Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Literary Birthdays - Part 2

So many birthdays!

Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is an American author of more than 30 books for young adults and children. "She specialized in library work with children. She was the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington. Clearly has sold 91 million copies of her books worldwide. Some of her best-known characters are Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beatrice ("Beezus") Quimby, her sister Ramona Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse. Mrs. Cleary won the 1981 National Book Award for Ramona and Her Mother and the 1984 Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw."

Charlotte Brontë (21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855) was an English novelist and poet, whose novels have become classics of English literature. "She first published her works under the pen name Currer Bell. Charlotte Brontë worked as a teacher and governess before collaborating on a book of poetry with her two sisters, Emily and Anne, who were writers as well. In 1847, Brontë published the semi-autobiographical novel Jane Eyre, which was a hit and would become a literary classic. Her other novels included Shirley and Villette."

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, and actor. "His work comprises 36 plays, 154 sonnets, and two narrative poems. Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford, England. His exact date of birth is uncertain, but it is thought to have been April 23. From the late 1500s to early 1600s, Shakespeare became known for his comedies and tragedies, including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. By about 1610, Shakespeare was mainly retired from the stage. Among his last plays were the comedies The Winter's Tale and The Tempest."

Russian novelist, poet, scholar, translator, and butterfly collector Vladimir Nabokov (22 April 1899 – 2 July 1977). "While Nabokov's first nine novels were in Russian, he later rose to international prominence as a writer of English prose. He also made serious contributions as a lepidopterist and chess composer. Nabokov's Lolita was a landmark in both storytelling and controversy and was later made into a film by Stanley Kubrick. Nabokov's major critical works are an irreverent book about Nikolay Gogol and a four-volume translation of, and commentary on, Eugene Onegin."

Halldor Laxness (23 April 1902 – 8 February 1998) was an Icelandic novelist and 1955 Nobel Prize winner. "He is considered the most creative Icelandic writer of the 20th century. Major influences included August Strindberg, Sigmund Freud, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Bertolt Brecht and Ernest Hemingway. His spiritual experiences are reflected in several books of an autobiographical nature. Beginning in the late 1950s, Laxness increasingly turned from social issues to philosophical questions and the problems of the individual. The novels from this period, including The Fish Can Sing and Paradise Reclaimed, are more lyrical and introspective. In Christianity at Glacier and Domestic Chronicle he even engaged in modernist experimentation as he had in his early works."

Sue Taylor Grafton (born April 24, 1940) is a contemporary American author of detective novels best known as the author of the 'alphabet series' featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Sue Grafton started writing as a teenager. Grafton published her first novel, “Keziah Dane”. Her next book, The Lolly Madonna War, was turned into a feature film. After working as a television writer for several years, Grafton debuted her first Kinsey Millhone novel, A Is for Alibi, in 1982."

Marcus Aurelius  (26 April 121 – 17 March 180 AD) was Roman philosopher, humane emperor, and author of The Meditations. "As Emperor of Rome from 161-180, Marcus Aurelius kept the empire safe from the Parthians and Germans, but is best known for his intellectual pursuits. Marcus Aurelius' Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration".

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