The Most Famous

WRITERS from Lithuania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Lithuanian Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,794 Writers, 20 of which were born in Lithuania. This makes Lithuania the birth place of the 43rd most number of Writers behind Iraq and Belarus.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Lithuanian Writers of all time. This list of famous Lithuanian Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Lithuanian Writers.

Photo of Romain Gary

1. Romain Gary (1914 - 1980)

With an HPI of 76.82, Romain Gary is the most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages on wikipedia.

Romain Gary (pronounced [ʁɔ.mɛ̃ ga.ʁi]; 21 May [O.S. 8 May] 1914 – 2 December 1980), born Roman Kacew (also known by the pen name Émile Ajar), was a French novelist, diplomat, film director, and World War II aviator of Jewish origin. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt under two names.

Photo of Czesław Miłosz

2. Czesław Miłosz (1911 - 2004)

With an HPI of 75.80, Czesław Miłosz is the 2nd most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 93 different languages.

Czesław Miłosz (, also US: , Polish: [ˈtʂɛswaf ˈmiwɔʂ] (listen); 30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004) was a Polish-American poet, prose writer, translator, and diplomat. Regarded as one of the great poets of the 20th century, he won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature. In its citation, the Swedish Academy called Miłosz a writer who "voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts".Miłosz survived the German occupation of Warsaw during World War II and became a cultural attaché for the Polish government during the postwar period. When communist authorities threatened his safety, he defected to France and ultimately chose exile in the United States, where he became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His poetry—particularly about his wartime experience—and his appraisal of Stalinism in a prose book, The Captive Mind, brought him renown as a leading émigré artist and intellectual. Throughout his life and work, Miłosz tackled questions of morality, politics, history, and faith. As a translator, he introduced Western works to a Polish audience, and as a scholar and editor, he championed a greater awareness of Slavic literature in the West. Faith played a role in his work as he explored his Catholicism and personal experience. Miłosz died in Kraków, Poland, in 2004. He is interred in Skałka, a church known in Poland as a place of honor for distinguished Poles.

Photo of Nikolai Ostrovsky

3. Nikolai Ostrovsky (1904 - 1936)

With an HPI of 71.97, Nikolai Ostrovsky is the 3rd most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Nikolai Alexeevich Ostrovsky (Russian: Николай Алексеевич Островский; Ukrainian: Микола Олексійович Островський; 29 September 1904 – 22 December 1936) was a Soviet socialist realist writer, of Ukrainian origin. He is best known for his novel How the Steel Was Tempered.

Photo of Jonas Mekas

4. Jonas Mekas (1922 - 2019)

With an HPI of 67.04, Jonas Mekas is the 4th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian: [ˈjonɐs ˈmækɐs]; December 24, 1922 – January 23, 2019) was a Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet, and artist who has been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema" on many occasions. His work has been exhibited in museums and at festivals worldwide.

Photo of Simon Dach

5. Simon Dach (1605 - 1659)

With an HPI of 65.80, Simon Dach is the 5th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Simon Dach (29 July 1605 – 15 April 1659) was a Prussian lyrical poet and hymnwriter, born in Memel (Kłajpeda), Duchy of Prussia (now Klaipėda in Lithuania).

Photo of Hermann Sudermann

6. Hermann Sudermann (1857 - 1928)

With an HPI of 64.14, Hermann Sudermann is the 6th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Hermann Sudermann (30 September 1857 – 21 November 1928) was a German dramatist and novelist.

Photo of Vincas Kudirka

7. Vincas Kudirka (1858 - 1899)

With an HPI of 63.38, Vincas Kudirka is the 7th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Vincas Kudirka (31 December [O.S. 19 December] 1858 – 16 November [O.S. 4 November] 1899) was a Lithuanian poet and physician, and the author of both the music and lyrics of the Lithuanian National Anthem, Tautiška giesmė. He is regarded in Lithuania as a National Hero. Kudirka used pen names V. Kapsas, Paežerių Vincas, Vincas Kapsas, P.Vincas, Varpas, Q.D, K., V.K, Perkūnas. Kudirka was born in Paežeriai, in the Augustów Governorate of Congress Poland (present-day Lithuania). He began studying history and philosophy in Warsaw in 1881, but changed his major and began studying medicine the following year. During his studies, he was arrested as a subversive for having a copy of Das Kapital in his possession, and was expelled from the University of Warsaw, but later re-admitted. He graduated in 1889, and worked as a country doctor in Šakiai and Naumiestis. Kudirka began writing poetry in 1888. Simultaneously he became more active in the Lithuanian national rebirth movement. Together with other Lithuanian students in Warsaw, he founded the secret society Lietuva ("Lithuania"). The following year the society began publishing the clandestine newspaper Varpas ("The Bell"), which Kudirka edited and contributed to for the next ten years. In issue number 6 of Varpas, in September 1898, he published the text of Tautiška Giesmė, which would officially become in 1918, the Lithuanian National Anthem, set to music written by Kudirka himself. Kudirka gave much to Lithuanian culture, and also published a collection of Lithuanian popular songs. He was also a noted writer of satire. He died of tuberculosis at Naumiestis, on 16 November 1899, at age 40. The second half of Tautiška Giesmė was engraved on his gravestone. On 5 July 2009, a statue of Vincas Kudirka was unveiled beside the Gediminas Avenue, the main street of the capital Vilnius. The unveiling, by dignitaries, including the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, coincided with festivities marking the 1000th anniversary of the first time Lithuania was mentioned in official chronicles.

Photo of Branislaw Tarashkyevich

8. Branislaw Tarashkyevich (1892 - 1938)

With an HPI of 62.67, Branislaw Tarashkyevich is the 8th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Branislaw Adamavich Tarashkyevich (20 January 1892 – 29 November 1938) was a Belarusian public figure, politician, and linguist. He was the creator of the first standardization of the modern Belarusian language in the early 20th century. The standard was later Russified by the Soviet authorities. However, the pre-Russified (classical) version of the standard was and still is actively used by intellectuals and the Belarusian diaspora and is informally referred to as Taraškievica, named after Branislaw Tarashkyevich. Tarashkyevich was a member of the underground Communist Party of Western Belorussia (KPZB) in Poland and was imprisoned for two years (1928–1930). Also, as a member of the Belarusian Deputy Club (Беларускі пасольскі клуб, Byelaruski pasol’ski klub), he was a deputy to the Polish Parliament (Sejm) in 1922–1927. Among others, he translated Pan Tadeusz into Belarusian, and in 1969 a Belarusian-language high school in Bielsk Podlaski was named after him. In 1933 he was set free due to a Polish–Soviet prisoner release in exchange for Frantsishak Alyakhnovich, a Belarusian journalist and playwright imprisoned in a GULAG, and lived in Soviet exile since then. He was shot at the Kommunarka shooting ground outside Moscow due to Great Purges in 1938 and was posthumously rehabilitated in 1957.

Photo of Tomas Venclova

9. Tomas Venclova (1937 - )

With an HPI of 62.56, Tomas Venclova is the 9th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Tomas Venclova (born 11 September 1937, Klaipėda) is a Lithuanian poet, prose writer, scholar, philologist and translator of literature. He is one of the five founding members of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. In 1977, following his dissident activities, he was forced to emigrate and was deprived of his Soviet citizenship. Since 1980 he has taught Russian and Polish literature at Yale University. Considered a major figure in world literature, he has received many awards, including the Prize of Two Nations (received jointly with Czesław Miłosz), and The Person of Tolerance of the Year Award from the Sugihara Foundation, among other honors.

Photo of Vydūnas

10. Vydūnas (1868 - 1953)

With an HPI of 62.39, Vydūnas is the 10th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Wilhelm Storost, artistic name Vilius Storostas-Vydūnas (22 March 1868 – 20 February 1953), mostly known as Vydūnas, was a Prussian-Lithuanian teacher, poet, humanist, philosopher and Lithuanian writer, a leader of the Prussian Lithuanian national movement in Lithuania Minor, and one of leaders of the theosophical movement in East Prussia.

Pantheon has 20 people classified as writers born between 1605 and 1961. Of these 20, 2 (10.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Tomas Venclova and Arvydas Juozaitis. The most famous deceased writers include Romain Gary, Czesław Miłosz, and Nikolai Ostrovsky. As of October 2020, 5 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Tomas Venclova, Francišak Bahuševič, and Osip Senkovsky.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2020)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 17 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.