Posted on August 23, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of August 23, 2020.

Edgar Lee Masters (August 23, 1868): Masters’s poetry career peaked with Spoon River Anthology, though he also wrote other collections of verse, novels, and an autobiography.

A.S. Byatt (August 24, 1936): Byatt received the Booker Prize for her novel Possession, which was also adapted into a movie; she’s also known for her short-story collections.

Orson Scott Card (August 24, 1951): Card is best known for his sci-fi novels like Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, though he has also written biblical and fantasy novels, poetry, and (most recently) comics.

John Green (August 24, 1977): Green, a New York Times bestselling author, has seen his novels Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars adapted into hit movies as well. 

Bret Harte (August 25, 1836): Harte, known best for “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” and “The Heathen Chinee,” helped create the local-color school of American fiction.

Sherley Anne Williams (August 25, 1944): Williams excelled in multiple literary areas, winning acclaim and awards for her novels (Dessa Rose), poetry (The Peacock Poems), and children’s literature (Working Cotton).

Theodore Dreiser (August 27, 1871): Dreiser was among the leaders of the naturalism movement, depicting the often harsh realities of life in such novels as Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749): Von Goethe, best known for Faust and The Sorrows of Young Werther, is considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era; Faust, in fact, is among Europe’s greatest long poems.

Leo Tolstoy (August 28, 1828): Tolstoy is popularly known and praised for War and Peace and Anna Karenina, though his much shorter The Death of Ivan Ilyich is also considered one of the best novellas.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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