10 Nonconformists On How They Changed The World

Keeping it real is a full-time job. Inspired by this thread on Quora.

1. Oscar Wilde, a writer and merciless wit of (mostly) the 19th century.

Napoleon Sarony / Library of Congress

Quotation from Oscar Wilde: The Major Works

(From Quora)

2. Maya Angelou, a writer who lays her sorrows bare.

Quotation from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

3. Noam Chomsky, who challenged accepted ideas of linguistic theory.

Quotation from Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

(From Quora)

4. bell hooks, an activist and scholar who does not accept the status quo. / Creative Commons

Quotation from Feminism Is for Everybody

5. Louise Erdrich, a Native American writer who wrote in her debut novel that right and wrong “were shades of meaning, not sides of a coin.”

Quotation from this essay

6. Salvador Dalí, a painter, here answering a question about why he drove in a car filled with cauliflower.

Quotation from this 1958 interview with Mike Wallace

(From Quora)

7. Simone de Beauvoir, a 20th century feminist theorist who rejected norms of “womanhood.”

Quotation from The Second Sex, quoted in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

8. Lenny Bruce, a comedian whose obscene act paved the way for comedians’ freedom of speech.

Quotation from this interview

(From Quora)

9. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese activist and former political prisoner.

Quotation from her Nobel lecture

10. Frida Kahlo, a painter who defies classification.

Quotation from Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures

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Ariane Lange is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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