Posted on July 30, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of July 30, 2023. 

Emily Bronte (July 30, 1818): Bronte’s contemporaries panned Wuthering Heights, her only novel, but modern critics accept it as one of the greatest in the English language, as well as noting that her poetry was far superior to her sisters’.

Primo Levi (July 31, 1919): Levi was among the first to write and publish a memoir about the Holocaust, with his If This Is a Man (later retitled Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity).

J.K. Rowling (July 31, 1965): Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold over 500 million copies and have been published in over eighty languages; she’s also reached bestseller status as crime writer Robert Galbraith. 

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819): Moby Dick was neither a commercial nor critical success up on its early publication, and another well-known story of Melville’s — “Billy Budd” — wasn’t even published until 1924.

James Baldwin (August 2, 1924): Baldwin’s early work, notably Go Tell It on the Mountain and Notes of a Native Son, earned him the most fame, though the movie adaptation of his later novel If Beale Street Could Talk was a 2019 Oscar nominee.

Isabel Allende (August 2, 1942): Allende, a trailblazing female Latin-American author, has sold more than 74 million books, including The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune; her awards include the PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.

P.D. James (August 3, 1920): James is known as the “Queen of Crime” for her fourteen Adam Dalgliesh novels, many of which were adapted for TV.

Leon Uris (August 3, 1924): Uris interviewed more than 1,500 people for his bestselling novel Exodus, about the founding of Israel.

Guy de Maupassant (August 5, 1850): De Maupassant, author of three hundred short stories (most famously “The Necklace”) and several novels, is considered the greatest French short-story writer of all time.

Categories: Today in Books

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