Posted on April 4, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of April 4, 2021.

Marguerite Duras (April 4, 1914): Duras was an acclaimed screenwriter — both for adaptations of her own work and of others’ — as well as a celebrated novelist whose major works include Moderato Cantabile and her fictionalized autobiography, The Lover.

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928). Angelou, best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, wrote and delivered a poem for US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, elegized South African President Nelson Mandela by request of the US State Department, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837). Swinburne, in addition to being a celebrated poet, was a well-respected literary critic and a playwright.

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770). Wordsworth wrote the majority of the poems in Lyrical Ballads, which helped launch the English Romantic movement.

Barbara Kingsolver (April 8, 1955). Among Kingsolver’s many acclaimed novels is The Lacuna, a mixture of history and fiction that won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Charles Baudelaire (April 9, 1821). Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal in French) is among the most important poetry collections published in Europe in the nineteenth century.

Paul Theroux (April 10, 1941). Theroux is beloved for his travel books, such as The Great Railway Bazaar (his breakthrough work), and his novels, including The Happy Isles of Oceania.

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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