5) Zadie Smith: Novelist
Best known for: “White Teeth,” “On Beauty”
Why we love her: The British-born author was only 22 years old in 1997 when “White Teeth” made her a literary superstar. The gripping tale of class, culture and immigration landed on Time’s 100 Best English Language Novels of 1923-2005″ and was made into a mini-series for British television. Since then, Smith has released “The Autograph Man” and “On Beauty,” both to critical acclaim and commercial success.
Notable quotable: “The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.”