Today's Page: June 11th
William Styron, Renee Vivien, Robert E. Howard and Catherine Cookson the acclaimed authors who were born or died on a day like this.
William Clark Styron, Jr. who was born on a day like this in 1925 was an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work. "Lie Down in Darkness"(1951), is his acclaimed first novel which he published at age 26 and won him the Rome Prize. "The Confessions of Nat Turner"(1967), his most controversial book, earned him the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the William Dean Howells Medal in 1970. "Sophie's Choice"(1979) won the 1980 National Book Award and was a nationwide bestseller. A 1982 film version was nominated for five Academy Awards. Styron died from pneumonia on November 1, 2006, at age 81.
Renee Vivien, born Pauline Mary Tarn, was born on a day like this in 1877. She was a British poet who wrote in the French Language. During her brief life, Vivien was an extremely prolific poet who came to be known as the "Muse of the Violets". Virtually all her verse is veiled autobiography written in the French language; most of it has never been translated into English. Her principal books of verse are "Cendres et Poussieres"(1902), "La Venus des aveugles"(1903), "A l'heure des mains jointes"(1906), "Flambeaux eteints"(1907) and "Haillons"(1910). She died on November 18, 1909, at the age of 32; her cause of death was reported at the time as "lung congestion", but likely resulted from pneumonia complicated by alcoholism, drug abuse and anorexia.
Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is probably best known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre. He was born on January 22, 1906, in the state of Texas. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. He created Conan the Barbarian in the pages of the Depression-era pulp magazine Weird Tales, a character whose pop-culture imprint has been compared to such icons as Tarzan, Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. In June 1936, Howard's mother went into her final coma. As he found out that his mother was never going to recover, he walked out to his car parked in the driveway in front of the hospital, took his pistol from the glove box, and shot himself in the head. He was 30 years old.
Dame Catherine Cookson was born on June 27, 1906, and died on a day like this in 1998 at the age of 91. She was a British author. She became the United Kingdom's most widely read novelist, with sales topping 100 million books. Her first novel, "Kate Hannigan", was published in 1950. Cookson wrote almost 100 books, which sold more than 123 million copies, her novels being translated into at least 20 languages. She also wrote books under the pseudonyms Catherine Merchant and Katie McMullen. She remained the most borrowed author from public libraries in the UK for 17 years.
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