Famous Writers July Birthdays!
Happy Birthday to the following writers, be they still alive or having shuffled off this mortal coil, still continue to impress, awe, influence, and just plain make happy us readers and writers still here on this floating bit of rock and smog, somewhere off in the corner of the cosmos.
Herman Hesse, July 2 – Steppenwolf and Siddhartha. That’s all you need to know. If you haven’t read either, you are truly doing yourself a disservice. Steppenwolf was one of those books that changed how I looked at the novel.
Franz Kafka, July 3 – I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve read all of Kafka’s work, and it’s really hard to point out just a couple. I would say The Trial and Penal Colony were two of my favorites. Sorry, everyone chooses The Metamorphosis, lol.
Dean R. Koontz, July 9 – One of the greatest horror writers, hands down. And prolific! Personally, I loved Demon Seed and Midnight.
Ernest Hemingway, July 21 – Papa. Love him or hate him, he’s my Godhead. I have an old Life magazine on my wall over my desk, with one of the last photos of him, all white hair and smiles. The Nick Adams stories are simply fantastic, and I’m sure you’re all familiar with his works, as you’ve probably read them in High School or College. He wrote standing up at a podium-style desk, in shorts and sneakers. Love that little tidbit about him. His prose style changed everything. Papa.
John Gardner, July 21 – On Becoming A Novelist, and In The Suicide Mountains are two that are highly recommended. I’ve had my copy of On Becoming A Novelist for many, many years, and have reread it many, many times.
Raymond Chandler, July 23 – Again, a name that is mythical in the pantheon of writers. The Big Sleep, The Simple Art of Murder (a MUST read!), The Long Goodbye, The Lady in the Lake… these are mythic titles. Chandler was another writer, who like Papa, changed the playing field for everyone that came after them, and his influence on modern writing cannot be over estimated.
Alexandre Dumas, July 24 – Yes! The Count of Monte Cristo is still one of my favorite books. Read the unabridged version! (Like I really had to tell you guys that, yeah?)
Wow. July rocks for birthdays!