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11 Out Authors We Love

November 1 is National Author's Day, and NBC OUT is celebrating just some of the many LGBTQ authors -- past and present -- whose words have influenced generations of readers.

James Baldwin

Author James Baldwin
Author James Baldwin Ted Thai / The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

The novelist and social critic used his work to bring to light complex representations of the African American and queer communities. He released "Giovanni's Room," a novel with explicit gay content, in 1956, a time when the LGBTQ community had no support, respect or representation.

Allison Bechdel

"Fun Home" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Call
Alison Bechdel attends the Broadway Opening Performance of 'Fun Home' on April 19, 2015, in New York City. Walter McBride / Getty Images

The cartoonist and writer is best known for her 2006 graphic memoir, "Fun Home," which was adapted into a musical that went on to win the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical. She is also a 2014 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur "genius grant."

Rita Mae Brown

27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards
Rita Mae Brown arrives at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards on June 1, 2015 in New York City. Debra L Rothenberg / Getty Images

Though Brown has authored a long list of novels, she is best known for her first -- "Rubyfruit Jungle." Published in 1973, it is a class lesbian coming-of-age tale.

Leslie Feinberg

Image: Leslie Feinberg's Self Portrait
Leslie Feinberg "Self Portrait in Setting Sun" Leslie Feinberg / http://www.lesliefeinberg.net/self/

The author and activist is best known for the pioneering 1993 nonfiction book, "Stone Butch Blues," for which she won the Lambda Literary Award.

Patricia Highsmith

American Writer Patricia Highsmith in Front of Fountain
American writer Patricia Highsmith Alex Gotfryd / Corbis via Getty Images

The novelist and short story writer is perhaps best known for the psychological thrillers "Strangers on a Train," which was adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock, and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," which was made into a movie starring Matt Damon. More recently, one of her earliest works, 1952's "The Price of Salt," was adapted into the Academy Award-nominated film "Carol," starring Cate Blanchett.

Moisés Kaufman

Premiere Of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later"
Moises Kaufman at premiere of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" at Lincoln Center on October 12, 2009 in New York City. Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Born in Venezuela, Kaufman is one of the most acclaimed playwrights and directors in the American theater. Best known for writing "The Laramie Project" (along with other members of the Tectonic Theater Project), he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in September by President Obama.

Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer
Author, AIDS campaigner and gay rights activist Larry Kramer, founder of ACT-UP and the Gay Men's Health Crisis sitting in front of a bookshelf at home in NYC New York Times Co./Getty Images

The author and playwright is as well known for his LGBTQ-rights activism as he is for the long list of award-winning works under his belt, including "The Normal Heart and "The Destiny of Me." Most recently, he wrote the novel "The American People: Volume 1."

Audre Lorde

Author Audre Lorde. Robert Alexander / Archie Photos - Getty Images

An author of poetry and prose, Lorde's work often dealt with issues surrounding feminism, sexuality and racial injustice. Her most popular works include "The Black Unicorn," a collection of poetry, and her 1982 autobiography, "Zami."

David Sedaris

Humorist/writer David Sedaris interacting with fan during the signing of his new book "Dress our Fam
David Sedaris interacting with fan during the signing of his book "Dress Our Family in Corduroy." Ricardo DeAratanha / LA Times via Getty Images

The author and humorist is known for using self-deprecating humor to share his life's story through essays, short stories and radio programs. His most popular works include "Naked" and "Me Talk Pretty One Day."

Alice Walker

"The Color Purple" TimesTalks: Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo, Alice Walker, John Doyle
Alice Walker at the New School on October 29, 2015 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

The novelist, poet and essayist is best known for her 1982 novel, "The Color Purple," for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde 1854 1900 Irish novelist playwright freemason wit Photograph by Napoleon Sarony
Irish novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde Universal History Archive/Getty Images

The Irish playwright, novelist, essayist and poet is the author behind "The Picture of Dorian Gray," his only novel, and a number of noteworthy plays, including "The Importance of Being Earnest."

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