Posted on February 14, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of February 14, 2021.

Frederick Douglass (February 14, 1817): Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, to counter claims that he was too articulate a speaker to have ever been a slave; he followed up this literary success by founding his own anti-slavery newspaper.

Margaret Truman (February 17, 1924): Truman wrote an autobiography, biographies of her parents (President Harry and Bess Truman), and the bestselling Capital Crimes mystery series.

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931): Morrison received the Nobel Prize in Literature for her body of work, including Song of Solomon (a National Book Critics Circle Award winner), Beloved (a Pulitzer Prize winner), The Bluest Eye, and Sula.

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934): Lorde’s poetry and essays are marked by her experiences as a lesbian and as a Black woman; she is best known for the collections Coal, The Black Unicorn, and the National Book Award-winning A Burst of Light.

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917): McCullers is best known for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which became a movie, and The Member of the Wedding, which she adapted into a successful play.

Amy Tan (February 19, 1952): Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a surprise bestseller; her following novels, including The Bonesetter’s Daughter, have also become bestsellers, albeit not surprisingly.

Ellen Gilchrist (February 20, 1935): Gilchrist is celebrated for her short story collections, one of which — Victory over Japan — received the National Book Award.

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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