Here is a very brief list of influential American authors:
Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672) was the first published American poet.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 - 1896) was an American author whose books had great influence on the abolitionist movement.
Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937) first female Pulitzer Prize winner and wrote over 50 novels.
Toni Morrison (1931 - 2019) was an author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was acclaimed for her work on the black female experience.
Harper Lee (1926 - 2016) wrote the influential To Kill a Mockingbird that addressed a child's awakening to racism and prejudice.
Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014) was a writer, activist, dancer and so much more.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982) was a writer whose controversial work dealt with individualism and laissez-faire capitalism.
Shirley Jackson (1916 - 1965) was a novelist and short story writer.
Alice Walker (born 1944) is an American writer whose recognized for her insightful treatment of African Americans.
Nora Zeale Hurtston (1891 - 1960) was an American folklorist and writer who celebrated the African American culture of the South.