List of Famous Literary Critics

List of famous literary critics, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top literary critics in the world? This includes the most prominent literary critics, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable literary critics is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic literary critics were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned literary critics.

List features famous people of literary criticism like Edgar Allan Poe, John Updike and more! Featuring famous book critics of history and the present, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known literary critics to the lesser known literary critics of today, these are some of the best professionals in the literary critic field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous literary critics ever?" and "What are the names of famous literary critics?" then you're in the right place. 
  • Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales ...more
  • Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (, US also ; French: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary ...more
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), "one of the twentieth century's major poets", was also an essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic. Born in St. ...more
  • Kevin Darnell Hart (born July 6, 1979) is an American stand-up comedian and actor. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions ...more
  • John Hoyer Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for ...more
  • Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1962 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of ...more
  • Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an expatriate American poet and critic, and a major figure in the early modernist poetry movement. His contribution to poetry began ...more
  • Peter Ackroyd, (born 5 October 1949) is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture ...more
  • Henry Graham Greene (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991), better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. ...more
  • Samuel R. Delany (; born April 1, 1942), Chip Delany to his friends, is an African-American author and literary critic. His work includes fiction (especially science fiction), memoir, criticism and ...more
  • Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (Portuguese: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du pɨˈsoɐ]; 13 June 1888 – 30 November 1935), commonly known as Fernando Pessoa, was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, ...more
  • Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Since 1961, she has published seventeen books ...more
  • John Dryden (; 19 August [O.S. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.He is ...more
  • Edmund Valentine White III (born January 13, 1940) is an American novelist, memoirist, and an essayist on literary and social topics. Much of his writing is on the theme of same-sex love. His books ...more
  • Edward Wadie Said (; Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد‎ [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd], Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, ...more
  • Gao Xingjian (born January 4, 1940) is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights ...more
  • Liu Xiaobo (Chinese: 刘晓波, 28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017) was a Chinese writer, literary critic, human rights activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms ...more
  • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (Portuguese: [ʒwɐˈkĩ mɐˈɾi.ɐ mɐˈʃadu dʒi ɐˈsis]), often known by his surnames as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho (21 June 1839 – 29 September 1908), ...more
  • François Charles Mauriac (French: [moʁjak]; 11 October 1885 – 1 September 1970) was a French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist, a member of the Académie française (from 1933), and ...more
  • Nicolae Iorga (Romanian pronunciation: [nikoˈla.e ˈjorɡa]; sometimes Neculai Iorga, Nicolas Jorga, Nicolai Jorga or Nicola Jorga, born Nicu N. Iorga; 17 January 1871 – 27 November 1940) was a ...more
  • Melvin E. "Mel" Bradford was a conservative political commentator and professor of literature at the University of Dallas. Bradford is seen as a leading figure of the paleoconservative wing of the ...more
  • Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (German: [ˈhaɪnʁɪç ˈhaɪnə]; 13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was a German poet, playwright, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside ...more
  • Not to be confused with John Gardner (British writer)John Champlin Gardner Jr. (July 21, 1933 – September 14, 1982) was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor. He is ...more
  • Steven G. Kellman (born November 15, 1947) is an American critic and academic, best known for his books Redemption:The Life of Henry Roth (2005) and The Translingual Imagination (2000).
  • Harold Bloom (born July 11, 1930) is an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than ...more