J.K. Rowling reads aloud during the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in 2010. We will neither confirm nor disconfirm the possibility that she was location-scouting for the American school. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Sitting on the steps outside her London home, Doris Lessing learns from reporters that she won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Toni Morrison has been busy this fall, first announcing her plans to keep her archives at Princeton and then sparring amiably with Stephen Colbert. With a book coming out in spring 2015, she appears intent on keeping up the pace. Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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J.K. Rowling reads to children at the 2010 White House Egg Roll. According to a new essay, her own experiences as a young student helped inform the Harry Potter character Dolores Umbridge. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Agatha Christie, seen here in 1946, removes a book from the shelf at Greenway House, the home from which Jennifer Grant bought the trunk six decades later at an estate sale. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Eimear McBride won the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing. The novel was rejected by publishers for almost a decade. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Baileys/Diageo hide caption

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