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10/10/2013 08:14 am ET

What 20 Of the World's Most Famous Writers Were Doing in Their Twenties

AP

We don’t often think of people like Samuel Beckett, Edith Wharton, and Toni Morrison as 20-somethings, but before they took their places in the literary hall of fame, these famous authors fought through the same chapter of insignificance and self-doubt that millennials find themselves in today. From Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann to Cheryl Strayed and Stephen King, these writers’ experiences as 20-somethings will comfort, inspire, and — if you’re an aspiring writer yourself — give you a swift motivational kick in the ass.

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