Author Birthdays on February 4

February 4 brings another day filled with author birthdays to celebrate. Send your best wishes and good thoughts by reading one (or all) of today’s featured authors.

Today’s Author Birthdays

William Harrison Ainsworth

Born February 4, 1805, William Harrison Ainsworth was a novelist from Manchester, England. Though he studied to be a lawyer, he was more attracted to a literary career and after a brief stint in publishing, earned a living as a journalist and author. Works include Rockwood, The Miser’s Daughter, and The Elixir of Life. William Harrison Ainsworth died on January 3, 1882.

Sheila Kaye-Smith

Sheila Kaye-Smith was born February 4, 1887, in Sussex, England. She was known for writing novels with a rural, country life slant. She wrote often about farming, agriculture and explored the changing roles of women. Works include Joanna Godden and Green Apple Harvest.

MacKinlay Kantor

MacKinlay Kantor was born in 1904. He was a screenwriter, journalist, and novelist. In 1956 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Andersonville. Other works include Gettysburg and Valley Forge.

Betty Friedan

Author and feminist, Betty Friedan, was born in 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. She was a prominent voice in the women’s rights movement. She was the founder of the National Organization for Women and organized the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970. Her book The Feminine Mystique is said to have sparked the woman’s movement of the 70’s. Other works include The Fountain of Age and Life So Far. Betty Friedan passed away on her 82nd birthday in 2006.

Related Reading:  Happy Birthday to Authors Born March 1!

Patricia Highsmith

Born February 4, 1921, Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist best known for her gripping thrillers. Novels include Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The Price of Salt.

Russell Hoban

Born on February 4, 1925, in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania,  Russell Hoban was an author and illustrator. His illustrations appeared on covers for Time, Sports Illustrated, and Saturday Evening Post. Hoban was best known for his many children’s books including Bedtime for Frances, The Marzipan Pig, and Emmet Otter’s JugBand Christmas.

Robert Coover

Born in 1932 in Charles City, Iowa, Robert Coover is an educator and novelist. He’s the recipient of the William Faulkner First Novel Award and the Rea Award for Short Stories. Coover established the International Writers Project at Brown University and founded the Electronic Literature Organization. Notable works include The Public Burning, Huck Out West, and The Origin of the Brunists.

Stewart O’Nan

Award-winning author, Stewart O’Nan,  was born on this day in 1961. His books include Last Night at the Lobster, West of Sunset, and The Night Country.

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