Posted on May 31, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of May 31, 2020.

Colleen McCullough (June 1, 1938): McCullough is best known for The Thorn Birds, which earned her fame and a record advance of nearly $2 million, and her seven-book Masters of Rome series.

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.

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

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