Happy birthday to the authors born on January 26! What better gift than to check out their works? Did you know many libraries put out displays featuring literary birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones for the current month? Don’t forget to check and see what’s going on each month when you visit your local library.
Raise a glass or mug to these wonderful authors on the anniversary of their birth!
Born in 1831 in New York City, Mary Mapes Dodge was educated via private tutors. A young widow, she made her living as a writer and magazine editor. She is best known for the children’s classic Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Other books by Mrs. Dodge include A Few Friends and How They Amused Themselves, and Donald and Dorothy. Mary Mapes Dodge passed away in 1905, at the age of 74.
Born January 26, 1899, May Miller was a poet, educator, and playwright. In fact, she was considered the most widely published playwright of the Harlem Renaissance. Ms. Miller was born in Washington, D.C. and has the distinction of being the first African-American student to attend Johns Hopkins University. May Miller passed away on February 8, 1995, leaving behind a legacy of poetry, drama, and education. See The Ransomed Wait, Halfway to the Sun, and Dust of an Uncertain Journey to learn more about May Miller and her poetry.
Born in 1918, Philp Jose Farmer was an award-winning Science Fiction & Fantasy Author. He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana but grew up in Peoria, Illinois. A steelworker by trade, Mr. Farmer eventually attended Bradley University as an English major, graduating in 1950.
Philip Jose Farmer’s first success came in 1952 with the publication of his short story The Lovers, which also earned him the Hugo Award for “Most Promising Writer” for that same year. Before he passed away in 2009, Mr. Farmer published many works of fiction including the Riverworld series and World of Tiers series.
Shōtarō Yasuoka was born January 26, 1920 in Kochi, Kochi, Japan. Mr. Yasuoka is considered one of Japan’s influential authors, winning many awards in that country including the Akutagawa Prize, the Noma Literary Prize, and Mainichi Cultural Prize.
Shotaro Yasuoka passed away on January 26, 2013. His notable works include A View by the Sea, A Melancholy Pleasure, and Prized Possessions.
Author, film writer, producer, and artist, Roger Vadim, was born in Paris on January 26, 1928. Mr. Vadim studied journalism at the University of Paris but didn’t receive a degree. Instead, he got an early start in film, working as a film director’s assistant when he was 19.
Though he worked primarily in film and theater, Roger Vadim also moonlighted as a writer and penned several works of fiction and non-fiction including D’une étoile à l’autre, Bardot, Deneuve & Fonda: My Life with the Three Most Beautiful Women in the World, and L’Ange Affame.
Roger Vadim died of cancer February 11, 2000. He was 72 years old.
Born January 26, 1929 in New York City, Jules Feiffer is a cartoonist, author, satirist, and screenwriter. His impressive career has yielded many awards including induction into the Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1961 for Munro. Mr. Feiffer was also recognized by the Library of Congress for his “amazing legacy.”
Jules Feiffer has published many graphic novels and cartoon collections including Sick, Sick, Sick: A Guide to Non-Confident Living and Marriage Is an Invasion of Privacy. His published novels include Harry the Rat with Women and Ackroyd.
Author and political activist, Angela Davis, was born January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama. Ms. Davis lived and studied all around the world, but is best known for her activism. She was a leader of the Communist Party, USA and had ties to the Black Panther movement. She’s very involved in civil rights, especially prisoner’s rights and had several brushes with the law as a result.
Jonathan Carroll was born January 26, 1949, in New York City. A graduate of Rutgers University, he relocated to Vienna, Austria, after he began teaching literature there. Mr. Carroll is the recipient of several awards including the World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Award.
His many fantasy acclaimed novels include The Crane’s View Trilogy, The Land of Laughs, and A Child Across the Sky.
Best known for his “comic crime fiction, Laurence Shames was born in Newark NJ, in 1951. He is a New York Times bestselling author, and several of his books have been optioned for film adaptations. His titles include Florida Straits, Key West Luck, and Shot on Location.