List of Signatures
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        Scroll down to read the names of writers who signed the letter to Oprah Winfrey.  The following list of more than 150 distinguished authors reveals the breadth, depth and richness of contemporary American fiction, and the broad base of support for the letter.  The writers named below are authors of greatly varying styles and different generations, from the West and East coasts, the Midwest, Southwest and South.  The list includes members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; writers whose work has been featured in O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories; and authors who have garnished American Book Awards, Southern Book Critics' Circle Awards, PEN/Malamud, PEN/Hemingway and Whiting Prizes, an Orange Prize, a Newbery Medal and many other honors and distinctions.  Among the letter's signers are 4 Pulitzer Prize winners, 17 National Book Award finalists and winners; 3 MacArthur recipients;  36 Guggenheim and 18 NEA fellows; and aspiring new talents.  All of these authors have achieved the most important distinction of all -- writing good books.

       



          To find a name in the list below, hit Control-F on your keyboard, and type the name in the blank that appears.   We welcome any author of a book of prose or poetry to sign in at our website as a supporter of our letter.  If you wish to sign, go to our "List of Supporters" page by clicking on Edgar Allen Poe.  Your name will appear on our website by May 1, 2005.  

 

        




List of Signatures





Signatures of Members of Word of Mouth:


Karen Bender
 
author of Like Normal People; fiction in Best American Short Stories

Helen Benedict
 
novelist and non-fiction writer; Professor, Columbia University

Jane Bernstein
 
essayist, screenwriter, teacher and author of four books;  NEA fellow

Jill Bialosky
 author of two books of poetry and a novel; editor

Marina Budhos
 
novelist, book reviewer, freelance writer; Asst. Professor, William Paterson University

Maud Casey
 
novelist, short story writer and essayist

Nell Casey
 writer and editor; editor of Unholy Ghost:  Writers on Depression

Darcy Cosper
 
novelist, editor and literary critic

Jennifer Egan
 novelist, journalist and short story writer; Guggenheim fellow; 2001 National Book Award finalist

Barbara Fischkin
 novelist, nonfiction author; recipient of Livingston Award/International Reporting

Rebecca Goldstein
 novelist and philosopher; recipient of MacArthur Fellowship

Beverly Gologorsky
 author of Things We Do To Make It Home, a New York Times Notable Book

Mary Gordon
 novelist and short story writer; recipient of Guggenheim and O. Henry Award

Beth Gutcheon
 author of six novels, a seventh forthcoming novel, and a dozen screenplays

Kathryn Harrison
 
author of eleven books, including The Kiss and Envy 

A. M. Homes 
 author of nine books; NEA and Guggenheim recipient

Maureen Howard
 novelist; recipient of American Academy of Arts and Letters/Academy Award in Literature

Marie Howe
 poet and prose writer; NEA and Guggenheim recipient

Wendi Kaufman
 short story writer; recipient of Mary Roberts Rinehart Award

Sheila Kohler
 
author of five novels and three short fiction collections; O. Henry recipient

Anne Landsman
 
author of The Devil's Chimney, a PEN/Hemingway Award Nominee

Caroline Leavitt
 
novelist; Boston Globe book columnist; New York Foundation of the Arts Award

Kate Lehrer
 
novelist, essayist, book reviewer; Western Heritage Award for Literature

Lisa Lerner
 
novelist; author of Just Like Beauty, a New York Times Notable Book

Patrick McCormick
 author, young adult books

Mary Morris
 
novelist and travel writer; recipient of Rome Prize in Literature

Honor Moore
 
author of three poetry collections; biographer; Guggenheim fellow

Ruth Ozeki
 filmmaker and novelist; author of My Year of Meats and All Over Creation

Lisa Page
 essayist and freelance writer; literature instructor, Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Francine Prose
 
author of twelve novels including Blue Angel; 2000 National Book Award 
    finalist; Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow

Roxana Robinson
 
novelist, biographer and short story writer; Guggenheim and NEA fellow

Esmeralda Santiago
 author of When I Was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman and The Turkish Lover

Elissa Schappell
novelist, essayist, cofounder of Tin House; contributing editor of Vanity Fair

Deborah Schupack
 
novelist; author of  The Boy on the Bus

Dani Shapiro
 
author of four novels and a memoir

Paula Sharp
 author of four novels and a short story collection; translator; NEA fellow

Susan Shreve
 
novelist, essayist, children's book writer; Professor, George Mason University; 
   Guggenheim fellow

Martha Southgate
 
author of the novels The Fall of Rome and the upcoming Third Girl from the Left

Amanda Stern
 
author of The Long Haul; curator of acclaimed Happy Ending Music and Reading Series

Ginger Strand
 
novelist, essayist; Yaddo and VCCA fellow; NEH recipient

Cheryl Pearl Sucher
 
author of The Rescue of Memory; NEA fellow

Terese Svoboda
 
author of four novels, four books of poetry and one book of translation

Amy Tan
 
novelist; author of The Joy Luck Club and others; recipient of Commonwealth
   Award;1989 National Book Award finalist

Hannah Tinti
 
author of Animal Crackers and editor of One Story magazine

Lily Tuck
 
novelist, short story writer and winner of the 2004 National Book Award

Jennifer Vanderbes
 
author of the novel Easter Island (translated into sixteen languages)

Katharine Weber
 
author of The Little Women  and others; novelist, critic, essayist, writing teacher

Hilma Wolitzer
 
novelist; author of Hearts, Silver and Tunnel of Love

Meg Wolitzer
 
novelist; author of The Position and The Wife



  



Friends of Word of Mouth

       

Diana Abujaber
 
novelist, memoirist; recipient of PEN Award for Literary Fiction and American Book Award

Julia Alvarez
 
poet, novelist; co-founder of sustainable coffee farm/literacy center, Dominican Republic

Kevin Baker
 novelist, historian, journalist, author of Paradise Alley and Dreamland 

Ann Beattie
 novelist and short story writer; recipient of Guggenheim and PEN/Malamud Award

Aimee Bender
 
short story writer and novelist; author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

Elizabeth Benedict
 author of five novels including The Practice of Deceit; 1985 National Book Award finalist

Sandra Benitez
 novelist; 2004 National Hispanic Heritage Foundation Honoree for Literature

Doris Betts
 
author of eight books; Southern Books Critics Circle Award; National Book Award finalist

Chris Bohjalian
 novelist, columnist; author of Midwives, The Buffalo Soldier and Before You Know Kindness

Gayle Brandeis
 
novelist and poet; winner of Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether Prize for Fiction

Carrie Brown
 
novelist and short story writer; NEA recipient

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
 
novelist and short story writer; author of Madeleine Is Sleeping; 2004 National Book Award Finalist

Peter Cameron
 
author of four novels, including Andorra and The City of Your Final Destination; 
  
PEN/Faulkner Award finalist;

Lori Carlson
 author of The Sunday Tertulia; editor of Cool Salsa, winner of the Americas Award

John Casey
 
novelist, short story writer and translator; winner of 1989 National Book Award for Spartina

Dan Chaon
 novelist and short story writer; 2001 National Book Award finalist

Alexander Chee
 
novelist; author of Edinburgh; Whiting Award recipient and NEA fellow

Ben Cheever
 
novelist; author of The Plagiarist, The Partisan, Famous after Death and The Good Nanny

Susan Cheever
 
biographer, novelist, journalist; National Book Critics Circle Award finalist

Susan Choi
 
novelist; Guggenheim and NEA recipient; 2004 Pulitzer Prize finalist

Sandra Cisneros
 
novelist and poet; Orange Prize finalist; recipient of PEN West and Lannan Foundation 
 Awards; American Book Award; MacArthur fellow; NEA fellow


Sarah Dessen
 
author of the young adult books This Lullaby and The Truth about Forever

Robb Forman Dew
 
author of four novels and a memoir; National Book Award for first novel, 
  Dale Loves Sophie to Death

Junot
Diaz
 short story writer; recipient of PEN/Malamud Award; Guggenheim fellow

Debra Dickerson
 author of An American Story and The End of Blackness; work in Best American Essays

Tananarive Due
 
author of My Soul to Keep and others; winner of the 2002 American Book Award

John Dufresne
 
novelist and short story writer; author of Deep in the Shade of Paradise and five other books

Clyde Edgerton
 author of eight novels and one nonfiction book; Guggenheim fellow

Louise Erdrich
 author of ten novels; winner of The L.A. Times and the National Book Critics 
  Circle Awards; 2001 National Book Award finalist

Joseph Finder
 
best-selling author of Paranoia and Company Man; board member, PEN New England

Carolyn Forche 
 poet and prose writer; Guggenheim recipient

Connie May Fowler
 novelist, essayist, screenwriter; Southern Book Critics Circle Award recipient

Abby Frucht
 
novelist, mentor, book reviewer; NEA recipient

Laura Furman
 
novelist and short story writer; series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories; Guggenheim fellow

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina
 
biographer; author of Carrington and other books; NEH and Fulbright fellow

Dagoberto Gilb
 
author of four books, including Gritos and Woodcuts of Women;  Guggenheim 
    and NEA fellow; PEN/Faulkner Award finalist  

Julia Glass
 
author of Three Junes; winner of the 2002 National Book Award for fiction

Gail Godwin
 
author of 12 novels; three-time National Book Award finalist; Guggenheim and NEA fellow

Arthur Golden
 
novelist; author of Memoirs of a Geisha

Marita Golden
 novelist, essayist, memoirist and editor; author of The Edge of Heaven and eight other books

Francisco Goldman
 author of The Divine Husband and two other novels; translated into nine languages;
  
PEN/Faulkner Award finalist; Guggenheim fellow

Allegra Goodman
 author of Kaaterskill Falls and The Family Markowitx; 1998 National Book Award finalist

Elizabeth Graver
 novelist; author of Awake, The Honey Thief; and Unravelling; O. Henry recipient; 
  Guggenheim fellow

Kate Grenville
 novelist; author of The Idea of Perfection; 2001 Orange Prize winner

Jessica Hagedorn
 
novelist, poet, playwright; 1990 National Book Award finalist for Dogeaters; Guggenheim fellow

Sands Hall
 author of Catching Heaven (novel); Fair Use (drama); and Tools of the Writer's Craft

Shirley Hazzard
 
novelist; winner of  the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2003 National Book Award 

Amy Hempel
 
author of four story story collections; Guggenheim Fellow

Oscar Hijuelos
 
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and 
  Mr. Ives' Christmas; 
Guggenheim fellow

Laura Hillenbrand
 
author of Seabiscuit:  An American Legend;  National Magazine Award winner

Silas House
 novelist; author of Clay's Quilt; A Parchment of Leaves; and The Coal Tattoo

Pam Houston
 
author of a novel, two short story collections and a memoir

Josephine Humphreys
 author of four novels; Guggenheim fellow; recipient of PEN/Hemingway and Southern Book Award 

Gish Jen
 
novelist; Guggenheim fellow; American Academy of Arts and Letters/Strauss Living Award

Cynthia Kadohata
 
novelist and winner of the 2005 Newbery Medal 

Randall Kenan
 
novelist; author of Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, a 1991 National Book Critics
  Circle Award finalist; Guggenheim fellow

Fran Kiernan
 biographer and longtime fiction editor

Cassandra King
 
novelist and short story writer; author of The Sunday Wife and two other novels

Lily King
 
novelist; recipient of Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and Whiting Award

Michael Knight
 author of Goodnight, Nobody; Divining Rod; and Dogfight and Other Stories

Maxine Kumin
 
author of fifteen books of poetry; recipient of Pulitzer Prize and Ruth E. Lilly Poetry Prize

Jhumpa Lahiri
 
novelist and short story writer; Guggenheim fellow; recipient of 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction

Elinor Lipman
 
author of seven novels; recipient of the New England Book Award

Aimee Liu
 author of three novels, including Cloud Mountain, and five nonfiction books

Margot Livesey
 
novelist; Guggenheim and NEA fellow|

Phillip Lopate
 
essayist, novelist and poet; editor of The Art of the Personal Essay; Guggenheim fellow

Bret Lott
 
novelist, essayist and short story writer; editor of The Southern Review

Jo-Ann Mapson
 author of The Owl & Moon Cafe, and seven other novels

Nina Marie Martinez  
 novelist; author of Caramba!

Colum McCann
 
novelist and short story writer; recipient of Irish Novel of the Year Award; 
  NY Public Library Cullman fellow

Stephen McCauley
 
novelist, recipient of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters, French Ministry of Culture

Jill McCorkle
 author of five novels and three short story collections; recipient of the NEBA Award

Elizabeth McCracken
 
novelist, short story writer, essayist; 1996 National Book Award finalist; Guggenheim fellow

Bernice McFadden
 
author of Sugar, The Warmest December and three other books; two BCALA Fiction Honor Awards

James Alan McPherson
 
fiction writer, essayist, memoirist; winner of Pulitzer Prize for Elbow Room; MacArthur fellow

Ana Menendez
 author of Loving Che and In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd; Pushcart Prize recipient

Sue Miller
 
author of seven novels, a short story collection and a memoir; Guggenheim and Bunting Institute Fellow

Speer Morgan
 novelist; editor of The Missouri Review; American Book Award Winner for The Freshour Cylinders

Barbara Klein Moss
 
novelist and short story writer; author of Little Edens; fiction in Best American Short Stories

Elizabeth Nunez
 
author of six novels; cofounder of National Black Writers Conference

Chris Offutt
 
novelist, short story writer; Guggenheim, NEA, Lannan and Whiting Award recipient

Whitney Otto
 
author of the bestseller How to Make an American Quilt  and three other novels

Cynthia Ozick
 novelist and essayist; finalist for the Man Booker International Prize

ZZ Packer
 
author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere; Pen/Faulkner Award finalist; Guggenheim recipient

Joyce Palmer
 novelist; author of Greenwichtown; finalist for Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for fiction

Sara Paretsky
 
novelist; author of Ghost Country and Blacklist; Gold Dagger Award; Ms. Woman of the Year

Gayle Pemberton
 
author of The Hottest Water in Chicago:  Notes of a Native Daughter; Guggenheim recipient

Micah Perks
 
author of We Are Gathered Here and Pagan Time

Jodi Picoult
 
author of twelve novels; recipient of the New England Book Award for Fiction

Padgett Powell
 novelist and short-story writer; recipient of Prix de Rome and Whiting Award

Rahna Reiko Rizzuto
 
novelist; author of Why She Left Us;  NEA/ US-Japan Creative Artist fellow; 
  winner of American Book Award

M. J. Rose
 
journalist; author of five novels

Mary Doria Russell
 anthropologist and novelist; winner, Arthur C. Clarke Prize and 1999 ALA Reader's Choice Award

Valerie Sayers
  novelist; author of Brain Fever and four other novels; NEA fellow

John Searles
 Deputy Editor of Cosmopolitan; author of best-selling Boy Still Missing and Strange but True

Carolyn See
 
novelist, Washington Post Friday Book Critic; NEA and Guggenheim recipient

Matthew Sharpe
 
novelist; author of The Sleeping Father and Nothing Is Terrible

Leora Skolkin-Smith
 
novelist; author of Edges, the first publication of Grace Paley's Glad Day Books: 

Jane Smiley
 
author of many books; Pulitzer Prize winner

Lee Smith
 
author of thirteen books; American Academy of Arts and Letters/Academy Award for Fiction 

Martin Cruz Smith
 
novelist; author of Gorky Park, Rose and Wolves Eat Dogs

Manil Suri
 
novelist; mathematician; recipient of Guggenheim and Barnes & Noble Discover
   Award; PEN/Faulkner Award finalist

Marly Swick
 
novelist and short story writer; recipient of NEA and James Michener Award

Lalita Tademy
 
author of Cane River; former vice-president of Sun Microsystems

Jeff Tamarkin
 
critic; author of Got a Revolution:  The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane

Nichelle D. Tramble
 
novelist; finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for debut fiction

Gail Tsukiyama
 
author of five novels, including The Samurai's Garden, Dreaming Water and The Language of Threads

Susan Vreeland
 
author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue (translated into 24 languages), and three other novels

Ayelet Waldman
 
novelist and columnist for Salon.com

Allen Wier
 
author of Cloud of Witnesses, three other novels and a volume of stories; Guggenheim
   and NEA fellow

Elizabeth Winthrop
 
novelist, short-story writer, children's author; fiction in Best American Short Stories