Literary Critics

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 1 
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.
4
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.

 2 
Robert Graves
(Poet & Novelist)
Robert Graves
4
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: December 7, 1985
 3 
John Dryden
4
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700
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 4 
George Plimpton
(Journalists)
George Plimpton
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: September 26, 2003
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
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 5 
Clive James
(Australian Critic, Journalist and Broadcaster)
Clive James
6
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. 

 6 
André Aciman
(Italian-American Writer and Professor)
André Aciman
4
Birthdate: January 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt

Andre Aciman is an Italian-American writer who is currently working at the CUNY Graduate Center as a professor of history of literary theory. He is best known for his literary work, which includes his Lambda Literary Award-winning novel Call Me by Your Name and his Whiting Award-winning 1995 memoir Out of Egypt.

 7 
Anne Tyler
(Novelist)
Anne Tyler
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
 8 
Margaret Drabble
(English Novelist, Biographer and Critic)
Margaret Drabble
4
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.

 9 
Ford Madox Ford
(British Writer Known for His Novels: 'The Good Soldier', 'Parade’s End' Tetralogy and 'The Fifth Queen' Trilogy)
Ford Madox Ford
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26, 1939

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 10 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)
Diana Wynne Jones
4
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.

 11 
Terry Eagleton
(Literary Theorist Best Known for His Work 'Literary Theory: An Introduction' (1983))
Terry Eagleton
4
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.   

 12 
Northrop Frye
(Canadian Literary Critic and and Philosopher)
Northrop Frye
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Died: January 23, 1991

Considered one of the most important literary theorists of the century, Herman Northrop Fry gained international fame with his first book, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake and later with Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Prolific writer and respected educator, he went on to write many more, concurrently championing Canadian literature and identity, receiving several honors for his contributions.

 13 
Peter Ackroyd
(British Biographer, Novelist and Critic with a Particular Interest in the History and Culture of London)
Peter Ackroyd
4
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.

 14 
George Steiner
(Literary critic, Essayist, Philosopher, Novelist)
George Steiner
4
Birthdate: April 23, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: February 3, 2020
 15 
F.R. Leavis
(Literature Critic)
F.R. Leavis
4
Birthdate: July 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, England
Died: April 14, 1978
 16 
Stanley Fish
(Scholar)
Stanley Fish
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
 17 
William Dean Howells
(Novelist)
William Dean Howells
4
Birthdate: March 1, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Martins Ferry, Ohio, U.S.
Died: May 11, 1920
 18 
Max Jacob
(Poet)
Max Jacob
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: March 5, 1944
 19 
George Henry Lewes
(Philosopher)
George Henry Lewes
4
Birthdate: April 18, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 30, 1878
 20 
Walter Pater
(English Essayist, Literary Critic Famous for His Unique Style of Writings)
Walter Pater
4
Birthdate: August 4, 1839
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stepney, London, England
Died: July 30, 1894

Nineteenth-century critic and essayist Walter Pater redefined aestheticism with his idea of "art for art’s sake." Though initially interested in a church career, he later studied classics and began writing reviews on Renaissance art. Marius the Epicurean remains his most notable work. Some of his works reveal his homosexuality.

 21 
Janet Maslin
(Journalist, Best Known as a Film & Literary Critic for 'The New York Times')
Janet Maslin
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 22 
Felix Salten
(Austro-Hungarian Writer and Literary Critic)
Felix Salten
4
Birthdate: September 6, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pest, Budapest, Hungary
Died: October 8, 1945

Best known for penning the children’s classic Bambi, Felix Salten was forced to flee Vienna during the Nazi regime and eventually settled in Switzerland. His books were banned in Austria after Germany annexed the country, but that didn’t dent his popularity as an author. He was a skilled hunter, too.

 23 
François Mauriac
(Novelist)
François Mauriac
4
Birthdate: October 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: September 1, 1970
 24 
Viktor Shklovsky
(Novelist)
Viktor Shklovsky
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 6, 1984
 25 
Paul Fussell
(Historian)
Paul Fussell
4
Birthdate: March 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: May 23, 2012

Literary historian Paul Fussell had been part of the infantry in World War II. He had also taught at various institutes, such as Rutgers University and the University of Pennsylvania. Best known for his books such as The Great War and Modern Memory, he was a World War expert.

 26 
Margaret Forster
(British Writer Novelist, Literary Critics, Biographer and Historian Best Known for the 1965 Novel 'Georgy Girl')
Margaret Forster
4
Birthdate: May 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carlisle, England
Died: February 8, 2016

English author and freelance critic Margaret Forster is best remembered for her bestselling novel Georgy Girl, which was made into a film later. She also penned biographies and contributed to BBC Radio 4 programs. She had also been a Booker Prize judge but mostly remained away from book-signing events.

 27 
Maurice Blanchot
(Former writer, philosopher, and literary theorist)
Maurice Blanchot
4
Birthdate: September 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Devrouze, Saône-et-Loire, France
Died: February 20, 2003
 28 
Harold Bloom
(Most famous literary critic in the English-speaking world 2017)
Harold Bloom
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 14, 2019
 29 
Lytton Strachey
(British Writer, a Founding Member of the 'Bloomsbury Group' and Author of 'Eminent Victorians')
Lytton Strachey
4
Birthdate: March 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 21, 1932

English biographer Lytton Strachey is best remembered for his masterpiece Eminent Victorians, which looks at the lives of Victorian figures such as Florence Nightingale and Thomas Arnold, using tools such as irony and paradox. He had also penned an award-winning biography of Queen Victoria. His short biographies discarded irrelevant details.

 30 
John Bayley
(Literary critic)
John Bayley
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: January 12, 2015
 31 
James Blish
(Author)
James Blish
4
Birthdate: May 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Orange, New Jersey
Died: July 30, 1975
 32 
Leslie Stephen
(British Author, Critic, Historian, Biographer, and Mountaineer)
Leslie Stephen
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kensington Gore, London, England
Died: February 22, 1904

Sir Leslie Stephen was an English historian, biographer, author, critic, and mountaineer. Leslie Stephen also took an active part in the organized humanist movement, serving as the president of the West London Ethical Society on multiple occasions. He was the father of famous author, Virginia Woolf, and painter, Vanessa Bell.

 33 
Nikolay Chernyshevsky
(Critic)
Nikolay Chernyshevsky
4
Birthdate: July 24, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saratov, Russia
Died: October 29, 1889
 34 
Rufus Wilmot Griswold
(Journalist, Writer, Literary critic, Poet)
Rufus Wilmot Griswold
4
Birthdate: February 13, 1815
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Benson
Died: August 27, 1857
 35 
Maryse Condé
(Novelist)
Maryse Condé
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
 36 
I. A. Richards
(British Educator, Literary Critic, Poet, and Rhetorician)
I. A. Richards
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sandbach, Cheshire, England
Died: September 7, 1979

British scholar and poet I. A. Richards is known for contributing to the New Criticism movement. While he initially taught English and moral sciences, he later focused on developing a new way of reading literature, known as practical criticism. The Meaning of Meaning remains one of his best-known works.

 37 
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
(Critic)
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1808
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 29, 1890
 38 
Annie Dillard
(Author)
Annie Dillard
4
Birthdate: April 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
 39 
Donald Hall
(Poet)
Donald Hall
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hamden, Connecticut, United States
Died: June 23, 2018
 40 
Elaine Showalter
(Literary critic)
Elaine Showalter
4
Birthdate: January 21, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
 41 
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
(Academic Scholar)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
4
Birthdate: May 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 12, 2009
 42 
Édouard Glissant
(Writer)
Édouard Glissant
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sainte-Marie, Martinique
Died: February 3, 2011
 43 
Frederic Beigbeder
(Writer)
Frederic Beigbeder
4
Birthdate: September 21, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 44 
Lorenzo Valla
(Former critic best known for his historical-critical textual analysis that proved that the Donation of Constantine was a forgery)
Lorenzo Valla
3
Birthdate: 1407 AD
Birthplace: Rome
Died: August 1, 1457
 45 
Cesare Pavese
(A Very Influential Italian Novelist, Poet and Short story writer)
Cesare Pavese
4
Birthdate: September 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Santo Stefano Belbo, Italy
Died: August 27, 1950

Italian author Cesare Pavese is remembered for his themes of gloom and loneliness and for his protagonists who were often loners. His prolonged fight with fascists and the failure of his affair with actor Constance Dowling led him to commit suicide by consuming sleeping pills in a Turin hotel.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ballygunge, Kolkata, India
 47 
M. H. Abrams
(Literary Critic)
M. H. Abrams
4
Birthdate: July 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 21, 2015
 48 
Cleanth Brooks
(Literary critic)
Cleanth Brooks
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Murray, Kentucky, United States
Died: May 10, 1994
 49 
E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
(Literary critic and Educator)
E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
 50 
Abdul Rahman Munif
(Novelist)
Abdul Rahman Munif
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amman, Jordan
Died: January 24, 2004