Posted on July 28, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of July 28, 2019.

Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866): The Tale of Peter Rabbit was originally written as a letter to a sick child, who loved it so much that Potter published it and launched a long, prolific career.

Booth Tarkington (July 29, 1869): Best known for The Magnificent Ambersons, which also became an Orson Welles movie, Tarkington appeared on annual bestseller lists nine times.

J.K. Rowling (July 31, 1965): Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold over 500 million copies and have been published in over eighty languages; she’s also reached bestseller status as crime writer Robert Galbraith.

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819): Moby Dick was neither a commercial nor critical success up on its early publication, and another well-known story of Melville’s — “Billy Budd” — wasn’t even published until 1924.

James Baldwin (August 2, 1924): Baldwin’s early work, notably Go Tell It on the Mountain and Notes of a Native Son, earned him the most fame, though the movie adaptation of his later novel If Beale Street Could Talk was a 2019 Oscar nominee.

Isabel Allende (August 2, 1942): Allende, a trailblazing female Latin-American author, has sold more than 74 million books, including The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune; her awards include the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.

P.D. James (August 3, 1920): James is known as the “Queen of Crime” for her fourteen Adam Dalgliesh novels, many of which were adapted for TV.

Leon Uris (August 3, 1924): Uris interviewed more than 1,500 people for his bestselling novel Exodus, about the founding of Israel.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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