Posted on January 7, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of January 7, 2024.

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891): Hurston was celebrated in her lifetime for her fiction (most notably Their Eyes Were Watching God), her folklore studies, and her anthropological work and found a second surge of fame after author Alice Walker wrote about a pilgrimage to her grave.

William Peter Blatty (January 7, 1928): Most of Blatty’s fiction and screenwriting was comedy, but his smash hit in both arenas came from the horror genre: The Exorcist.

Alexandra Ripley (January 8, 1934): Ripley’s bestselling historical novels earned her the official nod from the Margaret Mitchell estate to write Scarlett, a sequel to Gone with the Wind that didn't receive the same critical reception but did notch impressive sales.

Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908): Beauvoir became a household name for The Second Sex, a treatise on feminism, but also wrote fiction (including prize-winning The Mandarins), philosophical works, and autobiographical accounts (like Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter).

Judith Krantz (January 9, 1927): Krantz’s sex-and-shopping novels, like Scruples and Princess Daisy, have sold 85 million copies in more than fifty languages.

Alan Paton (January 11, 1903): Paton’s first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, didn’t just bring him fame; it also called global attention to apartheid in South Africa.

Diana Gabaldon (January 11, 1952): Gabaldon’s Outlander series has become a smash hit TV series in addition to selling over 28 million copies worldwide. 

Jack London (January 12, 1876): London, best known for The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and “To Build a Fire,” was among the most extensively translated and best-paid authors of his time. 

Haruki Murakami (January 12, 1949): Murakami — whose works include Killing CommendatoreNorwegian Wood, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle — has won a number of prizes worldwide, and his work has been translated into over fifty languages.

Walter Mosley (January 12, 1952): Mosley has written over sixty books — including Down the River and Unto the Sea and Devil in a Blue Dress — in a variety of genres and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

Horatio Alger Jr. (January 13, 1832): Alger’s hundred-plus books — formulaic, moralistic tales of how poor boys overcame obstacles by being good — sold over 20 million copies in spite of their artistic weaknesses.

Categories: Today in Books

There are no comments yet.
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field