If you want to know the skinny on Florida, ask Carl Hiaasen.
Allen Ginsberg was the loudest voice of the Beat Generation. His controversial "Howl" is one of the most influential American poems since World War II. A Jewish, Homosexual, Tibetan Buddhist, Son-of-an-Insane-Communist, Ginsberg spent his later years teaching at Brooklyn College before his death in 1997.
Latin-American Eduardo Galeano is the author of Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. Read his interview with The Progressive.
Carlos Fuentes was something of a pilot light for "El Boom," a 1960's burst of Latin-American literature. His work is best described as "magical realism." Fuentes' most popular novel is La muerte de Artemio Cruz (The Death of Artemio Cruz), written in 1962.
Born in L.A., James Ellroy is a crime novelist. He is the author of 18 books, including L.A. Confidential. Read James Ellroy's interview with Identity Theory.
Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of several books and countless articles covering important social issues from poverty to feminism. A wealth of links to her work is available here.
Italian writer Umberto Eco authored the novels The Island of the Day Before, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Name of the Rose.
A journalist, screenwriter, and novelist, Joan Didion has authored over a dozen books, including Salvador and The White Album. She also co-wrote the screenplay for Up Close & Personal.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Junot Diaz is the author of Drown, published in 1996. His work has appeared in Story, The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories 1996, The Paris Review, and African Verse.
A Poet, Novelist, and Essayist, Ana Castillo has authored over fifteen books. Her most recent novel is Peel My Love like an Onion. Ana's essays have appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, and Salon Magazine, among many others. She resides in Chicago. More info about Ana Castillo is available at AnaCastillo.com.