Posted on May 15, 2022 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of May 15, 2022.

L. Frank Baum (May 15, 1856): Baum wrote over sixty books under a variety of names, but of course is best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the thirteen follow-up books to it.

Katherine Anne Porter (May 15, 1890): Porter had long been a critically acclaimed (though financially struggling) short-story writer, for works such as the O. Henry Award-winning “Holiday,” but the publication of her one and only novel, Ship of Fools, was what earned her a wider readership.

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929): Rich, best known for her feminist and lesbian poetry, turned down the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 in opposition to the Clinton administration’s politics.

Gary Paulsen (May 17, 1939): Paulsen wrote over a hundred books for adults and young readers, among them three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room.

Ian Fleming (May 18, 1908): Fleming gained fame among adults for his James Bond novels (and the movies they inspired) but also among children for his book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (also adapted for the big screen).

Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930): Hansberry’s canonical play A Raisin in the Sun received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, while its film adaptation received a special award at the Cannes festival.

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941): Ephron’s incredibly successful screenwriting career (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail) was bookended by periods of essay-writing, including the bestseller I Feel Bad About My Neck.

Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799): Balzac, most famous for La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy), helped establish the traditional form of the novel and also is considered the creator of realism in the novel.

Alexander Pope (May 21, 1688): Pope is best known for his poems An Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock, and An Essay on Man, and was the first English poet to enjoy contemporary fame across Europe.

Categories: Today in Books

My birthday is May 22. I look forward to finding out if any writers share my birthday.
June Milby | 5/16/22 at 7:36 PM
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