Posted on September 13, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of September 13, 2020.

Sherwood Anderson (September 13, 1876): Anderson wrote novels as well as short stories, but he’s best known and celebrated for the latter, particularly Winesburg, Ohio, a collection of interrelated tales.

Roald Dahl (September 13, 1916): Dahl is beloved for his children’s books, including Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but his first bestseller was a dark short-story collection for adults, and he also wrote the script for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

William H. Armstrong (September 14, 1914): Armstrong taught for over fifty years while also writing children’s literature, most notably the Newbery Medal-winning Sounder.

Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890): More than 100 million copies of Christie’s works — seventy-five novels and over a dozen short-story collections — have been sold, making her the bestselling novelist of all time and most translated writer of all time; some of her most famous books include And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and The ABC Murders.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. (September 16, 1950): Gates has written or co-written over twenty books, including the bestselling Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, and was among the first class awarded genius grants from the MacArthur Foundation.

Ken Kesey (September 17, 1935): Kesey is famous both for his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and for his starring role in his friend Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Samuel Johnson (September 18, 1709): Johnson too has cemented his fame both by writing (notably A Dictionary of the English Language and The Lives of the Poets) and by serving as subject of another author’s work (James Boswell’s Life of Johnson).

William Golding (September 19, 1911): Golding’s debut novel, Lord of the Flies, is by far his best-known one, but it’s not the only noteworthy one — Rites of Passage, the first installment of his Sea Trilogy, won the Booker Prize, and all three novels were  adapted into a miniseries.

N.K. Jemisin (September 19, 1972): Jemisin became the first Black author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel with The Fifth Season and went on to win the award two more consecutive times for the subsequent novels in her Broken Earth trilogy; her novel The Stone Sky also won a Nebula Award for Best Novel.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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