Posted on 07/07/2019 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of July 7, 2019.

Anna Quindlen (July 7, 1953): In addition to her novels (including Black and Blue, Blessings, and Rise and Shine), Quindlen has won acclaim for her newspaper columns, which netted her a Pulitzer Prize, and her memoir, which reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

Dean Koontz (July 9, 1945): Fourteen of Koontz’s novels have hit number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and sixteen have done so for the paperback version; they include Intensity, Midnight, and The Bad Place.

Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871): Even nonreaders are aware of Proust’s legacy; his seven-volume work In Search of Lost Time — featuring the madeleine cookies now associated with him — set the tone for the 20th-century novel as an art form.

Mildred Benson, aka Carolyn Keene (July 10, 1905): Benson wrote twenty-three of the first thirty Nancy Drew books, a fact that remained secret until a court case involving the books’ publisher revealed the truth in 1980.

Alice Munro (July 10, 1931): Munro has won both the Man Booker International Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature for a lifetime of excellence in short-story writing, such as The Love of a Good Woman, Runaway, and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817): Thoreau didn’t just preach what he believed; he practiced his philosophies, as in his classic work Walden (part memoir and part reflections on his time spent living in nature) and “Civil Disobedience” (inspired by a night he spent in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax).

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904): Neruda, whom many consider to be the greatest poet writing in the Spanish language during his lifetime, won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his poetry in 1971; his collections include Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair and the three volumes of Residence on Earth.

Birthdays sourced from Calendar of Literary Facts; biographical information sourced from Encyclopedia Britannica, author websites, PoetryFoundation.org, and the Nobel Prize website. Did we miss someone? Email and let us know.

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: History, Just for fun

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