Posted on May 19, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of May 19, 2024.

Lorraine Hansberry (May 19, 1930): Hansberry’s canonical play A Raisin in the Sun received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, while its film adaptation received a special award at the Cannes festival.

Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941): Ephron’s incredibly successful screenwriting career (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail) was bookended by periods of essay-writing, including the bestseller I Feel Bad About My Neck.

Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799): Balzac, most famous for La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy), helped establish the traditional form of the novel and also is considered the creator of realism in the novel.

Alexander Pope (May 21, 1688): Pope is best known for his poems An Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock, and An Essay on Man, and was the first English poet to enjoy contemporary fame across Europe.

Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859): Doyle’s best-known character — Sherlock Holmes — took inspiration from the observation skills of one of his professors in medical school.

Margaret Fuller (May 23, 1810): The first edition of Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which urges young women to seek greater independence through education, sold out within a week.

Mitch Albom (May 23, 1958): Among Albom’s bestselling books that have also been made into hit movies are Tuesdays With Morrie and Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803): Most famous for his essay “Self-Reliance,” Emerson’s personal manifestos (Nature and Address) rallied the literary movement known as Transcendentalism.

Raymond Carver (May 25, 1938): Carver gained literary acclaim with the short-story collection Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? and is credited with reviving the English-language short story.

Categories: Today in Books

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