American Writers

"I had 'Earthseed' in mind when I created the portrait of Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites of Butler's novels," says Nettrice Gaskins.

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

Plath's recipe cards and rolling pin reflect her love of cooking—and her conflicted relationship with domestic life.

Explore Sylvia Plath's Love Letters, Recipe Cards and Tarot Deck

A trove of the American poet's personal possessions recently sold at auction for more than $1 million

Astronaut Sally Ride (left) and poet Maya Angelou (right) will be the first individuals honored through the American Women Quarters Program.

Women Who Shaped History

Maya Angelou, Sally Ride to Be Among First Women Featured on U.S. Quarters

Between 2022 and 2025, the U.S. Mint is set to highlight up to 20 trailblazing American women

A 1928 photograph of Ernest Hemingway, held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, was taken in Paris by the artist Man Ray after the legendary writer suffered a life-threatening head injury.

In Search of the Authentic Ernest Hemingway

An upcoming PBS documentary prompts a deep-dive into the story behind this rarely published Smithsonian portrait of the legendary writer

This month's book picks include The Light of Days, The Musical Human and Empire of Ants.

Books of the Month

Women Resistance Fighters of WWII, the Secret Lives of Ants and Other New Books to Read

These April releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Through her literary works, “Kindred”, “Bloodchild”, “Parable of the Sower”, Butler explored themes of global warming, gender equality, political disparity and racism and as a result is known as the “mother” of Afrofuturism.

Mars' Perseverance Landing Site Named After Science Fiction Author Octavia E. Butler

The Jezero crater location has been named 'Octavia E. Butler Landing' in honor of the late literary giant

This month's book picks include Icebound, A Shot in the Moonlight and The Eagles of Heart Mountain.

Books of the Month

A Doomed Arctic Expedition, Number-Free Math and Other New Books to Read

These five January releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Erle Stanley Gardner is best remembered as a novelist. But he was also a lawyer deeply concerned about victims of injustice. “It is too easy to convict innocent persons,” he wrote in a 1959 letter to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

The Case of the Autographed Corpse

The author of the Perry Mason novels rose to the defense of an Apache shaman who was falsely convicted of killing his wife

Louise Glück, an esteemed American poet and teacher, won this year's Nobel Prize in Literature.

American Poet Louise Glück Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

The esteemed writer and teacher previously won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson is one of 24 authors featured in "Her Story: A Century of Women Writers."

The Women Writers Who Shaped 20th-Century American Literature

A new show at the National Portrait Gallery spotlights 24 authors, including Lorraine Hansberry, Sandra Cisneros and Maxine Hong Kingston

The Reclaim Her Name campaign centers on 25 books published by authors who wrote under male pseudonyms.

Why a Campaign to 'Reclaim' Women Writers' Names Is So Controversial

Critics say Reclaim Her Name fails to reflect the array of reasons authors chose to publish under male pseudonyms

Louisa May Alcott wrote "Aunt Nellie's Diary" in 1849, almost 20 years prior to the publication of Little Women.

Early Short Story by Louisa May Alcott Published for the First Time

The "Little Women" author wrote "Aunt Nellie's Diary" in 1849, when she was 17 years old

Larry Kramer by Robert Giard, gelatin silver print, 1989

Playwright and AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Dies at 84

The American writer and public health advocate was "a lionhearted force," says Smithsonian curator Katherine Ott

Shel Silverstein's houseboat, Evil Eye, is up for sale.

Shel Silverstein's Historic Sausalito Houseboat Is Now on Sale

The children's book author and illustrator purchased the repurposed World War II vessel in 1967

Tomie dePaola signing books at the fourth annual "Scribbles to Novels" gala to benefit Jumpstart in 2008

Children's Book Author and Illustrator Tomie dePaola Dies at 85

Over his five-decade-plus career, the "Strega Nona" author contributed to more than 270 books

An author of blockbuster books and a pioneering photographer, she braved the wilderness to collect these moths and butterflies.

As Popular in Her Day as J.K. Rowling, Gene Stratton-Porter Wrote to the Masses About America's Fading Natural Beauty

Despite her fame, you wouldn't know about this beloved writer unless you visit the vanishing Midwestern landscape she helped save

The beloved "Queen of Suspense" died Friday at age 92.

Mary Higgins Clark, Mystery Novelist Dubbed 'Queen of Suspense,' Dies at 92

Today, more than 100 million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone

Anarchist Emma Goldman, who dedicated her life to combatting inequality, repression and the exploitation of workers

At Long Last, an Exhibition Celebrates Centuries of Women at Work

A new show at New York's Grolier Club features the collection of Lisa Unger Baskin, who sought to share the untold stories of women in the workforce

This 404-year-old Geneva Bible was one of more than 300 artifacts stolen from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library over a two-decade period.

Ex-Librarian and Bookseller Plead Guilty to Stealing Rare Texts Worth $8 Million From Pennsylvania Library

Greg Priore and John Schulman stole and resold hundreds of rare texts over a 25-year period

The top ten include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hungry Caterpillar and The Cat in the Hat.

Trending Today

New York Public Library Announces Its Most Borrowed Books of All Time

The list, dominated by children's literature, spans 125 years of reading