Get to know nine famous left-handed writers in honor of International Left-Hander’s Day!
The 24th Annual International Left-Hander’s Day has finally arrived! The MagnetPost team couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by recognizing nine famous left-handed writers that inspire us. Each individual on our list has a unique writing style. Some are funny, some are poetic, some are factual–all have a powerful voice.
In the literary world, you’ll come across an endless number of writers that are inspiring. However, few writers have made an impressionable mark outside of the literary realm quite like our top nine famous left-handed writers. One can only assume: is there a correlation between being a lefty and having fierce writing skills?
Read on to learn some fun facts about lefties, and get to know our favorite (and famous) left-handed writers!
Five fun facts:
1.) We have left-handed ancestors: Research has shown that there were a significant amount of cave people who used their left-hand. This discovery was made through archeological findings such as tools, teeth (yup!), and cave drawings. Today, 10% of the population is left-handed.
2.) Different comprehension & communication skills: After you scroll through our list of famous left-handed writers, you’ll see how they stand out amongst the crowd. Lefties are mostly controlled by the right side of their brain, meaning (according to a study conducted by Georgetown University Medical Center) that they’re more likely to pick up on “syllables and intonation.”
3.) More creative: Lefties are natural artists. While they use the side of the brain commonly associated with creative abilities, they’re also thrusted into a “right handed world.” Lefties must operate creatively when using certain objects (think of school desks, tools, and guitars). Jimi Hendrix, one of the greatest guitarists, learned to play a right-handed guitar. Sometimes he strummed with his left-hand (playing the chords upside-down), and other times playing like a right handed guitarist. Hendrix is just one example of how lefties are automatically put in a position to think differently.
4.) Higher chance of having a psychological disorder: Yikes! Not the most fun fact on our list. In recent years, researchers from Yale University surveyed individuals with different psychological disorders, finding that 40% of people with psychosis were left-handed. The theory behind this is still unclear; however, it’s believed that brain laterality has to do with this phenomenon. Perhaps there’s too much of a requirement for lefties to balance control between both sides of their brain.
5.) Same lifespan as right handed folks: Phew! If you’re a lefty, there’s a load off your mind. There’s been a huge misconception that left-handed individuals have less years in their life because they live in a world that is designed for right handed people. This myth, my left-handed friends, is totally false. Even studies in the past that “proved” lefties have a shorter life span are now void.
9 famous left-handed writers that we love:
Lewis Carroll: You may not know his name, but you know his work. Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) authored one of the most popular fictional novels of all time: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. From childhood, Carroll was known for making up stories for friends and family–which is how the Alice series initially formulated. A simple storytelling session for Carroll materialized into a series about Alice: two full-length novels and a poem titled Through the Looking Glass. Carroll has other notable published works, but the impact of Alice is very present today with films by Disney and Tim Burton immortalizing the story.
Lisa Kudrow: Actor. Producer. Writer. Rockstar. Lisa Kudrow is best known for playing Phoebe in the hugely successful ‘90s sitcom Friends, but her subsequent work after the series ended includes a lot of writing for her own shows. Her latest works include HBO’s The Comeback and Showtime’s Web Therapy. While she portrays the lead characters for both series, Kudrow also serves as a co-creator and writer, contributing and writing many (if not, all) of the episodes. Both shows have received critical and popular acclaim, respectively.
James Baldwin: While he spent a large amount of his life outside of the US, James Baldwin maintained a pivotal role in American history and literature. What made him a key component in history was using his writing skills to comment on tense racial relationships in the USA and discuss homosexuality. Baldwin was daring, and positively used his writing skills to hold a mirror up to society. He also didn’t limit himself to one form of writing; he produced novels, essays, poetry, and plays. His best known work, Go Tell It on the Mountain, is an iconic piece of American literature. Other notable works by James Baldwin include best-sellers Nobody Knows My Name and Another Country.
Bob Dylan: Who didn’t think legendary musician songwriter Bob Dylan would be on our list? Dylan penned down fiery, thought-provoking, and poetic song lyrics. He began as a singer-songwriter in 1959 and never looked back. He has 36 albums (one that came out this year) attached to his name, and books of lyrics that have subsequently been published. But we can’t overlook his other works, including a book of poetry titled Tarantula and a nonfiction book, Chronicles: Volume One, in which he shares a collection of thoughts and stories from his life.
Mark Twain: When thinking about a symbol of American literature, the first image that should come to mind is Mark Twain (birth name: Samuel Clemens). Aside from writing two iconic pieces of literature (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Twain has a countless collection of work. He’s produced fiction and nonfiction books, short stories, and magazine and newspaper articles. Twain even had pieces published posthumously, proving his relevance and place in literature. (Sidebar: I don’t know who on Twitter takes control of @TheMarkTwain, but it’s fantastic and you should to follow this account.)
Caroline Kennedy: Being the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis holds enough heft; but Caroline Kennedy also shines as a writer (and one of our favorite famous left-handed writers, at that). Kennedy began writing in the ‘90s, co-writing works about issues in American politics. She also has published collections of short stories, prose, poetry and personal works, some of which became The New York Times best-sellers. Her latest book (She Walks In Beauty – A Woman’s Journey Through Poems) was published in 2011.
Franz Kafka: Known for his moody and dark writing, Kafka wrote a large collection of pieces, ranging from short stories to novels, and other unpublished works. To his close friends and family, he was known for having a strong passion for writing. Unfortunately, Kafka wasn’t recognized for his work until after his death in June 1924. Kafka’s most prominent works include short stories “The Metamorphosis,” “A Hunger Artist,” and “The Judgement.” Although his novels (Amerika and The Trial) were left unfinished, they were published posthumously, and are also among his most notable works.
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy tales, plays, poetry, stories, travelogues–what pen hasn’t he put to paper? Hans Christian Andersen is one of the most dynamic on our list of famous left-handed writers. In 1835, he published his first installment of Fairy Tales, Told For Children, a groundbreaking collection of short stories. Inspired by folk tales, HCA used his engaging sense of humor and a natural instinct for irony and idioms that changed the face of Danish literature. Some of his most popular achievements include: “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Ted Koppel: He may be from the UK, but Ted Koppel is one of the USA’s most acclaimed journalists, and MagnetPost’s list of inspiring and famous left-handed writers. Before his career in broadcast journalism, Koppel co-wrote a best-seller called In the National Interest, with colleague and friend Marvin Kalb. After being the face of Nightline for twenty-five years, Koppel has published his writing in different publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and served as a managing editor for The Discovery Channel.