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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.

Posts on this profile were created by members of the Bookwitty team. Here, we discuss books, authors, publishers and other literary-related topics. You’ll find our writers based between our ... Show More

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