Posted on April 2, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of April 2, 2023.

Hans Christian Andersen (April 2, 1805): Andersen’s fairy tales, like "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Ugly Duckling," are among the most frequently translated works of literature, although he also wrote plays, novels, poems, travel books, and several autobiographies.

Emile Zola (April 2, 1840): Zola’s novel La Débâcle, openly critical of the French army and government actions during the Franco-German War, was roundly criticized by both sides of the war.

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783): Irving published The Sketch Book — which includes "Rip Van Winkle” and ”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” — almost concurrently in the United States and England, in an effort to prevent literary piracy in the days before international copyright law.

Marguerite Duras (April 4, 1914): Duras was an acclaimed screenwriter — both for adaptations of her own work and of others’ — as well as a celebrated novelist whose major works include Moderato Cantabile and her fictionalized autobiography, The Lover.

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928). Angelou, best known for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, wrote and delivered a poem for US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, elegized South African President Nelson Mandela by request of the US State Department, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837). Swinburne, in addition to being a celebrated poet, was a well-respected literary critic and a playwright.

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770). Wordsworth wrote the majority of the poems in Lyrical Ballads, which helped launch the English Romantic movement.

Barbara Kingsolver (April 8, 1955). Among Kingsolver’s many acclaimed novels is The Lacuna, a mixture of history and fiction that won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Categories: Today in Books

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