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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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of ...more

Jean-Paul Sartre is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of ...more

T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM, usually known as T. S. Eliot, was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets". He was born ...more

Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Kevin Darnell Hart is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at ...more

John Updike is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his "Rabbit" series, which chronicles the life of ...more

Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over forty novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short ...more

Ezra Pound is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an expatriate American poet and critic who was a major figure of the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his development of Imagism, a ...more

Peter Ackroyd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Peter Ackroyd, CBE, FRSL 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 and his ...more

Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist and author regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene had ...more

Samuel R. Delany is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Samuel Ray Delany, Jr., Chip Delany to his friends, is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes fiction, memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. His ...more

Fernando Pessoa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Fernando Pessoa, born Fernando António Nogueira Pessôa, was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most ...more

Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Margaret Eleanor Atwood, CC OOnt FRSC is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias ...more

John Dryden is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Dryden was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made Poet Laureate in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point ...more

Edmund White is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edmund Valentine White III is an American novelist, as well as a writer of memoirs and an essayist on literary and social topics. Much of his writing is on the theme of same-sex love. Probably ...more

Edward Said is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edward Wadie Said was a Palestinian American literary theorist and public intellectual who helped found the critical-theory field of postcolonialism. Born in Jerusalem in Mandatory Palestine to ...more

Gao Xingjian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Gao Xingjian 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 and ...more

Liu Xiaobo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as ...more

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known by his surnames as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, was a Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright, short story writer, and advocate of ...more

François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
François Charles Mauriac was a French author, member of the Académie française, and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the

Nicolae Iorga is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Nicolae Iorga was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder of the Democratic Nationalist Party, he served as a member of Parliament, ...more

M. E. Bradford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
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 ...more

Heinrich Heine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine was a German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of ...more

John Gardner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Champlin Gardner Jr. was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor. He is perhaps most noted for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth from the ...more

Steven G. Kellman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Steven G. Kellman Steven G. Kellman is an author, book and literary critic.

Harold Bloom is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Harold Bloom 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 20 books of ...more

Allen Grossman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Allen Grossman was a noted American poet, critic and professor.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is also an Emmy ...more

Cesare Pavese is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Cesare Pavese was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator. He is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country.

Paul Bourget is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Paul Charles Joseph Bourget was a French novelist and critic.

Umberto Eco is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Umberto Eco, OMRI is an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 historical mystery novel Il nome della rosa, an ...more

Javad Mojabi is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Javad Mojabi is an Iranian poet, writer, researcher, and literary and art critic.

Walter Benjamin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German philosopher and cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, historical materialism, and Jewish ...more

Northrop Frye is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Herman Northrop Frye, CC FRSC was a Canadian literary critic and literary theorist, considered one of the most influential of the 20th century. Frye gained international fame with his first ...more

George Steiner is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Francis George Steiner, FBA, is a French-born American literary critic, essayist, philosopher, novelist, and educator. He has written extensively about the relationship between language, ...more

Van Wyck Brooks is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Van Wyck Brooks Van Wyck Brooks was an American literary critic, biographer, and historian.

Robert Penn Warren is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He ...more

Gerrit Komrij is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Gerrit Jan Komrij was a Dutch poet, novelist, translator, critic, polemic journalist and playwright. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s writing poetry that sharply contrasted with the ...more

Julia Kristeva is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Julia Kristeva is a Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic, psychoanalyst, sociologist, feminist, and, most recently, novelist, who has lived in France since the mid-1960s. She is now a ...more

Chinua Achebe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. His first novel Things Fall Apart was considered his magnum opus, and is the most widely read book in modern African ...more

Edmund Wilson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Edmund Wilson was an American writer, literary and social critic, and man of letters.

William Dean Howells is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
William Dean Howells was an American realist author, literary critic, and playwright. Nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters", he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of ...more

Dmitry Merezhkovsky is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky was a Russian novelist, poet, religious thinker, and literary critic. A seminal figure of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry, regarded as a co-founder of the ...more

Donald Davie is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Donald Alfred Davie was an English Movement poet, and literary critic. His poems in general are philosophical and abstract, but often evoke various landscapes.

James McAuley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
James Phillip McAuley was an Australian academic, poet, journalist, literary critic and a prominent convert to Roman Catholicism. Peter Coleman considers that "no one else in Australian ...more

J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
John Maxwell "J. M." Coetzee is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He relocated to Australia in 2002 and ...more

Dorothy B. Hughes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Dorothy B. Hughes was an American crime writer and literary critic. Hughes wrote fourteen crime and detective novels, primarily in the hardboiled and noir styles, and is best known for the ...more

Marie Ponsot is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Marie Ponsot, née Birmingham is an American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator.

Robert Pinsky is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Robert Pinsky is an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky is the author ...more

Susan Stewart is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Susan Stewart is an American poet, university professor and literary critic.

Zdzisław Najder is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Literary Critics
Zdzisław Najder Zdzisław Najder is a Polish literary historian, critic, and political activist. He is primarily known for his studies on Joseph Conrad, for his periods of service as political adviser to Lech ...more