Posted on September 27, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of September 27, 2020.

Louis Auchincloss (September 27, 1917): Auchincloss spent literally half a century writing novels (his final being The Headmaster’s Dilemma in 2007), short stories, and nonfiction (including biographies of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt).

Irvine Welsh (September 27, 1958): Welsh is best known for Trainspotting, which became a hit film a few years after it was rejected for the Booker Prize shortlist; among his other works are Ecstasy, which was the first paperback original to go straight to number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list, and Filth.

Miguel de Cervantes (September 29, 1547): Cervantes was a writer, playwright, and poet; his best-known and most influential work, Don Quixote, has been translated into sixty languages and inspired the word “quixotic.”

Truman Capote (September 30, 1924): Capote’s most popular works, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, both inspired movies of the same name.

Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928): Wiesel’s Night, a spiritual memoir about surviving Auschwitz, is often considered the most powerful piece of Holocaust literature.

Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879): Stevens received both a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens; among his best-known poems is “The Idea of Order in Key West.”  

Graham Greene (October 2, 1904): Thanks to Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, and many others, Greene was one of the most widely read British novelists of the twentieth century.

Thomas Wolfe (October 3, 1900): Wolfe had intended to become a playwright, but his semiautobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel set him firmly on the noveling path.

Gore Vidal (October 3, 1925): One of Vidal’s early novels, The City and the Pillar, shocked readers and critics with its homosexual main character; he later returned to their good graces with his Narratives of Empire novels about American history.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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