Today in Literary History – June 30, 1936 – Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” is published

Margaret Mitchell's only novel, Gone With the Wind, was published on June 30, 1936. Despite its length (1037 pages) and it’s unusually high price of three dollars it was an instant bestseller. Mitchell, who was a features writer on the Atlanta Journal, spent ten years on the book, which is set in Georgia during and …

Today in Literary History – June 29, 1900 – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of “The Little Prince”, is born

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the aviator and author of such beloved books as The Little Prince and Night Flight, was born on June 29, 1900. Saint-Exupéry was born into a noble French family (his father was a viscount) and was given the upbringing expected of a young aristocrat. However, he failed to pass the acceptance exams at the colleges he …

Today in Literary History -June 28, 1503 – Giovanni della Casa, author of a popular Renaissance guide to manners, is born in Florence

Giovanni della Casa, poet, archbishop, diplomat, and author of one of the most popular books of etiquette and Renaissance “courtesy," was born in Florence on June 28, 1503. In Italy della Casa is highly regarded for the satirical and somewhat bawdy poetry he composed in his early life, but he is most famous for his book …

Also On This Day in Literary History – Ian McEwan is born – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Ian McEwan, the great British short story writer and novelist, was born on June 21, 1948. He has had one of the longest and most varied careers of his generation of British writers which includes Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Julian Barnes. McEwan’s father was an Army major and McEwan grew up on various military …

Today in Literary History – June 21, 1935 – novelist Francoise Sagan is born

The French novelist Francoise Sagan was born on June 21, 1935, as Francoise Quoirez. Sagan became an international literary celebrity at the age of 19 with the publication of her first novel Bonjour Tristesse in 1954. Sagan said that she wrote the book just to see if she could, and completed it in a couple …

Also On This Day in Literary History – Emil Cioran dies – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Emil Cioran, the Romanian philosopher and author who lived most of his life in France died on June 20, 1995, at the age of eighty-four, from Alzheimer Disease. Cioran had been obsessed by the idea of suicide his whole life. Many of his brief aphoristic essays wove themselves around what Cioran considered a paradox, at …

Today in Literary History – June 20, 1883 – Gustave Aimard, French adventurer and author of American “westerns,” dies

Gustave Aimard, the prolific and wildly popular 19th century French writer of “western" novels set in the US and South America, died on June 20, 1883. Aimard led a fantastically adventurous life, which he used as fodder for 78 books, mostly about Indian fighters and frontiersman – in the vein of James Fenimore Cooper. He …

Today in Literary History – June 11, 1936 – Conan the Barbarian creator, Robert E. Howard, dies by suicide at the age of 30

Robert E. Howard, the prolific pulp fiction writer who invented the character Conan the Barbarian and inaugurated the “sword and sorcery” genre, died by suicide on June 11, 1936, at the age of 30. Howard lived his whole life in small Texas oil towns with his father, a country doctor who Howard did not get …

Today in Literary History – June 9, 1936 -British writer Nell Dunn is born

Nell Dunn, the British writer, was born on June 9, 1936. Dunn’s fame comes from three controversial early books, Up the Junction, a book of short stories published in 1963, Talking to Women (1965), a book of conversations with women from “heiresses to factory workers" (both of which Dunn was) which is now a feminist …

Today in Literary History – June 4, 1924 – E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India” is published

E.M. Forster's fifth novel, A Passage to India, was first published on June 4, 1924. It had been 14 years since his last novel, Howard's End. Forster had struggled with writing A Passage to India for 11 of those years, and it turned out in many ways to be his most personal book. Although Forster …

Thought of the Day

“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.” — Boris Pasternak

Welcome to the month of June with a poem by Claude McKay and a painting by Ana Maria Edulescu

A Memory of June by Claude McKay When June comes dancing o'er the death of May, With scarlet roses tinting her green breast, And mating thrushes ushering in her day, And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest, I always see the evening when we met-- The first of June baptized in tender rain-- And …