Posted on July 5, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of July 5, 2020.

Hilary Mantel (July 6, 1952): Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize twice, for the first two books in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Anna Quindlen (July 7, 1953): In addition to her novels (including Black and Blue, Blessings, and Rise and Shine), Quindlen has won acclaim for her newspaper columns, which netted her a Pulitzer Prize, and her memoir, which reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

Dean Koontz (July 9, 1945): Fourteen of Koontz’s novels have hit number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and sixteen have done so for the paperback version; they include Intensity, Midnight, and The Bad Place.

Marcel Proust (July 10, 1871): Even nonreaders are aware of Proust’s legacy; his seven-volume work In Search of Lost Time — featuring the madeleine cookies now associated with him — set the tone for the 20th-century novel as an art form.

Mildred Benson, aka Carolyn Keene (July 10, 1905): Benson wrote twenty-three of the first thirty Nancy Drew books, a fact that remained secret until a court case involving the books’ publisher revealed the truth in 1980.

Alice Munro (July 10, 1931): Munro has won both the Man Booker International Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature for a lifetime of excellence in short-story writing, such as The Love of a Good Woman, Runaway, and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.

Jhumpa Lahiri (July 11, 1967): Lahiri’s first book, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 as well as the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction; she has also been nominated for the Man Booker Prize and National Book Award for a later novel, The Lowland.

Birthdays sourced from Calendar of Literary Facts; biographical information sourced from Encyclopedia Britannica, author websites,, and the Nobel Prize website. Did we miss someone? Email and let us know.

Categories: Today in Books

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