Posted on February 18, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of February 18, 2024.

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931): Morrison received the Nobel Prize in Literature for her body of work, including Song of Solomon (a National Book Critics Circle Award winner), Beloved (a Pulitzer Prize winner), The Bluest Eye, and Sula.

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934): Lorde’s poetry and essays are marked by her experiences as a lesbian and as a Black woman; she is best known for the collections Coal, The Black Unicorn, and the National Book Award-winning A Burst of Light.

Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917): McCullers is best known for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which became a movie, and The Member of the Wedding, which she adapted into a successful play.

Amy Tan (February 19, 1952): Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a surprise bestseller; her following novels, including The Bonesetter’s Daughter, have also become bestsellers, albeit not surprisingly.

Ellen Gilchrist (February 20, 1935): Gilchrist is celebrated for her short story collections, one of which — Victory over Japan — received the National Book Award.

Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1903): Nin published several novels in her earlier years, but it was her diaries — released almost uncensored while she was still alive — that made her a celebrity.  

W. H. Auden (February 21, 1907): Auden received the Pulitzer Prize for the dramatic poem The Age of Anxiety.

Erma Bombeck (February 21, 1927): Bombeck broke through as a humorist while writing newspaper columns; she also wrote several bestsellers, If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?.

Michel de Montaigne (February 23, 1533): Montaigne is best known for Essais; while his work’s title translates to “attempts” or “tries,” it also led to the use of the word “essay” for a short prose composition.

Samuel Pepys (February 23, 1633): Pepys is famous for the diary he kept for nearly a decade, describing such landmark events in England as the restoration of the monarchy, an outbreak of the plague, and the Great Fire of London.

W.E.B. Du Bois (February 23, 1868): Du Bois wrote two landmarks of African American literature: The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study, the first case study of a black community in the US, and the essay collection The Souls of Black Folk.

Categories: Today in Books

There are no comments yet.
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field