I find it interesting that two of the most intelligent and imaginative of American writers, Ayn Rand and Isaac Asimov, had similar backgrounds. Both were of Jewish heritage, were born in the Soviet Union, and immigrated with their parents to the United States. I wonder if the experience of two large but very different civilizations, the culture clash, in some way expanded their brains.
What makes a great writer? Is it experience of the world? Herman Melville on his sea voyages? Or something else?