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Eight Best Male American Authors of Late 20th Century

American Authors

Who are some of the best male American authors of late 20th century? Check out the following list.

Stephen King

stephen king american author

Stephen King, Stephanie Lawton flickr - CC BY 2.0

Famous Stephen King books: The Shining, Dolores, It, Carrie

More infos: Stephen King is by far one of the most famous American authors of horror stories. Until now, his books got translated into 40 different languages and sold more than 400 million times. The former mathematics teacher started writing short stories as a hobby. His first novels Carrie from 1974 and Shining 1977 were already huge successes, when he later on started publishing books under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann in 1977 to find out, if people really liked his writing or if they only read the novels because of his famous name.

Stephen King is married with author Tabitha King. The couple has three children, under which two are also writers.

Philip Roth

philip roth

Philip Roth - PB

Famous Philip Roth books: The Human Stain, Portnoy's Complaint, Indignation, The Dying Animal, I Married a Communist

More infos: Philip Roth is one of the most important novelists of the presence. All of his novels are autobiographical influenced and most of the protaganists have - same as him - a Jewish, lower middle class background, were born in Newark and move to New York City later on and furthermore had bad experiences within a marriage (Roth got divorced twice). In 2012, the author officially announced, that he wants to withdraw from writing.

Charles Bukowski

charles bukowski

Charles Bukowski, Artgal73 Wikimedia - CC BY 2.5

Famous Charles Bukowski books: Ham on Rye, Love is a Dog from Hell, Women, The Last Night of the Earth Poems

More infos: Charles Bukowski was the son of American occupying soldier Henry Bukowski and his German mother called Katharina Fett. Until his death in 1994, he wrote more than 40 novels and poems. Most of his books are influenced by his own life and the struggles persons have to face with, who are trying to live the typical American dream. Some of his protagonists are prostitutes, alcoholics or unemployed. Bukowski himself grew up with a violent, alcohol addicted father, who cheated on his mother several times.

Paul Auster

paul auster

Paul Auster, David Shankbone Wikimedia - CC BY 3.0

Famous Paul Auster novels: Moon Palace, The New York Trilogy, The Book of Illusions

More infos: Paul Auster is one of the most famous American authors and best known for his series of experimental detective novels, which were published as New York Trilogy (1987). He is even more famous in Germany and France, where his books have higher sales figures than in the US. Paul Auster is married with American-Norwegian author Siri Hustvedt, with whom he has a daugther called Sophie.  

Jonathan Franzen

jonathan franzen

Jonathan Franzen, David Shankbone Wikimedia - CC BY 3.0

Famous Jonathan Franzen novels: Freedom, Purity

More infos: Most of Jonathan Franzens novels deal with the dysfunction of dysfunctional families. The family members are examined both as individuals and in their relationship to one another. He studied German philology in the US as well as in Germany at the Ludwigs Maximilian University of Munich and Free University of Berlin. He is divorced and currently living with his girlfriend, the author Kathryn Chetkovich, in New York and California. 

David Guterson

david guterson

David Guterson, Elke Wetzig Wikimedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Famous David Guterson novels: Snow Falling on cedars, East of the Mountains

More infos: David Guterson is the son of a criminal laywer and before pursuing a career as an author, he was working as an English teacher as well as a journalist for magazines like Sports Illustrated and Harper's. He already had his major breakthrough with his first novel Snow Falling on Cedars. In 1999, a film with the actors Ethan Hawke and Sam Spehard was released. David Guterson is living in Seattle.

Don LeLillo

don delillo

Don DeLillo, Thousandrobots Wikimedia - CC BY-SA 2.0

Famous Don DeLillo novels: Cosmopolis, White Noise, Mao II, Americana

More infos: Don DeLillo was born and raised in the Bronx within an American-Italian family. After finishing his studies in Communication Arts, he started working as an editor for five years. In 1960, the then 23 year old DeLillo published his first short story. According to him, he finally left his job not to pursue a career as an author, but just because he didn't like to work anymore. DeLillos first novel Americana, published in 1971, deals with the corporate world and the fears of the contemporary American life.

T.C. Boyle

tc boyle

T.C. Boyle, Amrei-Marie Wikimedia - CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Famous T. C. Boyle novels: World's End, The Tortilla Curtain

More infos: T.C. Boyles birth name is John Boyle. Both his parents, a bus driver and a secretary, were alcohol addicts. He studied the subjects English and history at the New York University, where he explored his passion for literature. While he was working as a teacher, T.C. Boyle started writing his first stories. Later on, he took up studies again at University of Iowa, which he finished with a PhD in English literature of the 19th century.

His novels and stories are often based on thoroughly researched historical events and personalities. He is married with Karen Kvashay. The couple has three children. 

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