In spite of its long-lasting critical influence upon literary theory, the notion of “the death of the author” offered by pioneering Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault has been challenged by many scholars during the last fifty years or so. As Sean Burke has pointed out, in truth, “the principle of the author most powerfully reasserts itself when it is thought absent” (7), which makes it difficult for any critic to take up the topic freshly today, charged as it is with contemporary controversies upon politics and power involved in the institution of literature itself. Coming back to classical texts and re-open the topic, however, this study aims to look afresh into the question of why the “author” still matters, not only in literary theories but also in critical practices. The classical texts of Barthes and Foucault are the starting point for the discussion, through which the study attemps to (re)locate the missing link to fill the space that “the death of the author” has left void, and further connect it to the current critical invocation of the “return of the author.” Examining Marxist and Feminist critics such as Terry Eagleton, Nancy Miller, and Cheryl Walker, who have illuminated both historical significance and ahistorical failure of “the death of the author,” the study further looks into how and why today`s historical reality still demands a sense of history and agency in the notion of the “author” as Lynne Tillman as an author and a critic/reader calls for in her discussion of the writing and reading experience. Less theoretical and more personal as it is, Tillman`s configuration of the writing and reading self sheds light on the significant role of agency, albeit tactical and practical in its critical function, in the notion of the “author” since it links the author and the reader as historically and sometimes personally engaged producers of the meanings in ways that make them accountable to the historical moment.