Posted on March 26, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of March 26, 2023.

Tennessee Williams (March 26, 1914): Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for the plays A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and is also celebrated for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.

Erica Jong (March 26, 1942): Jong rose to fame with her first novel, Fear of Flying, and has since published more than twenty-five books (a mix of fiction and nonfiction) in forty-five languages.

Nelson Algren (March 28, 1909): Algren is best known for The Man with the Golden Arm, which received the first National Book Award for fiction, and A Walk on the Wild Side; both books also became movies.

Paul Verlaine (March 30, 1844): Verlaine was an innovator in the art of modern word-music, marking a transition from the Romantic poets to the Symbolists; his poem Chanson d'automne endures to this day, partly because it was used as a code message during World War II.

Nikolai Gogol (March 31, 1809): Gogol is best known for his works The Government Inspector, Dead Souls, and “The Overcoat,” which served as the foundation for nineteenth-century Russian literature.

John Fowles (March 31, 1926): Fowles is best known for The French Lieutenant’s Woman, but his first novel, The Collector, was an immediate success and adapted into a movie just two years after publication.

Anne McCaffrey (April 1, 1926): McCaffrey was the first woman to win the Hugo and Nebula Awards (for Weyr Search and Dragonrider, respectively) and the first science-fiction writer, period, to land on the New York Times best-seller list.

Milan Kundera (April 1, 1929): Czechoslovakian authorities had a long history of condemning or banning Kundera’s work, from a collection of love poems in the 1950s to The Unbearable Lightness of Being in 1984.

Jesmyn Ward (April 1, 1977): Among Ward’s best-known works are the National Book Award winners Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing; her memoir, Men We Reaped, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Categories: Today in Books

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