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

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

William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770): Wordsworth wrote the majority of the poems in Lyrical Ballads, which helped launch the English Romantic movement.

Barbara Kingsolver (April 8, 1955): Among Kingsolver’s many acclaimed novels is The Lacuna, a mixture of history and fiction that won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Charles Baudelaire (April 9, 1821): Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal in French) is among the most important poetry collections published in Europe in the nineteenth century.

Paul Theroux (April 10, 1941): Theroux is beloved for his travel books, such as The Great Railway Bazaar (his breakthrough work), and his novels, including The Happy Isles of Oceania.

Beverly Cleary (April 12, 1916): Cleary is among the most beloved children’s author of all-time, with her works — starring such characters as Ramona and Beezus Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, Otis Spofford, and Ellen Tebbits — racking up awards including the National Medal of Art and the John Newbery Medal. 

Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902): Henry wrote nearly sixty books, including the Newberry Honor book Justin Morgan Had a Horse; the Newberry Medal-winning King of the Wind; and her perhaps best-known tale, Misty of Chincoteague.

Samuel Beckett (April 13, 1906): Beckett, best known for his play Waiting for Godot, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969 for “for his writing, which — in new forms for the novel and drama — in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.”

Eudora Welty (April 13, 1909): Welty’s short stories and novels, including The Robber Bridegroom and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist’s Daughter, have immortalized small-town Mississippi life.

Seamus Heaney (April 13, 1939): Though he’s perhaps better known for his poetry, Heaney’s translation of Beowulf became an international bestseller; he also won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Categories: Today in Books

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