Posted on August 2, 2018 at 3:15 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Today we celebrate two literary birthdays: James Baldwin, born on this day in 1924, and Isabel Allende, born on this day in 1942.

Baldwin initially found writing success with essays and short stories.

His life and career took a dramatic turn after he moved from New York City to Paris, where he wrote his breakthrough novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, published in 1953.

It, like many of his other pieces, explored race and religion. Later works also earned publicity for addressing homosexuality as well.

Baldwin continued to gain acclaim for his nonfiction, including Notes of a Native Son, and also wrote plays and poetry.

You can read one of his essays on Literary Hub, which shared it today in honor of his birthday.

Baldwin died in 1987 at his home in France, after spending years alternating between that country and his native U.S.

Allende garnered worldwide attention in 1982, when her debut novel, The House of the Spirits, became a bestseller.

Since then, she has written twenty-two more works of fiction and nonfiction for adult and young readers.

Allende has sold nearly 70 million copies of her books, which have been translated into thirty-five languages.

She currently lives in California but is a native of Chile.

Listen to her interview about her novel The Japanese Lover here.

Categories: Today in Books

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