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Literary Anniversaries: Authors Who Were Born or Died in August

Bookwitty By Bookwitty Published on July 31, 2017

Below is a list of authors who were born or died in the month of August. For a list of the literary festivals and book fairs in August 2017, click here.

Author Birthdays

August 1, 1815 | Herman Melville
American author, writer of Moby Dick.

August 1, 1916 | Anne Hébert
Multi-award-winning French-Canadian novelist and playwright.

August 1, 1957 | Madison Smartt Bell
Nashville-born novelist and writer of short stories.

August 2, 1953 | James Baldwin
Harlem-born novelist, playwright, essayist. Author of I Am Not Your Negro.

August 2, 1949 | Bei Dao
Beijing-born poet, also known as Zhao Zhengkai.

August 3, 1920 | P. D. James
British writer, known for Children of Men and Death Comes to Pemberly.

August 3, 1921 | Hayden Carruth
American author and poet.

August 3, 1924 | Joseph Conrad
Polish-born British author, best known for Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent.

August 4, 1792 | Percy Bysshe Shelley
English Romantic poet.

August 4, 1859 | Knut Hamsun
Norwegian novelist, winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize.

August 4, 1936 | Assia Djebar
Algerian poet, playwright, filmmaker, translator.

August 5, 1850 | Guy de Maupassant
French author, known for his mastery of the short story (and his hatred of the Eiffel Tower).

August 5, 1926 | Per Wahloo
One half of the "couple that invented Nordic noir".

August 6, 1809 | Alfred Lord Tennyson
English poet, author of The Charge of the Light Brigade.

August 6, 1934 | Piers Anthony
British science fiction writer.

August 7, 1942 | Garrison Keillor
American humourist, host of A Prairie Home Companion.

August 7, 1947 | Ann Beattie
Author of novels and short stories, recipient of the PEN award, among others.

August 8, 1952 | Valerie Sayers
American author of comic novels, short stories, and essays.

August 9, 1910 | Robert van Gulik
Best known for the Judge Dee historical mysteries, the protagonist of which he borrowed from an 18th-century Chinese detective novel.

August 9, 1927 | Daniel Keyes
American author, best known for Flowers for Algernon.

August 10, 1912 | Jorge Amado
Brazilian modernist writer, best known for Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.

August 11, 1823 | Charlotte Mary Yonge
Prolific English novelist, her readers included Lewis Carroll, George Elliot, William Ewart Gladstone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.

August 11, 1997 | Enid Blyton
English children's writer, author of the Famous Five, Secret Seven, and Noddy books.

August 11, 1921 | Alex Haley
American novelist, scriptwriter, author of Roots.

August 12, 1876 | Mary Roberts Rinehart
American writer of mystery stories, often considered America's answer to Agatha Christie (also considered the originator of the phrase "the butler did it").

August 12, 1931 | William Goldman
American author, known for The Princess Bride and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

August 14, 1932 | John Galsworthy
English novelist and winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga.

August 14, 1925 | Russell Baker
Editorial writer for the New York Times, twice winner of the Pulitzer.

August 15, 1906 | William Milligan Sloane III
American science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer, best known for To Walk The Night.

August 15, 1785 | Thomas De Quincey
English essayist, noted for Confessions of an Opium Eater, often credited with starting the tradition of addiction literature.

August 15, 1888 | T. E. Lawrence
Welsh author of Lawrence of Arabia.

August 16, 1884 | Hugo Gernsback
Science fiction writer, the Hugo awards are named for him.

August 16, 1920 | Charles Bukowski
American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

August 17, 1930 | Ted Hughes
English poet and children's author, known for The Iron Man and his translations of Ovid.

August 18, 1912 | Elsa Morante
Italian author of novels, novellas, and short stories, best known for History.

August 20, 1890 | H. P. Lovecraft
American horror novelist, foundation for much of the cosmic horror genre.

August 22, 1893 | Dorothy Parker
American poet and short story writer. Known for her sharp sense of humour.

August 22, 1920 | Ray Bradbury
American science fiction writer, best known for Farenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.

August 22, 1955 | Colm Tóibín
Irish critic, poet, and writer, known for his short stories and for the novel Brooklyn.

August 24, 1899 | Jorge Luis Borges
Argentinian author of novels, short stories, and essays, among the first writers of "magical realism".

August 24, 1890 | Jean Rhys
Author from the Caribbean island of Dominica, best known for Wide Sargasso Sea.

August 26, 1904 | Christopher Isherwood
English-American author, best known for his two-novella book The Berlin Stories.

August 26, 1914 | Julio Cortázar
Argentinian writer of novels, short stories, and essays. Considered one of the founders of the "Latin American Boom".

27 August 551BC | Confucius
Chinese writer, politician, teacher, and philosopher.

August 27, 1932 | Antonia Fraser
British author, known for her detective fiction and histories.

August 28, 1749 | Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German writer of plays, poetry, and prose. Known for writing Faust.

August 28, 1828 | Leo Tolstoy
Russian author of serialised novels, best known for War & Peace.

August 28, 1952 | Rita Dove
American poet and first black Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

August 30, 1797 | Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
English writer of Gothic fiction, best known for Frankenstein.

Anniversaries of Authors' Deaths

August 2, 1988 | Raymond Carver
American author of short stories and poetry.

August 2, 1997 | William S. Burroughs
American author, best known for Naked Lunch.

August 3, 1964 | Flannery O'Connor
American author, best known for her Southern Gothic prose.

August 4, 1875 | Hans Christian Andersen
Danish author, best known for his children's stories, including The Ugly Duckling and The Fir Tree.

August 5, 1985 | Theodore Sturgeon
American science fiction author, largely of short stories. Known for Saucer of Loneliness and for Sturgeon's Law.

August 6, 2001 | Jorge Amado

Brazilian modernist author, best known for Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon.

August 8, 1965 | Shirley Jackson
American author, known for The Lottery.

August 9, 1941 | Mahmoud Darwish
Palestinian poet and author, considered Palestine's national poet.

August 11, 1937 | Edith Wharton
American author, winner of the Pulitzer in 1921 for The Age of Innocence (the first woman to win the prize).

August 12, 1964 | Ian Fleming
British author, best known for creating James Bond.

August 13, 1946 | H. G. Wells
English science fiction author, best known for The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.

August 16, 1949 | Margaret Mitchell
American author, best known for Gone with the Wind, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.

August 18, 1850 | Honoré de Balzac
French author, known for his coffee addiction.

August 22, 2012 | Nina Bawden
English author and children's writer, best known for The Birds on the Trees.

August 25, 1984 | Truman Capote
American author of novels and short stories, best known for In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

August 27, 2009 | Sergey Mikhalkov
Russian author and poet, known for his children's books and satirical fables.

August 28, 1995 | Michael Ende
German author of children's books, best known for The Neverending Story and Momo.

August 30, 2013 | Seamus Heaney
Irish poet and translator, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature.


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