Entablature Writers' Biographies



en•tab•la•ture: the entire construction of a classical temple or the like between the columns and the eaves, usually composed of an architrave, a frieze, and a cornice.

In 1996, the names of 20 authors, selected by the public, were engraved on the entablature encircling the top of the Main Library. The authors represented along the entablature are listed below (to read a brief biography of each author, simply click on their image):

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

American novelist and author of the children's classic Little Women, Alcott drew on her family experiences in writing this novel and its sequels An Old Fashioned Girl, Little Men, and Jo's Boys."

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

German-Swiss-American scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. He was known for his work in quantum physics and unified field theory. Einstein's the Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity and his related writings helped form the theoretical basis for the development of atomic energy.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

Scottish essayist, novelist, and poet whose extensive travels were reflected in his works. A Child's Garden of Verses, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Treasure Island, and Kidnapped are among the best-known works of this prolific writer.

Thucydides

Thucydides

Greek general exiled from Athens for failing to carry out his mission in the Peloponeesian War. Thucydides then decided to write an account of the war between Sparta and Athens for hegemony over the Greeks. His History of the Peloponnesian War is generally regarded as the world's first critical history and ranks him as the greatest historian of antiquity.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

English novelist who began writing as a child for her family's amusement. Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma are complex looks at human nature which takes ordinary events and elevate them to universal themes.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

American poet who lived a life of seclusion in her father's home. Dickinson wrote in the tradition of Whitman and Frost, communicating her philosophy that spirit manifested itself in nature. Only two of the almost two thousand poems she wrote were published in her lifetime. Selected poems are "Because I Could Stop for Death," "There's a Certain Slant of Light," and "The Soul Selects Her Own Society."

Lao-Tzu

Lao-Tzu

One of the great philosophers of Ancient China. Lao-Tzu is believed to be the inspiration for Taoism and the author of Tae-te-ching.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

English playwright, poet, and actor. Shakespeare's plays, such as The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Othello, were popular among his contmporaries. His works have influenced later writers, librettists, and filmmakers.

Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss

American author and illustrator of children's books. Among his works are How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Green Eggs and Ham. Seuss' Beginner Books series, initiated with The Cat in the Hat, have helped teach generations of children to read.

Plato

Plato

Greek philosopher who was a disciple of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He established the first academy (university) known in history. Plato wrote Republic, Laws, Symposium, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman

American poet, journalist, and essayist who was born on Long Island. Leaves of Grass and Drum Taps are two of his most famous books. Selected major poems include "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," "Song of Myself," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and "O Captain! My Captain!"

William Faulkner

William Faulkner

Mississippian and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and two Pulitzer Prizes. Many of his stories are set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County in his home state. Faulkner explored the tradedies and ironies of the Southern experience in volumes such as Sartoris; The Sound and the Fury; As I Lay Dying; Intruder in the Dust; and Go Down, Moses.

Bernie Babcock

Bernie Babcock

Babcock wrote poetry and over twenty novels, including the international bestseller The Soul of Ann Rutledge. She also edited the Sketch Book (1906-1910), a local magazine, and was a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

British mystery writer who created the characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Christie wrote more than seventy classic detective/mystery novels including Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and Curtain.

Sequoyah

Sequoyah

Born in Tennessee but lived most of his life in the Oklahoma Territory. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary. His alphabet helped thousands of Cherokee learn how to read.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Twain, a writer, newspaperman, and humorist was born in Missouri and was heavily influenced by his experiences there and by his brief career as a river boat pilot. Among his works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Innocents Abroad, Pudd'nhead Wilson, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Twain's writings are especially known for their deadpan humor, character development, colloquial language, and social critique.

Jack London

Jack London

American novelist who was born in California and is known for colorful adventure stories. London wrote forty-three books including White Fang, The Sea-Wolf, and Martin Eden. His most famous work, The Call of the Wild, was translated into sixy languages.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost

American poet raised in New England. Frost is known for his simple but powerful poetry about New England life and character. His poems include "The Death of the Hired Man," "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," and "The Gift Outright." Frost was awarded four Pulitzer Prizes.

Charlie May Simon

Charlie May Simon

Simon wrote fiction and non-fiction for both juvenile and adult audiences. Many of her works are biographies, but she also wrote about her life in Arkansas. These autobiographies include Straw in the Sun and Johnswood; the latter recounted her years as John Gould Fletcher's wife. Examples of her short stories for children are Arkansas Stories and Christmas Every Friday.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie

Polish-French chemist known for her research on radioactive particles. In 1903, she and her husband shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work in isolating radium. She received the Nobel Prize for Chemstry in 1911. See Oeuvres de Marie Sklodowska-Curie for a sample of her writings.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver

American scientist who was associated with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Carver developed over forty new products that could be made from either peanuts or sweet potatoes. His discoveries helped break the South's dependence on one crop, cotton. Most of Carver's scientific works appeared in some forty-four bulletins issued by the Tuskegee Experiment Station.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Some of his best-known works are The Dream Keeper, The Best of Simple, Not Without Laughter, and The Ways of White Folks.

Aristotle

Aristotle

Greek philosopher and scientist who studied under Plato at the Academy in Athens. He also tutored Alexander the Great. Aristotle's principal works are Metaphysics, De Anima, and Nicomachean Ethics.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Writer of short stories, literary criticism, and poetry. Poe is remembered for such poems as "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee." His horror stories, such as "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Tell-Tale Heart" helped define the genre, and tales such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" established detective fiction.

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington

American educator who was born a slave in Virginia. He was appointed head of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881 and remained there until his death. Washington's most important works are Up From Slavery, The Future of the American Negro, and Frederick Douglass.

J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien

British philologist and writer of fantasy novels. Tolkien's interest in language and mythology prompted his creation of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Silmarillion.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

English novelist, pamphleteer, playwright, and editor. Among his most popular works are The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol.

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry

Hansberry won the Best Play Award from the New York Drama Critics' Circle for A Raisin in the Sun. She was the first African-American playwright and the youngest American to win the prestigious prize. After her early death her husband assembled from her plays, letter, diaries, and other writings a dramatic presentation, To Be Young, Gifted and Black.

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Playwright born in Columbus, Mississippi. Williams established himself as a talented dramatist with the publication of The Glass Menagerie. The theme of the lonely woman inhabiting a world of dreams appears in several of his plays, most notably in A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Williams won a second Pulitzer Prize for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

W.E.B. DuBois

W.E.B. DuBois

Co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and editor of that organization's magazine, Crisis. He also wrote several books, including The Souls of Black Folk, John Brown, and The Black Flame.

James Joyce

James Joyce

Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet born in Dublin. Joyce developed the interior monologue (stream of consciousness) and used it in his masterpiece Ulysses. Other books include A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and Finnegans Wake.

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead

American anthropologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Mead wrote many books, including Growing Up in New Guinea, Male and Female, and Growth and Culture. Her writings helped make anthropology accessible to a wide reading public.

Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes

Spanish novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer. Cervantes wrote almost thirty plays, but he is best known for his novel Don Quixote. The work, which lampooned the chivalric excesses of his times, set new standards for the emerging form of the novel.