Posted on June 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of June 14, 2020.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811): Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, cited as among the final motivating factors of the Civil War, is widely considered among the most influential novels in history; though she did write other novels, essays, and poetry, none of those gained her nearly the acclaim.

Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938): Oates has been extremely prolific, producing not just novels (such as We Were the Mulvaneys and the National Book Award-winning them) but also short-story collections, plays, essays poetry, and literary criticism, under her own name and two other pseudonyms (Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly).

John Hersey (June 17, 1914): Before writing his acclaimed Hiroshima and The Wall, Hersey served as a foreign correspondent for Time and Life magazines.

Salman Rushdie (June 19, 1947): Rushdie won the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight’s Children, just his second novel, but perhaps gained even greater fame for The Satanic Verses, for which the Iranian government issued a decade-long fatwa against him.

Lillian Hellman (June 20, 1906): Hellman, whose many acclaimed plays include The Little Foxes, Watch on the Rhine, and The Autumn Garden, was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee but refused to name any Communists.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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