Posted on June 23, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of June 23, 2024.

Richard Bach (June 23, 1936): Bach’s novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull dominated the New York Times bestseller list for months and became a modern spiritual classic.

Ambrose Bierce (June 24, 1842): Bierce’s posthumous fame is for his often-dark short stories, including “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” but in his lifetime, he was also celebrated as a journalist and editor, including a stint editing the Lantern for the exiled French empress Eugénie.

Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961): Solnit’s nonfiction — including Call Them By Their True Names, Men Explain Things to Me, and Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West — address such issues as feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, and social change.

George Orwell (June 25, 1903): Orwell struggled to find a publisher for Animal Farm, though it quickly became a critical and financial success, but his legacy lives on most noticeably in now-common phrases borrowed from 1984.

Pearl S. Buck (June 26, 1892): Within just a few years of publishing her first novel, Buck had won the Pulitzer Prize (for The Good Earth, the first in an acclaimed series) and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872): Dunbar, a poet (Lyrics of Lowly Life) and novelist (The Sport of the Gods), was one of the first black writers in the U.S. to gain national prominence.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712): Rousseau’s philosophical works — including A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, and The Social Contract — and his novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution and the Romantic generation.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (June 29, 1900): Saint-Exupery is, of course, beloved for The Little Prince — one of the bestselling books of all time — but his novel Night Flight and memoir, Wind, Sand and Stars, both received literary awards.

Categories: Today in Books

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