Today's Page: July 31st
31 Jul 2012 9:50
J. K. Rowling, Premchand, Lynne Reid Banks, Cees Nooteboom, and Poul Anderson are the acclaimed authors who were born or died on a day like this.
J. K. Rowling
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, pen name J. K. Rowling, is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990. In 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" on an old manual typewriter. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel won the prestigious British Book Award for Children's Book of the Year, and later, the Children's Book Award. Its sequel, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 and again Rowling won the Smarties Prize. In December 1999, the third novel, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", won the Smarties Prize, making Rowling the first person to win the award three times running. The fourth book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", was released simultaneously in the UK and the U.S. on 8 July 2000, and broke sales records in both countries. A wait of three years occurred between the release of Goblet of Fire and the fifth Harry Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". The sixth book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was released on 16 July 2005. The title of the seventh and final Harry Potter book was revealed 21 December 2006 to be "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies to become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment. On 12 April 2012, Rowling announced that her new adult novel "The Casual Vacancy" would be published in the UK by Little, Brown and Company on 27 September 2012.
Premchand, born on a day like this in 1880, was an Indian writer famous for his modern Hindi-Urdu literature. He is one of the most celebrated writers of the Indian subcontinent, and is regarded as one of the foremost Hindi-Urdu writers of the early twentieth century. A novel writer, story writer and dramatist, he has been referred to as the "Emperor of Novels" by some Hindi writers. He first began writing under the pen name "Nawab Rai". He switched to the name "Premchand" after his short story collection "Soz-e-Watan" was banned by the British Raj. He is also known as "Munshi Premchand", Munshi being an honorary prefix. His works include more than a dozen novels, around 250 short stories, several essays and translations of a number of foreign literary works into Hindi. Premchand is considered the first Hindi author whose writings prominently featured realism. His novels describe the problems of the poor and the urban middle-class. His works depict a rationalistic outlook, which views religious values as something that allow the powerful hypocrites to exploit the weak. He used literature for the purpose of arousing public awareness about national and social issues and often wrote about topics related to corruption, child widowhood, feudal system, poverty, colonialism and on the India's freedom movement. Premchand passed away on October 8, 1936, aged 56.
Lynne Reid Banks
Lynne Reid Banks is a British author of books for children and adults. She was born on a day like this in 1929 in London. Her first novel, "The L-Shaped Room", published in 1960, was an instant and lasting best seller. "The L-Shaped Room" was later made into a movie of the same name and led to two sequels, "The Backward Shadow" and "Two is Lonely". Banks also wrote a biography of the Brontë family, entitled "Dark Quartet", and a sequel about Charlotte Brontë, "Path to the Silent Country". She has written forty books, including the best-selling children's novel "The Indian in the Cupboard", which has sold over 10 million copies and has been successfully adapted to film.
Cees Nooteboom (born Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, on a day like this in 1933, in the Hague) is a Dutch author. He has won numerous literary awards and has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature. Nooteboom's first novel, "Philip and the Others"(1988), was published in 1955 and won the Anne Frank Prize. His second novel, "The Knight Has Died"(1990), published in 1963, was to remain his last for 17 years. In 1980, his novel "Rituals"(1983) brought him wide acclaim in Holland and won the Pegasus Prize. It was also his first translated into English. Other novels include "A Song of Truth and Semblance"(1984); "All Souls' Day"(2001) and "Paradise Lost"(2007). His best-known work to English-speaking audiences is perhaps "The Following Story"(1991), which was written in 1991 and won him the Aristeion Prize in 1993. Nooteboom is also a well-known travel writer.
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous awards for his writing, including seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. Anderson set much of his work in the past, often with the addition of magic, or in alternate or future worlds that resemble past eras. The story told in "The Shield of Time" is an example of a tragic conflict, another common theme in Anderson's writing. Anderson died of cancer on a day like this in 2001, aged 74.