Posted on June 21, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of June 21, 2020.

Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905): Sartre, known best for his works Being and Nothingness and The Age of Reason and his passion for the philosophical theory of existentialism, was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but declined it.

Françoise Sagan (June 21, 1935): Sagan’s first novel, Bonjour Tristesse, made her an internationally bestselling author when she was just nineteen years old.

Eugenia Price (June 22, 1916): Price’s historical Southern novels — including the St. Simons trilogy, the Georgia trilogy, and the Savannah quartet — have sold over 40 million copies.

Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947): Among Butler’s many honors include Hugo awards (Speech Sounds and Bloodchild), the Nebula Award (also for Bloodchild), a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (the first ever given to a science-fiction writer), and the PEN Award for lifetime achievement.

Richard Bach (June 23, 1936): Bach’s novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull dominated the New York Times bestseller list for months and became a modern spiritual classic.

Ambrose Bierce (June 24, 1842): Bierce’s posthumous fame is for his often-dark short stories, including “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” but in his lifetime, he was also celebrated as a journalist and editor, including a stint editing the Lantern for the exiled French empress Eugénie.

George Orwell (June 25, 1903): Orwell struggled to find a publisher for Animal Farm, though it quickly became a critical and financial success, but his legacy lives on most noticeably in now-common phrases borrowed from 1984.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872): Dunbar, a poet (Lyrics of Lowly Life) and novelist (The Sport of the Gods), was one of the first black writers in the U.S. to gain national prominence.

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

Sometimes I wake up and think it is 1984!
Carol Nauss | 6/24/20 at 6:14 PM
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field