Posted on 08/15/2021 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of August 15, 2021.

Walter Scott (August 15, 1771): Scott is considered the creator of the historical novel; his most famous such works are Rob Roy and Ivanhoe.

Stieg Larsson (August 15, 1954): Larsson’s Millennium trilogy — comprising The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest — has been translated into thirty languages and sold tens of million copies; other writers have continued the series, which he imagined as ten volumes, over the objection of his longtime romantic partner.

Georgette Heyer (August 16, 1902): Heyer is seen as the queen of Regency romances; she published over fifty novels during her lifetime, including The Black Moth, Friday’s Child, The Grand Sophy, and Frederica, and was selling a million copies per year in Britain alone at the time of her death. 

Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920): Bukowski’s work — including the poetry collection Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame and the novel Ham on Rye — is noted for how brutally realistic and yet comical it is.

Charlotte Grimke (August 17, 1837): Grimke’s poetry and essays brought her some acclaim during her lifetime, but she’s better known now for the diaries she kept from 1854-1864 and 1885-1892.

Ted Hughes (August 17, 1930): Hughes’s fame as a poet began with his award-winning collection The Hawk in the Rain (which he submitted at the encouragement of his wife Sylvia Plath) and continued throughout his life, including a stint as Britain’s poet laureate.

V.S. Naipaul (August 17, 1932): Naipaul received the Booker Prize for In a Free State and the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his post-colonial novels, such as A House for Mr. Biswas.

Jonathan Franzen (August 17, 1959): Franzen is best known for his lengthy novels Freedom, Purity, and The Corrections, which was chosen both as the National Book Award winner and as an Oprah’s Book Club pick (to the irritation of its author).

H.P. Lovecraft (August 20, 1890): Lovecraft earned far more as a ghostwriter during his life, but since then, he has gained fame for his Cthulhu Mythos series, including, of course, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

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

Tagged As: History, Just for fun

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