French New Wave' Film Movement)
Jean-Luc Godard
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Birthdate: December 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France

The Paris-born French-Swiss director and screenwriter has the reputation of adding new dimensions to filmmaking with his experimentation, a trend which came to be known as French New Wave. The director of acclaimed films like Breathless, My Life to Live and Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard was married to actress Anna Karina. He is regarded as an all-time great director.

Bell Hooks
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Birthdate: September 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 15, 2021
 7 
Dick Gregory
(American critic)
Dick Gregory
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Birthdate: October 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
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 8 
John Updike
(Poet, Novelist)
John Updike
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Birthdate: March 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 27, 2009
 9 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Literary Critic and Scholar Who Became Popular for His Pioneering Theories of African and African-American Literature)
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
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Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia, United States

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 10 
Paul Schrader
(Screenwriter)
Paul Schrader
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Birthdate: July 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
 11 
Liu Xiaobo
(Chinese Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate)
Liu Xiaobo
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Birthdate: December 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Changchun, China
Died: July 13, 2017

Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese activist, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was honored with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for human rights in China. Liu is the first Chinese citizen to be honored with a Nobel Prize while residing in China.

 12 
George Plimpton
(Journalists)
George Plimpton
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Birthdate: March 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 26, 2003
 13 
Andre Aciman
(Writer)
Andre Aciman
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Birthdate: January 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
 14 
Kurt Loder
(Film critic)
Kurt Loder
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Birthdate: May 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ocean City, New Jersey, U.S.
 15 
Clive James
(Writer, Journalist, Literary critic)
Clive James
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Birthdate: October 7, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kogarah, Australia
Died: November 24, 2019

Clive James was an Australian critic, journalist, and writer who worked mainly in the United Kingdom. He had a difficult life as a young man and faced many challenges on his way to building a successful career. He began his career as a TV critic and proceeded to establish himself as a writer and poet as well. 

 16 
Robert Christgau
(Journalist, Reporter, Essayist, Writer, Music critic)
Robert Christgau
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Birthdate: April 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Greenwich Village
 17 
Molly Meldrum
(Music critic, Record producer, Composer)
Molly Meldrum
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Birthdate: January 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Orbost
 18 
Leonard Maltin
(Journalist, Art historian, Film critic, Screenwriter, Writer, University teacher)
Leonard Maltin
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Birthdate: December 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
 19 
René Girard
(French Polymath, Historian and Philosopher of Social Science)
René Girard
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Birthdate: December 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Avignon, France
Died: November 4, 2015

René Girard was a French philosopher of social science, literary critic, and historian. Over the years, Girard's work has had an influence on disciplines like philosophy, anthropology, psychology, mythology, theology, economics, sociology, and cultural studies among other important disciplines. In 2006, René Girard was honored by the University of Tübingen with the prestigious Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize.

 20 
Terry Eagleton
(Literary Theorist Best Known for His Work 'Literary Theory: An Introduction' (1983))
Terry Eagleton
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Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salford, England

English literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton, presently serving as Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is a prominent critic of postmodernism and the New Atheism. His oeuvre includes over forty books among which Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which describes the emerging literary theory of the period, is considered to be one of his most notable works.   

 21 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)
Diana Wynne Jones
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Birthdate: August 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones was an English writer who is known for  fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.. She began writing stories for her siblings at the age of thirteen. However, she was actually introduced to children's literature while reading out to her sons, starting to write on her own once her children started going to school, authoring more than forty books in her lifetime.

 22 
Anne Tyler
(Novelist)
Anne Tyler
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Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
 23 
Rex Reed
(Actor, Film actor, Journalist)
Rex Reed
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Birthdate: October 2, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fort Worth
Charles John Klosterman
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Birthdate: June 5, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Breckenridge, Minnesota, United States
 25 
Olivier Assayas
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film critic)
Olivier Assayas
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Birthdate: January 25, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
 26 
Margaret Drabble
(English Novelist, Biographer and Critic)
Margaret Drabble
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Birthdate: June 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield, England

English author Margaret Drabble mostly writes about women protagonists and their experiences through marriage, motherhood, and intellectual development. Her novels such as The Gates of Ivory and A Summer Bird-Cage have earned her honors such as the DBE. She is the younger sister of novelist A.S. Byatt.

 27 
Tom Verlaine
(Guitarist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter)
Tom Verlaine
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Birthdate: December 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morristown
 28 
Fredric Jameson
(Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Sociologist, Journalist)
Fredric Jameson
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Birthdate: April 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland

Fredric Jameson is an American philosopher, literary critic, and Marxist political theorist. Jameson is renowned for his analysis of capitalism and postmodernity. He is credited with authoring influential books like The Political Unconscious and Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. In 2012, Fredric Jameson was honored with the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award by the Modern Language Association.

 29 
Harry Knowles
(Film Critic and Writer Known for His Website Called 'Ain’t It Cool News')
Harry Knowles
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Birthdate: December 11, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States
 30 
Peter Ackroyd
(British Biographer, Novelist and Critic with a Particular Interest in the History and Culture of London)
Peter Ackroyd
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Birthdate: October 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Acton, London, England

English author and critic Peter Ackroyd is mostly known for his novels that depict the history of London. The Cambridge and Yale alumnus had initially worked at The Spectator. Apart from writing award-winning novels such as Hawksmoor, he has also penned biographies of T.S. Eliot and Dickens, among others.

 31 
Jay Rayner
(Presenter, Journalist, Food critic)
Jay Rayner
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Birthdate: September 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
 32 
Tom Parker Bowles
(Food Writer, Food Critic & Son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Andrew Parker Bowles)
Tom Parker Bowles
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Birthdate: December 18, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Andrew Parker Bowles, is best known for hosting Market Kitchen. He also writes food reviews in magazines such as GQ and Esquire, and has authored several cookbooks. The Guild of Food Writers award winner also owns a chestnut ale brand.
 33 
Erin McNaught
(Actor, Model, Beauty pageant contestant, Music critic)
Erin McNaught
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Birthdate: May 22, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Canberra

Erin McNaught is an Australian actress, model, television personality, and presenter. McNaught achieved both fame and notoriety when she represented Australia in the 2006 Miss Universe competition where she was one of the most controversial participants. Over the years, Erin McNaught has also taken part in charity campaigns, such as UK's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

 34 
Giles Coren
(Food Writer)
Giles Coren
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Birthdate: July 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paddington, London, Eng;and

Chiefly known as a food writer, Giles Coren has been serving as a columnist for London based daily newspaper, The Times, since the age of 24. Named Food and Drink Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards, he has also authored several books and appeared on several popular television productions. Currently, he also hosts a weekly radio program.

 35 
Hélène Cixous
(French Feminist Writer and Philosopher Best Known for Her Article ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’)
Hélène Cixous
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Birthdate: June 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oran, Algeria

Hélène Cixous is a professor, poet, playwright, rhetorician, literary critic, philosopher, and French feminist writer. She is best known for writing an article titled The Laugh of the Medusa, which earned her popularity and established her as a thinker in post-structural feminism.

 36 
Orson Scott Card
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Birthdate: August 24, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Richland, Washington, United States

American author, playwright and script-writer Orson Scott Card is best-known for writing the series’ Ender's Game and The Tales of Alvin Maker. First two novels of the Ender's Game series are counted among the most influential novels of the 1980s and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, while The Tales of Alvin Maker series won the Locus Fantasy Award.

 37 
Synnove Macody Lund
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Birthdate: May 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stord, Norway
 38 
Armond White
(Film critic)
Armond White
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Birthdate: April 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
 39 
Brian Sewell
(journalist, autobiographer, art critic, art historian)
Brian Sewell
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Birthdate: June 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: September 19, 2015
 40 
Mark Kermode
(Television presenter, Musician, Journalist)
Mark Kermode
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Birthdate: July 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chipping Barnet
 41 
John Lahr
(Biographer, Journalist)
John Lahr
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Birthdate: July 12, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles

John Henry Lahr is an American theater critic who worked as he senior drama critic at The New Yorker magazine from 1992 to 2013. Also an established author, he is known for works like Joy Ride and Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.

 42 
George Steiner
(Literary critic, Essayist, Philosopher, Novelist)
George Steiner
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Birthdate: April 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: February 3, 2020
 43 
Rupert Sheldrake
(English Author Best Known For His Research in Parapsychology)
Rupert Sheldrake
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Birthdate: June 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, UK

Rupert Sheldrake is an English author best known for his research in the field of parapsychology. He is credited with proposing the concept of morphic resonance, which has been categorized as pseudoscience by mainstream scientists. Rupert Sheldrake is also known for his work encompassing paranormal subjects like telepathy, precognition, and the psychic staring effect.

 44 
Waldemar Januszczak
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Birthdate: January 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basingstoke
 45 
Harold Bloom
(Most famous literary critic in the English-speaking world 2017)
Harold Bloom
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Birthdate: July 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 14, 2019
 46 
Scott Ritter
(Writer, Officer)
Scott Ritter
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Birthdate: July 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gainesville
 47 
Frederick R. Koch
(Former philanthropist, Founder of Koch Industries)
Frederick R. Koch
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Birthdate: August 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: February 12, 2020
 48 
Mimi Gardner Gates
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Birthdate: 1943 AD
 49 
Richard Roeper
(Journalist)
Richard Roeper
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Birthdate: October 17, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
 50 
John Irving Bloom
(Film critic)
John Irving Bloom
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Birthdate: January 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States