Posted on April 25, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of April 25, 2021.

Daniel Defoe (April 26, 1660): Defoe wrote his most famous work, Robinson Crusoe, at age fifty-nine, not only making a late-career switch from nonfiction but also earning him the title of father of the English novel.

David Hume (April 26, 1711): Book I of Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature is his most-read writing among philosophers — yet in later years, he rejected the work.

Anita Loos (April 26, 1889): Loos was a prolific and successful screenwriter whose most popular contribution is actually a novel — Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which has since been adapted into a play, two musicals, and two films, for a total of eighty-five editions.

Mary Wollstonecraft (April 27, 1759): Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the trailblazing works of feminism, but she may be slightly more recognizable to a general audience as the mother of Mary Shelley.

Harper Lee (April 28, 1926): Lee’s first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Annie Dillard (April 30, 1945). Dillard won both a Pulitzer Prize (for her essay collection Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) and a National Humanities Medal.

Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923). Heller’s novel Catch-22 actually spawned the phrase we use today to describe a no-win situation, rather than the other way around.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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