Writers' Autographs

An online signature gallery of some of the world's best known writers
Photograph by Ralph Gibson. Series: Ex Libris. 2001
I have a long-standing fascination with handwriting and typography. The shape of letters and the visual appearance of sentences can contribute just as much meaning to a reader as the words themselves; a fact that the advertising industry is quick to capitalize on.

Writers' signatures hold a particular grip on me, not least for the romantic idea that they bring us closer to the personality of the writers themselves. If we feel close to an author's work, there are times when the printed word can feel like a barrier between us and the original manuscript. A signature offers a stamp of the writer's character and humanity; and in this sense, a signed book can feel like a personal validation of the work.

I've compiled a number of autographs here that, for one reason or another, have caught my attention. Enjoy!

Samuel Beckett

Joyce Carol Oates

Paul Auster

Anthony Burgess

William S. Burroughs

Don DeLillo

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

T. S. Eliot

William Faulkner

Robert Frost

Franz Kafka

Jack Kerouac

Harper Lee

Philip Roth

J. D. Salinger

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jacques Derrida

James Joyce

Susan Sontag

John Steinbeck

Thomas Mann

Leo Tolstoy

Oscar Wilde

Emile Zola