Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Wisława Szymborska, Alexandros Panagoulis, Darren Shan, Vladimir Nabokov, and Mario Puzo are the acclaimed authors who were born or died on a day like this.
Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist whose economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature. "The Sun Also Rises", Hemingway's first novel, was published in 1926. His most famous work, "The Old Man and the Sea" was published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. "A Farewell to Arms", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", and "True at First Light" are some of his other works. Hemingway passed away on a day like this in 1961, aged 61, by shooting himself with his favourite shotgun.
Hermann Hesse Hermann Hesse, born on a day like this in 1877, was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. Hesse released his first small volume of poetry, "Romantic Songs" in 1896. He wrote "Posthumous Writings and Poems of Hermann Lauscher" in 1902, and with the novel "Peter Camenzind" came a breakthrough. The novel became popular throughout Germany. Throughout his writing career Hesse has won many awards including the Goethe Prize in 1946, Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1955 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. His best-known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, each of which explores an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. Hesse passed away on August 9, 1962, aged 85.
Wisława Szymborska Wisława Szymborska-Włodek was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator. She was born in Prowent on a day like this in 1923. Szymborska was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality". She became better known internationally as a result of this. Her work has been translated into English and many European languages, as well as into Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese. In Poland, Szymborska's books have reached sales rivaling prominent prose authors: although she once remarked in a poem, "Some Like Poetry", that no more than two out of a thousand people care for the art. Szymborska frequently employed literary devices such as irony, paradox, contradiction and understatement, to illuminate philosophical themes and obsessions. Many of her poems feature war and terrorism. In "Calling out to the Yeti"(1957), she compared Joseph Stalin to the abominable snowman. She wrote from unusual points of view, such as a cat in the newly empty apartment of its dead owner. Her reputation rests on a relatively small body of work, fewer than 350 poems. When asked why she had published so few poems, she said: "I have a trash can in my home". Some of her other major works are: "Salt", "The End and the Beginning", "A Large Number", and "Moment". She passed away on February 1, 2012, at the age of 88.
Alexandros Panagoulis Alexandros Panagoulis was a Greek politician and poet. He was born on a day like this in 1939 in Athens. From his teenage years, Alexandros Panagoulis was inspired by democratic values. He took an active role in the fight against the Regime of the Colonels (1967–1974) in Greece. He became famous for his attempt to assassinate dictator Georgios Papadopoulos on 13 August 1968, but also for the torture that he was subjected to during his detention. While imprisoned at Bogiati, Panagoulis is said to have written his poetry on the walls of his cell or on small papers, often using his own blood as ink (as told in the poem 'The Paint'). Many of his poems have not survived. However, he managed to smuggle some to friends while in prison, or to recall and rewrite them later. While in prison his first collection in Italian titled "Others will Follow: Poetry and Documents of the Prison of Boyati" was published in Palermo in 1972. After his liberation he published his second collection in Milan under the title "I write you from a prison in Greece". He had previously published several collections in Greek, including "The Paint". Panagoulis was killed on 1 May 1976 at the age of 36 in a car accident. This happened only two days before files of the junta's military police (the "E.A.T.-E.S.A. file") that he was in possession of were to be made public. There was much speculation in the Greek press that the car accident was staged to silence Panagoulis and to cover up the documents in question. Panagoulis became the object of study of several researchers. One of the results was "A Man", by Oriana Fallaci.
Darren Shan Darren O'Shaughnessy was born on a day like this in 1972. He commonly writes under the pen name Darren Shan, and is an Irish author. He bought his first typewriter when he was fourteen and wrote many short stories, comic scripts, and books that he never finished. He finished his first novel at age seventeen. "Mute Pursuit" was never published, but he loved the writing experience, so he started focusing on novels more and not on short stories. His breakthrough came with "Ayuamarca", written under his full name instead of a pen name. It was published in February 1999. The sequel, "Hell's Horizon" was published in February 2000. In January 2000, Shan released "Cirque du Freak", the first book of The Saga of Darren Shan series in the UK and Ireland. The series was a huge global success and by 2012 his books were on sale in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and had sold in excess of twenty million copies worldwide.
Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist, poet and short story writer. Nabokov's first writings were in Russian, but he came to his greatest distinction in the English language. Nabokov published under the pseudonym "Vladimir Sirin" in the 1920s to 1940s, occasionally to mask his identity from critics. He also makes cameo appearances in some of his novels, such as the character "Vivian Darkbloom" (an anagram of "Vladimir Nabokov"). Nabokov is noted for his complex plots, clever word play, and use of alliteration. He gained both fame and notoriety with his novel "Lolita"(1955). This and his other novels, particularly "Pale Fire"(1962), won him a place among the greatest novelists of the 20th century. His longest novel, which met with a mixed response, is "Ada"(1969). Nabokov passed away on a day like this in 1977, aged 78.
Mario Puzo Mario Gianluigi Puzo wan an Italian American author and screenwriter. Puzo's favorite writer was Fyodor Dostoyevsky and He was deeply influenced by his books. After the war, he wrote his first book, "The Dark Arena", which was published in 1955. At periods in the 1950s and early 1960s, Puzo worked as a writer/editor for publisher Martin Goodman's Magazine Management Company. Puzo is best known for his novels about the mafia. Puzo's most famous work, The Godfather, was first published in 1969 after he had heard anecdotes about Mafia organizations during his time in pulp journalism. The book was later developed into the film The Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie received 11 Academy Award nominations, winning three, including an Oscar for Puzo for Best Adapted Screenplay. Coppola and Puzo collaborated then to work on sequels to the original film, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III. Puzo never saw the publication of his penultimate book, "Omertà", but the manuscript was finished before his death as was the manuscript for "The Family". Puzo passed away on a day like this in 1999, at age 78.