Posted on December 10, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of December 10, 2023.

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830): Dickinson is among the greatest American poets, known for such poems as “Because I could not stop for Death,”  “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers,” “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” and “A Bird, came down the Walk.”

Clarice Lispector (December 10, 1920): Lispector — author of Near to the Wild Heart, The Hour of the Star, The Passion According to G.H., and The Stream of Life — is considered to be among both Brazil’s most important literary figures and the greatest women writers of the twentieth century.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (December 11, 1918): Solzhenitsyn is famous for his novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Gulag Archipelago, the publication of which resulted in the loss of his Russian citizenship.

Grace Paley (December 11, 1922): Paley is considered to be among the seminal American short-story writers of the twentieth century; among her collections are The Little Disturbances of Man and Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

Gustave Flaubert (December 12, 1821): Flaubert’s debut novel — Madame Bovary — is by far his most famous work, though he’s credited with leading the realist school of French literature.

Shirley Jackson (December 14, 1919): Jackson is best known for her short story “The Lottery,” which drew a record amount of mail for the New Yorker (where it appeared), and the novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Betty Smith (December 15, 1896): In addition to writing the beloved and bestselling coming-of-age novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Smith was an acclaimed playwright, receiving the Rockefeller Fellowship and the Dramatists Guild Fellowship.

Edna O’Brien (December 15, 1930): O’Brien caught attention with her first novel, The Country Girls, which launched a trilogy as well as a career of fiction, short stories, plays, screenplays, and nonfiction.

Jane Austen (December 16, 1775): Austen’s six novels, including most famously Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, set a new tone for the genre by depicting ordinary people’s everyday lives.

Arthur C. Clarke (December 16, 1917): Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” became first the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and then a full-length book; he’s also known for the novel Childhood’s End and short stories “The Nine Billion Names of God” and “The Star.”

Philip K. Dick (December 16, 1928): Dick’s fame beyond sci-fi circles mostly came posthumously, though The Man in the High Castle (later a TV show) did receive a Hugo Award, and his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was adapted into the movie Blade Runner the same year he died.

Categories: Today in Books

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