Posted on August 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of August 16, 2020.

Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920): Bukowski’s work — including the poetry collection Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame and the novel Ham on Rye — is noted for how brutally realistic and yet comical it is.

Charlotte Grimke (August 17, 1837): Grimke’s poetry and essays brought her some acclaim during her lifetime, but she’s better known now for the diaries she kept from 1854-1864 and 1885-1892.

Ted Hughes (August 17, 1930): Hughes’s fame as a poet began with his award-winning collection The Hawk in the Rain (which he submitted at the encouragement of his wife Sylvia Plath) and continued throughout his life, including a stint as Britain’s poet laureate.

V.S. Naipaul (August 17, 1932): Naipaul received the Booker Prize for In a Free State and the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his post-colonial novels, such as A House for Mr. Biswas.

H.P. Lovecraft (August 20, 1890): Lovecraft earned far more as a ghostwriter during his life, but since then, he has gained fame for his Cthulhu Mythos series, including, of course, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920): Bradbury’s honors include the National Book Foundation Medal, the National Medal of Arts, and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his lifetime of work including Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Dandelion Wine.

Annie Proulx (August 22, 1935): Proulx’s literary fame was cemented by her novel The Shipping News, which received both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, and her pop-culture fame came from the movie adaptation of her short story “Brokeback Mountain.”

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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