Posted on September 15, 2019 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of September 15, 2019.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. (September 16, 1950): Gates has written or co-written over twenty books, including the bestselling Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, and was among the first class awarded genius grants from the MacArthur Foundation.

Ken Kesey (September 17, 1935): Kesey is famous both for his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and for his starring role in his friend Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Samuel Johnson (September 18, 1709): Johnson too has cemented his fame both by writing (notably A Dictionary of the English Language and The Lives of the Poets) and by serving as subject of another author’s work (James Boswell’s Life of Johnson).

William Golding (September 19, 1911): Golding’s debut novel, Lord of the Flies, is by far his best-known one, but it’s not the only noteworthy one — Rites of Passage, the first installment of his Sea Trilogy, won the Booker Prize, and all three novels were  adapted into a miniseries.

H.G. Wells (September 21, 1866): Wells earned the reputation as a prophet thanks to his early and enduring sci-fi novels such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds.

Fannie Flagg (September 21, 1941): Flagg won screenwriting awards for her adaptation of her hit novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and is also beloved for Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, and several other books.

Stephen King (September 21, 1947): Though his oeuvre includes some crime fiction and nonfiction, King’s fame and reputation rest on his many horror novels, including but not limited to Carrie, It, Dolores Claiborne, The Shining, The Dark Tower, Pet Sematary, and more.    

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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