Posted on September 19, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of September 19, 2021. 

William Golding (September 19, 1911): Golding’s debut novel, Lord of the Flies, is by far his best-known one, but it’s not the only noteworthy one — Rites of Passage, the first installment of his Sea Trilogy, won the Booker Prize, and all three novels were  adapted into a miniseries.

N.K. Jemisin (September 19, 1972): Jemisin became the first Black author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel with The Fifth Season and went on to win the award two more consecutive times for the subsequent novels in her Broken Earth trilogy; her novel The Stone Sky also won a Nebula Award for Best Novel.

George R.R. Martin (September 20, 1948): Martin has won six Locus Awards for work including his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, upon which the TV series Game of Thrones was based.

H.G. Wells (September 21, 1866): Wells earned the reputation as a prophet thanks to his early and enduring sci-fi novels such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds.

Fannie Flagg (September 21, 1941): Flagg won screenwriting awards for her adaptation of her hit novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and is also beloved for Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, and several other books.

Stephen King (September 21, 1947): Though his oeuvre includes some crime fiction and nonfiction, King’s fame and reputation rest on his many horror novels, including but not limited to Carrie, It, Dolores Claiborne, The Shining, The Dark Tower, Pet Sematary, and more.    

Rosamunde Pilcher (September 22, 1924): Pilcher’s breakthrough novel — The Shell Seekers — was her fourteenth book; it spent nearly a year on bestseller lists, sold more than 10 million copies, and was adapted for television.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896): This Side of Paradise paved the way for Fitzgerald’s commercial success — in magazine writing — which in turn allowed him to write novels that earned more acclaim after his death: The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night.

William Faulkner (September 25, 1897): Faulkner was a pioneer in the stream-of-consciousness technique and received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his contributions to the American novel, with such works as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom! being among his best-known.

Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930): Silverstein was acclaimed for his poetry collections, such as A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends, that included a realistic view of the world for kids, as well as his prose works like The Giving Tree.

Francine du Plessix Gray (September 25, 1930): Gray is best known for her semi-autobiographical novel Lovers and Tyrants; she continued to earn acclaim as a writer and literary critic for the next few decades, including her win of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Them: A Memoir of Parents.

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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