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The Most Famous

WRITERS from Lithuania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Lithuanian Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,755 Writers, 23 of which were born in Lithuania. This makes Lithuania the birth place of the 47th most number of Writers behind Syria and Iceland.

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 Czesław Miłosz

1. Czesław Miłosz (1911 - 2004)

With an HPI of 69.00, Czesław Miłosz is the most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 94 different languages on wikipedia.

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. He wrote in Polish and English. 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 Romain Gary

2. Romain Gary (1914 - 1980)

With an HPI of 68.56, Romain Gary is the 2nd most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Romain Gary (pronounced [ʁɔ.mɛ̃ ga.ʁi]; 21 May [O.S. 8 May] 1914 – 2 December 1980), born Roman Kacew (pronounced [kat͡sɛf], and also known by the pen name Émile Ajar), was a French novelist, diplomat, film director, and World War II aviator. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt under two names. He is considered a major writer of French literature of the second half of the 20th century. He was married to Lesley Blanch, then Jean Seberg.

Photo of Nikolai Ostrovsky

3. Nikolai Ostrovsky (1904 - 1936)

With an HPI of 63.22, Nikolai Ostrovsky is the 3rd most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Nikolai Alexeevich Ostrovsky (Russian: Никола́й Алексе́евич Остро́вский; Ukrainian: Мико́ла Олексі́йович Остро́вський; 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 55.96, Jonas Mekas is the 4th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 28 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". Mekas' work has been exhibited in museums and at festivals worldwide.Mekas was active in New York City, where he co-founded Anthology Film Archives, The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and the journal Film Culture. He was also the first film critic for The Village Voice.In the 1960s, Mekas launched anti-censorship campaigns in defense of the LGBTQ-themed films of Jean Genet and Jack Smith, garnering support from cultural figures including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag. Mekas mentored and supported many prominent American artists and filmmakers, including Ken Jacobs, Peter Bogdanovich, Chantal Akerman, Richard Foreman, John Waters, Barbara Rubin, Yoko Ono, and Martin Scorsese. He helped launch the writing careers of the critics Andrew Sarris, Amy Taubin, and J. Hoberman. In a 2018 New York Review of Books article, postdoctoral researcher Michael Casper wrote about Mekas's contributions to two far-right, collaborationist newspapers under the Nazi occupation of Lithuania during World War II. Casper noted that Mekas’s publications in these newspapers were not anti-Semitic.

Photo of Hermann Sudermann

5. Hermann Sudermann (1857 - 1928)

With an HPI of 54.33, Hermann Sudermann is the 5th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

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

Photo of Simon Dach

6. Simon Dach (1605 - 1659)

With an HPI of 54.04, Simon Dach is the 6th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

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

Photo of Branislaw Tarashkyevich

7. Branislaw Tarashkyevich (1892 - 1938)

With an HPI of 53.38, Branislaw Tarashkyevich is the 7th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 21 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 in 1938 during the Great Purge and was posthumously rehabilitated in 1957.

Photo of Tomas Venclova

8. Tomas Venclova (1937 - )

With an HPI of 52.50, Tomas Venclova is the 8th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Tomas Venclova (born 11 September 1937) 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

9. Vydūnas (1868 - 1953)

With an HPI of 51.72, Vydūnas is the 9th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 26 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.

Photo of Francišak Bahuševič

10. Francišak Bahuševič (1840 - 1900)

With an HPI of 51.15, Francišak Bahuševič is the 10th most famous Lithuanian Writer.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Francišak Bahuševič (Belarusian: Францішак Багушэвіч, Polish: Franciszek Bohuszewicz, 21 March [O.S. 9 March] 1840 – (28 April [O.S. 15 April] 1900) was a Belarusian poet, writer and lawyer, considered to be one of the initiators of modern Belarusian literature.

Pantheon has 23 people classified as writers born between 1605 and 1961. Of these 23, 2 (8.70%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Tomas Venclova and Arvydas Juozaitis. The most famous deceased writers include Czesław Miłosz, Romain Gary, and Nikolai Ostrovsky. As of April 2022, 4 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Stanisław Witkiewicz, Źmitrok Biadula, and Irena Veisaitė.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2022)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 20 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.