Posted on December 26, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of December 26, 2021:

Thomas Gray (December 26, 1716): Gray wrote “An Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard,” one of the most famous English lyric poems.

Manuel Puig (December 28, 1932): Puig became famous beyond his native Argentina with the novel Kiss of the Spider Woman, which was later adapted into a movie.

Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865): Kipling’s poetry and short stories, most notably The Jungle Book, brought him early acclaim — and England’s first Nobel Prize for Literature victory — but his reputation declined, even in his lifetime, because of his imperialistic attitudes.

E.M. Forster (January 1, 1879): Forster wrote the novels Howards End and A Passage to India, though he was also known for his essays and his social and literary criticism.

J.D. Salinger (January 1, 1919): Salinger is known almost equally for The Catcher in the Rye, which has sold more than 65 million copies, and his reclusiveness; just two years after that classic novel came out, Salinger retreated to rural New Hampshire and didn’t publish anything new during his lifetime after 1965.

Claudia Rankine (January 1, 1963): Rankine cemented her poetry legacy with the collection Citizen: An American Lyric, which addressed racial aggression and violence in the US; it won the PEN Open Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.

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

Categories: Today in Books

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