Posted on April 23, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of April 23, 2023.

William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564). Though we know Shakespeare as one of the most — if not the most — influential English writers, the first reference to him from the literary world is sarcastically scathing.

Anthony Trollope (April 24, 1815). Trollope’s popularity, beginning with the Chronicles of Barsetshire novels, led many to underestimate the quality of his writing.

Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905). Warren, most widely known for the novel All The King’s Men, also became the first poet laureate of the United States in 1986.

Sue Grafton (April 24, 1940): Grafton’s A Is for Alibi (and the series it launched) helped overturn gender stereotypes in mystery fiction, with its independent, self-reliant, tough heroine Kinsey Millhone.

Daniel Defoe (April 26, 1660): Defoe wrote his most famous work, Robinson Crusoe, at age fifty-nine, not only making a late-career switch from nonfiction but also earning him the title of father of the English novel.

David Hume (April 26, 1711): Book I of Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature is his most-read writing among philosophers — yet in later years, he rejected the work.

Anita Loos (April 26, 1889): Loos was a prolific and successful screenwriter whose most popular contribution is actually a novel — Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which has since been adapted into a play, two musicals, and two films, for a total of eighty-five editions.

Mary Wollstonecraft (April 27, 1759): Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is one of the trailblazing works of feminism, but she may be slightly more recognizable to a general audience as the mother of Mary Shelley.

Harper Lee (April 28, 1926): Lee’s first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Terry Pratchett (April 28, 1948): Powered by his Discworld series, Pratchett has sold over 35 million books worldwide translated into over thirty languages. 

Categories: Today in Books

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