Posted on September 24, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of September 24, 2023.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896): This Side of Paradise paved the way for Fitzgerald’s commercial success — in magazine writing — which in turn allowed him to write novels that earned more acclaim after his death: The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night.

William Faulkner (September 25, 1897): Faulkner was a pioneer in the stream-of-consciousness technique and received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his contributions to the American novel, with such works as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom! being among his best-known.

Shel Silverstein (September 25, 1930): Silverstein was acclaimed for his poetry collections, such as A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends, that included a realistic view of the world for kids, as well as his prose works like The Giving Tree.

Francine du Plessix Gray (September 25, 1930): Gray is best known for her semi-autobiographical novel Lovers and Tyrants; she continued to earn acclaim as a writer and literary critic for the next few decades, including her win of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Them: A Memoir of Parents.

TS Eliot (September 26, 1888): Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is considered the first Modernist masterpiece in English; he further cemented his reputation with such collections as The Waste Land and Four Quartets.

Jane Smiley (September 26, 1949): Smiley’s A Thousand Acres grabbed attention from all corners, netting the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a movie deal.

Louis Auchincloss (September 27, 1917): Auchincloss spent literally half a century writing novels (his final being The Headmaster’s Dilemma in 2007), short stories, and nonfiction (including biographies of Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt).

Irvine Welsh (September 27, 1958): Welsh is best known for Trainspotting, which became a hit film a few years after it was rejected for the Booker Prize shortlist; among his other works are Ecstasy, which was the first paperback original to go straight to number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list, and Filth.

Miguel de Cervantes (September 29, 1547): Cervantes was a writer, playwright, and poet; his best-known and most influential work, Don Quixote, has been translated into sixty languages and inspired the word “quixotic.”

Truman Capote (September 30, 1924): Capote’s most popular works, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, both inspired movies of the same name.

Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928): Wiesel’s Night, a spiritual memoir about surviving Auschwitz, is often considered the most powerful piece of Holocaust literature.

Ta-Nehisi Coates (September 30, 1975): Coates has written several bestsellers, including the National Book Award-winning Between The World And Me, and The Water Dancer.

Categories: Today in Books

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