Posted on June 16, 2024 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of June 16, 2024.

Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938): Oates has been extremely prolific, producing not just novels (such as We Were the Mulvaneys and the National Book Award-winning them) but also short-story collections, plays, essays poetry, and literary criticism, under her own name and two other pseudonyms (Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly).

John Hersey (June 17, 1914): Before writing his acclaimed Hiroshima and The Wall, Hersey served as a foreign correspondent for Time and Life magazines. 

Salman Rushdie (June 19, 1947): Rushdie won the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight’s Children, just his second novel, but perhaps gained even greater fame for The Satanic Verses, for which the Iranian government issued a decade-long fatwa against him.

Lillian Hellman (June 20, 1906): Hellman, whose many acclaimed plays include The Little Foxes, Watch on the Rhine, and The Autumn Garden, was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee but refused to name any Communists.

Lilian Jackson Braun (June 20, 1913): Braun wrote over twenty novels in her beloved and bestselling Cat Who series, which starred an amateur detective and his clue-dropping Siamese cats. 

Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905): Sartre, known best for his works Being and Nothingness and The Age of Reason and his passion for the philosophical theory of existentialism, was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but declined it.

Françoise Sagan (June 21, 1935): Sagan’s first novel, Bonjour Tristesse, made her an internationally bestselling author when she was just nineteen years old.

Ian McEwan (June 21, 1948): McEwan is considered among the greatest living English writers, with such award-nominated and -winning novels as The Comfort of Strangers, Amsterdam, On Chesil Beach, and Atonement (also adapted into an acclaimed movie) earning him fame.

Erich Maria Remarque (June 22, 1898): Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is both his best-known novel and the best-known novel about World War I, though he did write other books that were popular, including Arc de Triomphe.

Eugenia Price (June 22, 1916): Price’s historical Southern novels — including the St. Simons trilogy, the Georgia trilogy, and the Savannah quartet — have sold over 40 million copies.

Octavia E. Butler (June 22, 1947): Among Butler’s many honors include Hugo awards (Speech Sounds and Bloodchild), the Nebula Award (also for Bloodchild), a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (the first ever given to a science-fiction writer), and the PEN Award for lifetime achievement.

Categories: Today in Books

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