Posted on December 3, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of December 3, 2023.

Joseph Conrad (December 3, 1857): Conrad is best known for Heart of Darkness, though his other acclaimed novels include Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, and Under Western Eyes.

Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4, 1875): Rilke is considered among the finest German poets, with Sonnets to Orpheus, Neue Gedichte (New Poems) and Duino Elegies bringing him lasting fame.

Christina Rossetti (December 5, 1830): Rossetti was celebrated for her poetry, such as Goblin Market and Other Poems and The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems, and her children’s works, most notably Sing-Song: a Nursery Rhyme Book.

Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886): Lane was well-known for her journalism, fiction, and biographies before helping her mother write — or ghostwriting — the Little House on the Prairie books. 

Joan Didion (December 5, 1934): Didion’s long literary career in nonfiction (Slouching Toward Bethlehem) and fiction (Play It as It Lays) earned her a National Humanities Medal; she also received the National Book Award for the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking.

Peter Handke (December 6, 1942): Handke used to be best known for the novel The Hornets, the play Offending the Audience, and the screenplay for the movie Wings of Desire; after he won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature, though, conversation about him focused on controversial remarks he made about the Balkan conflicts.

Karl Ove Knausgaard (December 6, 1968): Knausgaard gained widespread popularity for his autobiographical My Struggle novels, but he first broke onto the literary scene when his Out of the World became the first debut novel to win the Norwegian Critics’ Prize. 

Willa Cather (December 7, 1873): Cather is best known today for O Pioneers! and My Ántonia, but she also received the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours.

Categories: Today in Books

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