I tried to find ones that were well-written and awe-inspiring at the same time. I wanted them to have the power to change my thinking and change my life. But a part of it is still with you. It changed you the very moment you read its last line. The essays are not listed in any particular order.
A great family drama takes place against the backdrop of the Australian wilderness. And the Kookaburra laughs… This is one of the best essays of the lot. You think your life punches you in the face all too often? After reading this essay you will change your mind. Reading about loss and hardships often makes us sad at first, but then, enables us to feel grateful for our lives. White — Once more to the lake.
What does it mean to be a father? Can you see your younger self reflected in your child? This beautiful essay tells the story of the author, his son, and their traditional stay at a placid lake hidden within the forests of Maine.
This place of nature is filled with sunshine and childhood memories. It also provides for one of the greatest meditations on nature and the passing of time. Zadie Smith — Fail Better. Aspiring writers feel a tremendous pressure to perform. The daily produce of words quite often turns out to be nothing more than gibberish.
Also, should the writer please the reader or should she be fully independent? What does it mean to be a writer, anyway? This essay is an attempt to answer these questions, but its contents are not only meant for scribblers. Virginia Woolf — Death of the Moth.
In the midst of an ordinary day, sitting in a room of her own, Virginia Woolf tells about the epic struggle for survival, and the evanescence of life. This short essay is a truly powerful one. At the beginning, the atmosphere is happy.
The life is in full force. And then, suddenly, it starts to fade away. Meghan Daum — My Misspent Youth. Many of us, at some point or another, dream about living in New York.
Word on the street is: Probably the greatest film critic of all time, Roger Ebert, tells us not to rage against the dying of the light. This essay is full of courage, erudition, and humanism. George Orwell — Shooting an Elephant. Orwell, apparently a free representative of the British rule, feels to be nothing more than a puppet succumbing to the whim of the mob. George Orwell — A Hanging. The most horrible thing is the normality of it.
Christopher Hitchens — Assassins of The Mind. In one of the greatest essays written in defense of free speech, Christopher Hitchens shares many examples on how modern media kneel to the explicit threats of violence posed by Islamic extremists. He recounts the story of his friend, Salman Rushdie, author of Satanic Verses who, for many years had to watch over his shoulder because of fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini.
With his usual wit, Hitchens shares various examples of people who died because of their opinions and of editors who refuse to publish anything related to Islam because of fear and it was written long before the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
After reading the essay, you will realize that freedom of expression is one of the most precious things we have, and that we have to fight for it.
Christopher Hitchens — The New Commandments. Watch, as Christopher Hitchens slays one commandment after the other on moral, as well as historical grounds. For example, did you know that there are actually many versions of the divine law dictated by God to Moses which you can find in the Bible? If you approach it with open mind, this essay may change the way you think about the Bible and religion in general.
Phillip Lopate — Against Joie de Vivre. If you want to remain happy, just remain stupid. Personally, I can bear the onus of happiness or joie de vivre for some time. Philip Larkin — The Pleasure Principle. This piece comes from the Required Writing collection of essays. Well worth a read. How the peaceful, European countries could engage in a war that would eventually cost more than 17 million lives?
What stirs people to kill each other? Is it their nature, or are they puppets of imperial forces with agendas of their own? Zadie Smith — Some Notes on Attunement. This one is about the elusiveness of change occurring within you. For Zadie, it was hard to attune to the vibes of Joni Mitchell — especially her Blue album. But eventually, she grew up to appreciate her genius, and all the other things changed as well. This essay is all about the relationship between human, and art.
We should like it because it has an instantaneous, emotional effect on us. Annie Dillard — Total Eclipse. My imagination was always stirred by the scene of the solar eclipse in Pharaoh, by Boleslaw Prus. I wondered about the shock of the disoriented crowd when they saw how their ruler was apparently able to switch off the light.
Getting immersed in this essay by Annie Dillard has a similar effect. It produces amazement and some kind of primeval fear. After the eclipse, nothing is going to be the same again. This suicidally beautiful essay will teach you a lot about the appreciation of life.
She was American, but her culture was grounded in Mexico. In this way, she and her people were not fully respected in either of the countries.
This essay is an account of her journey of becoming the ambassador of the Chicano Mexican-American culture. In terms of style, this essay is flawless. Mary Ruefle — On Fear. Most psychologists and gurus agree that fear is the greatest enemy of success or any creative activity. Mary Ruefle takes on this basic human emotion with flair. Susan Sontag — Against Interpretation. In this highly intellectual essay, Sontag fights for art and its interpretation.
I always hated when at school they asked me: Hell if I know! I will judge it through my subjective experience! This is a heartwarming, coming of age story about a young girl who waits for her breasts to finally grow.
As it happens, the size of breasts is a big deal for women. Carl Sagan was one of the greatest proponents of skepticism, and an author of numerous books, including one of my all-time favorites — The Demon-Haunted World. He was also a renowned physicist and the host of the fantastic Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series, which inspired a whole generation to uncover the mysteries of the cosmos.
He was also a dedicated weed smoker — clearly ahead of his time. Internet is flooded with a large number of articles and videos that are supposed to tell you what to do with our lives. Most of them are worthless, but this one is different. Please, read the essay and let it help you gain fulfillment from your work.
John Jeremiah Sullivan — Mister Lytle. A young, aspiring writer is about to become a nurse of a fading writer — Mister Lytle Andrew Nelson Lytle , and there will be trouble.
This essay by Sullivan is probably my favorite one from the whole list. The amount of beautiful sentences it contains is just overwhelming.
It also takes you to the Old South which has an incredible atmosphere. Joan Didion — On Self Respect. Normally, with that title you would expect some straightforward advice about how to improve your character and get on with your goddamn life — but not from Joan Didion.
You can learn more from this essay than from whole books about self-improvement. Susan Sontag — Notes on Camp. After reading this essay, you will know what camp is. You will vastly increase your appreciation for art. All the listicles we usually see on the web simply cannot compare with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson — Self-Reliance. Written in , it still inspires generations of people.
It will let you understand what it means to be self-made. It contains some of the most memorable quotes of all time. Emerson told me and he will tell you to do something amazing with my life. The language it contains is a bit archaic but that just adds to the weight of the argument. You can consider it to be a meeting with a great philosopher who really shaped the ethos of modern United States. Read at least several papers published by them to improve your knowledge. The article offers the list of top-preferred essays written by popular American writers.
Find authors from various background and historical periods. Keep in mind the qualities of essay: The first man to recall is James Baldwin.
Born in , the boy grew up with his stepfather who was an exemplar priest. That place needed his hero who could cheer up the local population living in poverty. Regular attacks force the famous artist to transfer to France.
Fitzgerald, born in , is famous US short story writer and novelist. Fitzgerald was an optimistic person who described the inspiration and excesses of his age. The citizen of New Jersey from the Jewish family managed to create several masterpieces. American artist Normal Mailer finished Harvard; this university made him love literature. Harvard rewarded the famous author with corresponding appreciation.
Find the best writing ideas by clicking on this link. Female author Joan Didion is still available: While her parents spend entire days at work, the little girl tried to read all possible books found in their apartment.
Her Bachelor Degree Arts and English language helped her passion. This popular American genius developed his distinctive style which is still copied by modern artists. Every essay he wrote was simple to read. He avoided introducing new topics or using complex words; you can see it from his most famous essays:. Another famous writer is Robert Atwan. He was born in ; he comes from New Jersey. Two popular universities, Seton Hall and Rutgers, had this literature enthusiast among the top century students.
There are a great amount of interesting, fascinating works, essays, literary works, which were written by the great world famous authors and writers. More than three centuries ago, the first essay was published at first.
“Go. I roll the dice—a six and a two. Through the air I move my token, the flatiron, to Vermont Avenue, where dog packs range.” And so we move, in this brilliantly conceived essay, from a series of Monopoly games to a decaying Atlantic City, the once renowned resort town that inspired America’s most popular board game.
Famous essay writers of those times were inspired by the U.S. Civil War (), and the period of innocent optimism gave its way to a period of total exhaustion. This is a period of America’s transformation into a huge and strong industrial nation. At school, teachers assign homework writing tasks. Essays by famous American writers aim to prepare students for the potential career challenges associated with writing. Famous American authors who have introduced world’s best novels accomplished popular essays. Some of them describe one’s life.
Get Inspired by 7 Famous American Essay Writers When reading essays written by some of the most talented essay writers throughout history, you will either be overwhelmed by their talent or inspired to work on your essay writing skills from a new angle. Have a look at the list of the 10 famous American authors to learn how they wrote their best works. This extraordinary female author prefers writing novels. Her most famous essay is “Fail Better,” full of the following lessons: Never generalize things with the help of “all” or similar words – narrow down, take a part of the topic.