Posted on December 17, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of December 17, 2023.

Ford Madox Ford (December 17, 1873): In the years before and after writing his masterpiece, The Good Soldier, Ford also founded the English Review and edited the Transatlantic Review, both of which published many of the time’s most famous authors.

Erskine Caldwell (December 17, 1903): Caldwell’s literary fame rests on two novels that describe poverty and degeneracy in the South: Tobacco Road and God’s Little Acre.

Saki (December 18, 1870): Saki’s short stories “Tobermory,” “The Open Window,” “Sredni Vashtar,” “Laura,” and “The Schartz-Metterklume Method” are frequent entries in anthologies.

Kate Atkinson (December 20, 1951): Atkinson’s Life After Life was nominated for and won several awards; she is also the author of the bestselling Jackson Brodie novels.

Sandra Cisneros (December 20, 1954): Cisneros received a National Medal of the Arts for her lifetime of work, including poetry, short stories, and a novel; she is most famous for her bestseller The House on Mango Street, which has been translated into over twenty languages.

Rebecca West (December 21, 1892): West reported on the Nürnberg trials of Nazi war criminals, which became A Train of Powder, and wrote about the Balkans in Black Lamb and Grey Falcon; she also wrote several novels, including The Return of the Soldier and The Fountain Overflows.

Jean Racine (December 22, 1639): Best known for his plays like Phèdre, Racine is considered the first modern poet and also the first French author to live off his writing.

Norman Maclean (December 23, 1902): Maclean’s A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only of his work to be published during his lifetime, but the posthumously published Young Men and Fire became a bestseller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. 

Donna Tartt (December 23, 1963): Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for The Goldfinch and is also well-known for her novels The Secret History and The Little Friend.

Categories: Today in Books

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