Posted on June 2, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of June 2, 2019.

Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840): Hardy is celebrated as a 19th-century writer, most notably for Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, and a 20th-century poet.

Franz Kafka (June 3, 1883): Kafka only allowed a few of his works, like “The Metamorphosis,” to be published during his lifetime, and told his executor to burn leftover manuscripts (an order he disobeyed).

Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926): Ginsberg’s epic poem “Howl” is considered one of the most important works from the Beat literary movement.

Larry McMurtry (June 3, 1936): Among McMurtry’s thirty-plus novels are Terms of Endearment (adapted into a movie) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove.

Ken Follett (June 5, 1949): Follett’s breakthrough novel, Eye of the Needle, was made into a film, and five of his novels — The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, On Wings of Eagles, The Third Twin, The Pillars of the Earth, and World Without End — also have a corresponding TV miniseries.

Thomas Mann (June 6, 1875): Mann, best known for Death in Venice, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 and is considered the best German novelist of the 20th century.

V.C. Andrews (June 6, 1924): Andrews has written over seventy novels — including, perhaps infamously, Flowers in the Attic — and her work has been translated into twenty-five foreign languages.

Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917): Brooks won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for Annie Allen, making her the first African American poet to do so.

Sara Paretsky (June 8, 1947): Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novels, which began in the 1980s and continue to today, share the credit (with author Sue Grafton) for breaking down the gender barrier in detective fiction.

Birthdays sourced from Calendar of Literary Facts; biographical information sourced from Encyclopedia Britannica, author websites, and publisher websites. Did we miss someone? Email and let us know.

Categories: Today in Books

Larry McMurty, hands down.
Claudine Melllinger | 6/5/19 at 8:09 AM
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