Writing is one of the most ancient professions in the world. Since the early days, people chose to pen their thoughts, views, ideas and beliefs to increase awareness and knowledge in the world. While writing can be of many types, it is essay writing that we are emphasizing on in this segment. Essays are basically literary pieces wherein a writer puts to paper his reflection about an event or episode in history. Spanning across varied topics such as politics, education, social rights, activism, literary criticism and so on, essays help readers to understand the world in a better fashion. In America, essay writing has been prevalent since the early colonial days. Francis Bacon, Samuel Sewall and John Woolman are some of the earliest known American essayists. Much of their work revolved around the revolutionary theme. Post-independence, American essayists focussed on societal problems as the main issue for their works. It also marked the golden period of essay writing as works by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Washington Irving came to foreplay. The romantic and realistic period saw the likes of R.W. Emerson, E.A. Poe and Frederick Douglas giving way to works by Mark Twain, Mary Austin and others. Know about the life and works of some of the best-known American essayists, in this section.
Mark TwainMark Twain
30 November 1835
Author and Humorist
Lisa Brennan-JobsLisa Brennan-Jobs
17 May 1978
Daughter of Steve Jobs

James BaldwinJames Baldwin
02 August 1924
Novelist

Aldous HuxleyAldous Huxley
26 July 1894
Writer

Philip K. DickPhilip K. Dick
16 December 1928
Novelist

Ray BradburyRay Bradbury
22 August 1920
Writer
Robert A. HeinleinRobert A. Heinlein
07 July 1907
Science Fiction Writer

Washington IrwingWashington Irving
03 April 1783
Author, Historian, Diplomat

Sandra CisnerosSandra Cisneros
20 December 1954
Writer

Jhumpa LahiriJhumpa Lahiri
11 July 1967
Writer
Barbara KingsolverBarbara Kingsolver
08 April 1955
Novelist, Poet, Essayist

Adrienne RichAdrienne Rich
16 May 1929
American poet
Amiri BarakaAmiri Baraka
07 October 1934
Writer

Jamaica KincaidJamaica Kincaid
25 May 1949
Novelist

Katherine Anne PorterKatherine Anne Porter
15 May 1890
Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
29 August 1809
Writer, Physician

Andre DubusAndre Dubus
11 August 1936
Short story writer
Anais NinAnais Nin
21 February 1903
Essayist

James GunnJames Gunn
23 July 1923
Writer

David SedarisDavid Sedaris
26 December 1956
Writer, Essayist
Joan DidionJoan Didion
05 December 1934
Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer,

Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman
28 February 1953
Columnist, Economist, Essayist, Blogger,
Thomas PynchonThomas Pynchon
08 May 1937
Writer, Novelist, Essayist, Science fiction writer

Fareed ZakariaFareed Zakaria
20 January 1964
Journalist, Reporter, Essayist, Writer, Economist

Robert ChristgauRobert Christgau
18 April 1942
Journalist, Reporter, Essayist, Writer, Music

Michael ChabonMichael Chabon
24 May 1963
Writer, Essayist, Screenwriter, Novelist,
Jonathan FranzenJonathan Franzen
17 August 1959
Novelist
James EllroyJames Ellroy
04 March 1948
Writer

Sarah VowellSarah Vowell
27 December 1969
Historian

Sylvia BrowneSylvia Browne
19 October 1936
Essayist, Psychic

Don DeLilloDon DeLillo
20 November 1936
Writer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist,
Italo CalvinoItalo Calvino
15 October 1923
Writer, Poet, Politician, Journalist, Reporter,

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Jaron LanierJaron Lanier
03 May 1960
Computer scientist, Composer, Programmer, Writer,

Jim HarrisonJim Harrison
11 December 1937
Poet

Robert Anton WilsonRobert Anton Wilson
18 January 1932
Writer, Novelist, Philosopher, Essayist,

George SaundersGeorge Saunders
02 December 1959
Writer
John Perry BarlowJohn Perry Barlow
03 October 1947
Poet

Larry KramerLarry Kramer
25 June 1935
Playwright
Fredric JamesonFredric Jameson
14 April 1934
Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor,

Linda Moulton HoweLinda Moulton Howe
20 January 1942
Journalist, Essayist

Lysander SpoonerLysander Spooner
19 January 1808
Lawyer, Journalist, Essayist, Philosopher
James Russell LowellJames Russell Lowell
22 February 1819
Poet, Diplomat, Essayist, Writer, Literary critic,

Marguerite YourcenarMarguerite Yourcenar
08 June 1903
Novelist, Essayist
Edmund WilsonEdmund Wilson
08 May 1895
Journalist, Poet, Playwright, Literary critic,

Richard RodriguezRichard Rodriguez
31 July 1944
Journalist, Teacher

Carl Gustav HempelCarl Gustav Hempel
08 January 1905
Mathematician, Computer scientist, Philosopher,

Emily GouldEmily Gould
13 October 1981
Writer, Essayist, Children's writer

Fanny FernFanny Fern
09 July 1811
Journalist, Writer, Novelist, Children's writer,
Alfred KazinAlfred Kazin
05 June 1915
Literary critic, Essayist, Journalist

James Alan McPhersonJames Alan McPherson
16 September 1943
American essayist

Frederica Sagor MaasFrederica Sagor Maas
06 July 1900
Screenwriter, Playwright, Journalist,

Agnes RepplierAgnes Repplier
01 April 1855
Essayist, Biographer
Hamilton Wright MabieHamilton Wright Mabie
 

Robert CollierRobert Collier
19 April 1885
Essayist