Novelists

A novel is a fictional prose often written as a narrative that portrays characters and events in the form of a long story, usually set in a sequence of events and the people who write them are called novelists. Novels are considerably lengthy and complex in terms of themes, character descriptions, and story settings. They, as a genre of literary fiction, are the longest of narrative prose. This tendency of being lengthy has led to the considerable debate regarding what should constitute the minimum word limit for a piece of prose to be considered a novel. It is generally accepted that any piece of prose fiction longer than 40,000 words be categorized as a novel. Writing a novel takes immense efforts; it is no easy task to develop a plot, create fictional characters, and build a story revolving around them that is interesting enough to make the readers read the entire book and make them want to read more. It is a trend that many a times novelists start out as journalists or short story writers before they attempt writing a novel. If you want to acquaint yourself with some of the most famous people from this profession just go through the biographies presented below. They contain the life stories, professional and personal information, timelines and trivia about some famous novelists.

 1 Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 13, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: November 23, 1990

British writer, Roald Dahl, is considered as one of the greatest children’s authors. He is one of the best-selling authors of all-time and had a career spanning decades. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, The Twits and Matilda are some of his classic works. He also wrote short stories and novels meant for adults.

 2 J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

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 3 Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 7, 1812
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: June 9, 1870

Widely considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens was an English writer famous for creating world-renowned fictional characters. Regarded by critics and scholars as a literary genius, most of his short stories and novels are read around the world even today. His distinctive style of writing is referred to as Dickensian.

 4 J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British, South African
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 5 Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: July 2, 1961

Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist and short-story writer who had a strong impact on 20th-century fiction. He published seven novels and six short-story collections and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea are some of his classic works. He ended his own life in July 1961.

 6 Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

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 7 John Le Carré

John Le Carré
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 19, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
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 8 Prue Leith

Prue Leith
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Famous As: Restaurateur
Birthdate: February 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: South African
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 9 Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 12, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

Jake Tapper is an American author, cartoonist, and journalist. Over the years, Jake Tapper's work as a journalist, which includes the coverage of President Barack Obama's inauguration, has been praised by many critics. As the Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN, Jake Tapper plays a vital role in the TV channel's coverage of political matters.

 10 Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde
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Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 16, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish
Died: November 30, 1900

Widely regarded as one of the most popular writers of all time, Oscar Wilde is best remembered for his plays and epigrams. He was also one of the best-known personalities during his time as he was popular for his conversational skills, flamboyant dressing sense, and biting wit. Imprisoned in 1895 for consensual homosexual acts, Oscar Wilde was pardoned posthumously in 2017.

 11 Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 24, 1991

Dr. Seuss was an American children's author, illustrator, and political cartoonist. He is credited with writing some of the most famous children's books ever, including The Cat in the Hat. His works were translated into over 20 languages and sold more than 600 million copies by the time of his death. Many of his creations were adapted into animated cartoons.

 12 George Orwell

George Orwell
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: British
Died: January 21, 1950

The king of dystopia and satire, George Orwell, the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair, was a well-known novelist and critic of the 20th century. A man with a strong mind of his own, Orwell never backed down from stating his views on the socio-political climate he lived in, which he expressed profusely through his influential essays and novels.

 13 C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Irish, British
Died: November 22, 1963

C. S. Lewis was a British writer whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide after having been translated into over 30 languages. His works, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, have inspired the works of other famous authors. Lewis' work continues to attract readership and he was ranked 11th on The Times' 50 greatest British writers since 1945 list.

 14 James Baldwin

James Baldwin
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: December 1, 1987

Amongst the greatest writers of the 20th century and a leading literary voice in the civil rights movement, James Baldwin extensively explored issues like race, sexuality and humanity in his work. His best known work include his debut novel Go Tell It on the Mountain and his books of essays Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name.

 15 Mark Twain

Mark Twain Image
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

 16 Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 30, 1797
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: February 1, 1851
An author who was admired for her exploration of the Gothic genre, Mary Shelley is best remembered for her novel Frankenstein. She also edited the works of her husband, Romantic poet P.B. Shelley. She lost her husband to a drowning accident and eventually passed away due to brain tumor.

 17 Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley
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Famous As: Occultist
Birthdate: October 12, 1875
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: British
Died: December 1, 1947

Aleister Crowley was an occultist, writer, and ceremonial magician. He is credited with founding a religion called Thelema and promised his followers with guiding them into the Aeon of Horus, a time of self-realization. More than seven decades after his death, Crowley remains influential among those who revere counterculture and Western esotericism and is considered a prophet in Thelema.

 18 F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 24, 1896
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: December 21, 1940

Novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and short-story writer F. Scott Fitzgerald is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. However, he wasn’t much popular during his lifetime. His works gained international acclaim only in the years following his untimely death at 44. Many of his works have been adapted into films.

 19 Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 20 David Thewlis

David Thewlis
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British
David Thewlis gained fame with his role in Naked, a film that won him a Cannes Film Festival Award. Fans loved him as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film franchise and Sir Patrick Morgan/Ares in Wonder Woman. He has also written a novel and directed a BAFTA-nominated short film. 

 21 Justine Musk

Justine Musk
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Famous As: Author, Elon Musk’s Ex-wife
Birthdate: September 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian

Ex-wife of business magnet Elon Musk, Justine Musk is a Canadian author most recognised for her contemporary fantasy novel, BloodAngel. She wrote two more books Uninvited and Lord of Bones, both of which were appreciated. A Queen’s University graduate, she was employed as an English teacher in Japan before she moved back to US and later married Elon Musk.

 22 Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy
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Birthdate: September 9, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Russian
Died: November 20, 1910

Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, is widely considered as one of the greatest authors ever. After experiencing a profound moral crisis in the 1870s, Tolstoy went through a phase of spiritual awakening, which had a great impact on his subsequent works that incorporated ideas on nonviolent resistance. These works influenced personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, thereby effectively changing the course of history.

 23 Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: Canadian
Died: November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen was one of the most popular Canadian celebrities of all time. After starting his career as a poet and novelist, Leonard went on to become a famous singer-songwriter, exploring themes like sexuality, religion, depression, and romantic relationships in his work. Leonard Cohen was one of the inspirations for Steven Clark and Matthew Bissonnette's 2002 film Looking for Leonard.

 24 Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: British
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 25 Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink
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Famous As: Podcaster
Birthdate: September 8, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 26 Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson
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Famous As: Journalist and Author
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson was an American author and journalist. He is credited with creating his own subgenre of New Journalism called the gonzo journalism. The author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was later adapted into a film, Thompson was famous for his lifelong use of drugs and alcohol. His books have had a major impact on counterculture.

 27 L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard
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Famous As: Officer, Novelist, Musician, Writer, Screenwriter, Poet, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: March 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: January 24, 1986

 28 Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming
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Famous As: Author of James Bond Series
Birthdate: May 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British
Died: August 12, 1964

Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.

 29 Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: British
Author Neil Gaiman has written numerous novels, short stories, film scripts, and comics. He has won the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Nebula awards, and the Carnegie and Newbery medals. Some of his best works are American Gods, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, and the comic series The Sandman

 30 Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie
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Famous As: British-Indian novelist
Birthdate: June 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Indian, British

Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist whose work Midnight's Children is widely considered the best novel of all Booker Prize winners. In 2007, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to literature. In 2008, he was ranked 13th in the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 list published by The Times.

 31 George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
George R. R. Martin wrote the epic fantasy series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the iconic Emmy-winning HBO series Game of Thrones. Also known as the "American Tolkien," he was featured on TIME 100. He has earned the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, too.

 32 Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
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Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: November 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: April 11, 2007

Science-fiction author Kurt Vonnegut is best remembered for the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which became a New York Times bestseller. The Hugo Award-winner had also fought against the Germans in World War II and expressed his anti-war and atheist views through his works, which also include short stories, plays, and autobiographical works.  

 33 Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 26, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British, American
Died: November 22, 1963

English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley wrote countless books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction, and poems. He is best remembered for his science-fiction novels Brave New World and Island. The seven-time Nobel Prize nominee was also a Companion of Literature of the Royal Society of Literature and a Vedanta believer.

 34 Voltaire

Voltaire
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 21, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: French
Died: May 30, 1778
18th-century historian, author, philosopher, and advocate of freedom of speech Voltaire was a leading figure of the French Age of Enlightenment. He often ran into trouble for his criticism of the French nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. He once went to Britain on voluntary exile, fearing imprisonment in France.

 35 Lady Colin Campbell

Lady Colin Campbell
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Famous As: writer, autobiographer, biographer
Birthdate: August 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British

 36 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Famous As: Writer & Physician
Birthdate: May 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: British, Scottish
Died: July 7, 1930

 37 David McCallum

David McCallum
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British, American, Scottish

David McCallum is a Scottish musician and actor who gained recognition for portraying Illya Kuryakin in the popular spy fiction TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He gained international recognition for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the action police procedural TV series NCIS. David McCallum has also contributed as a writer, publishing a novel titled Once a Crooked Man.

 38 Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas
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Birthdate: July 24, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: French
Died: December 5, 1870

One of the most widely read French authors of all time, Alexandre Dumas was prolific in several genres. He joined the army as a young man and later became a full-time writer. Starting his writing career as a playwright, he moved on to writing novels. His novels have been adapted into nearly 200 films in the past century.

 39 Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 8, 1965
Shirley Jackson redefined the genres of horror and mystery through her works, which include over 200 short stories and six novels. Her iconic novel The Haunting of Hill House was made into a popular Netflix series and several movies, including the 1963 and 1999 versions of The Haunting

 40 Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
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Famous As: Writer, Environmental Activist
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Canadian

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.

 41 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.

 42 Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair
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Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: September 20, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: November 25, 1968

 43 Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 19, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 44 Henry James

Henry James
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 15, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: February 28, 1916

Henry James was an author, regarded as one of the greatest novelists ever to write in the English language. One of his novellas titled The Turn of the Screw has been the most analyzed ghost story in the history of English language literature. While his works have been adapted into films, he has been the subject of several other stories.

 45 David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: September 12, 2008

David Foster Wallace was an American author who is regarded as one of the most innovative and influential writers of the past 20 years. His best-known work, Infinite Jest, was named one of the best English-language novels between 1923 and 2005 by Time magazine. Wallace continues to serve as an inspiration to writers like Darin Strauss and George Saunders.

 46 Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Famous As: Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer, Playwright, Novelist, Author
Birthdate: August 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: British
Died: July 8, 1822

 47 Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German, American
Died: March 9, 1994

German-American poet and short story writer ,Charles Bukowski, addressed the ordinary lives of poor Americans in most of his works. Since his death, he has been the subject of many critical books and articles. His stories have inspired several films like Tales of Ordinary Madness, Crazy Love, and Factotum.

 48 H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: August 13, 1946

H. G. Wells was an English writer. Although he was prolific in many genres, he is best remembered for his work on sci-fi novels, for which he is often referred to as the father of science fiction. His 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon became so influential that a lunar impact crater is named after him.

 49 John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 27, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: December 20, 1968

Famous for his novels The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat, John Ernst Steinbeck was noted for his sympathy for the plight of workers in his books. The Nobel laureate, who said he did not deserve the prize, authored 33 books, some of which were best sellers during his time. His books were also adapted into films.

 50 Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami
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Birthdate: January 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Japanese
Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has authored bestselling works such as Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore, which explore the genres of surrealism and magic realism. He has also translated works by J. D. Salinger and Raymond Carver. He has been named to Time 100 and has won numerous awards.
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