Posted on August 25, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of August 25, 2019.

Bret Harte (August 25, 1836): Harte, known best for “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” and “The Heathen Chinee,” helped create the local-color school of American fiction.

Sherley Anne Williams (August 25, 1944): Williams excelled in multiple literary areas, winning acclaim and awards for her novels (Dessa Rose), poetry (The Peacock Poems), and children’s literature (Working Cotton).

Theodore Dreiser (August 27, 1871): Dreiser was among the leaders of the naturalism movement, depicting the often harsh realities of life in such novels as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749): Von Goethe, best known for Faust and The Sorrows of Young Werther, is considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era; Faust, in fact, is among Europe’s greatest long poems.

Leo Tolstoy (August 28, 1828): Tolstoy is popularly known and praised for War and Peace and Anna Karenina, though his much shorter The Death of Ivan Ilyich is also considered one of the best novellas.

Mary Shelley (August 30, 1797): While she’s most famous for the oh-so-influential Frankenstein, Shelley wrote several other works, including The Last Man (said to be her best), and edited the poetry of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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