Posted on 12/05/2021 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of December 5, 2021.

Christina Rossetti (December 5, 1830): Rossetti was celebrated for her poetry, such as Goblin Market and Other Poems and The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems, and her children’s works, most notably Sing-Song: a Nursery Rhyme Book.

Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886): Lane was well-known for her journalism, fiction, and biographies before helping her mother write — or ghostwriting — the Little House on the Prairie books. 

Joan Didion (December 5, 1934): Didion’s long literary career in nonfiction (Slouching Toward Bethlehem) and fiction (Play It as It Lays) earned her a National Humanities Medal; she also received the National Book Award for the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking.

Peter Handke (December 6, 1942): Handke used to be best known for the novel The Hornets, the play Offending the Audience, and the screenplay for the movie Wings of Desire; after he won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature, though, conversation about him focused on controversial remarks he made about the Balkan conflicts.

Karl Ove Knausgaard (December 6, 1968): Knausgaard gained widespread popularity for his autobiographical My Struggle novels, but he first broke onto the literary scene when his Out of the World became the first debut novel to win the Norwegian Critics’ Prize. 

Willa Cather (December 7, 1873): Cather is best known today for O Pioneers! and My Ántonia, but she also received the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours.

John Milton (December 9, 1608): Milton, famous for the epic poem Paradise Lost, is considered by many to be the second-most significant English author.

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830): Dickinson is among the greatest American poets, known for such poems as “Because I could not stop for Death,”  “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” and “A Bird, came down the Walk.”

Clarice Lispector (December 10, 1920): Lispector — author of Near to the Wild Heart, The Hour of the Star, The Passion According to G.H., and The Stream of Life — is considered to be among both Brazil’s most important literary figures and the greatest women writers of the twentieth century.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918): Solzhenitsyn is famous for his novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Gulag Archipelago, the publication of which resulted in the loss of his Russian citizenship.

Grace Paley (December 11, 1922): Paley is considered to be among the seminal American short-story writers of the twentieth century; among her collections are The Little Disturbances of Man and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

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

Tagged As: History, Just for fun

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