Posted on February 19, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of February 19, 2023.

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917): McCullers is best known for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which became a movie, and The Member of the Wedding, which she adapted into a successful play.

Amy Tan (February 19, 1952): Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a surprise bestseller; her following novels, including The Bonesetter’s Daughter, have also become bestsellers, albeit not surprisingly.

Ellen Gilchrist (February 20, 1935): Gilchrist is celebrated for her short story collections, one of which — Victory over Japan — received the National Book Award.

Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1903): Nin published several novels in her earlier years, but it was her diaries — released almost uncensored while she was still alive — that made her a celebrity.  

W. H. Auden (February 21, 1907): Auden received the Pulitzer Prize for the dramatic poem The Age of Anxiety.

Erma Bombeck (February 21, 1927): Bombeck broke through as a humorist while writing newspaper columns; she also wrote several bestsellers, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?.

Michel de Montaigne (February 23, 1533): Montaigne is best known for Essais; while his work’s title translates to “attempts” or “tries,” it also led to the use of the word “essay” for a short prose composition.

Samuel Pepys (February 23, 1633): Pepys is famous for the diary he kept for nearly a decade, describing such landmark events in England as the restoration of the monarchy, an outbreak of the plague, and the Great Fire of London.

W.E.B. Du Bois (February 23, 1868): Du Bois wrote two landmarks of African American literature: The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, the first case study of a black community in the US, and the essay collection The Souls of Black Folk.

Anthony Burgess (February 25, 1917): Burgess is best known for A Clockwork Orange, which routinely appears on lists of best books of the twentieth century and was also adapted into a critically acclaimed movie.

Categories: Today in Books

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