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Birthday Candles
Image: Annie Spratt

We all know April is the most lit month, but today we are learning November has some litty-ness within it as well because there are soooooooo many writers celebrating a birthday this month. If you are interested in learning which writers represent the scorpions and archers of the literary world and which authors share a birthday, then keep reading!

Bram Stoker

Born Abraham Stoker on November 8, 1847, Bram Stoker is best known for gifting bibliophiles around the world the gothic novel, Dracula. If you have already devoured Dracula and want to venture into Stoker’s deep cuts, then check out his first published novel, The Snake’s Pass, about a young Englishman who is forced to take shelter from a storm in a mysterious village. Oooh…creepy!

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis was born Clive Staples Lewis on November 29, 1898, and will be forever known for creating The Chronicles of Narnia, but he wrote more than 30 books, including the notable science fiction novel, The Space Trilogy and The Screwtape Letters, a satirical novel exploring Christianity. Fun fact: C.S. Lewis was close friends with J.R.R. Tolkien and dedicated The Screwtape Letters to Tolkien.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Born Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky on November 11, 1821, Dostoevsky was a Russian novelist and philosopher whose literary works explored human psychology under troubled atmospheres. His most acclaimed works include Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. His 1863 novella Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first literary works in existentialism.

Jonathan Swift

Satirist and essayist, Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 and is best remembered for Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal. Like many authors, Swift originally published his work anonymously or under pseudonyms like Isaac Bickerstaff and M.B. Drapier.

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born November 11, 1922 and enjoyed a 50+ year writing career including 14 novels, 3 collections of short stories, 5 plays, and 5 non-fictions works. However, he is most famous for the dark satirical classic, Slaughterhouse-Five. People of the book who are looking to expand their Vonnegut knowledge may want to seek out Cat’s Cradle, Fates Worse Than Death, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, A Man Without a Country, or his first novel, Player Piano.

Louisa May Alcott

American novelist Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 and grew up among many well-known intellectuals of the day like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys. We semi-stan for Alcott who was an abolitionist and feminist and remained unmarried until her death.

Madeleine L’Engle

Born Madeleine L’Engle Camp on November 29, 1918, L’Engle was a writer of young adult fiction that reflected her Christian faith and love for science. Her most notable works are A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time that make up the Wrinkle in Time Quintet.

Margaret Mitchell

American novelist and journalist Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born on November 8, 1900. Everyone under the sun is familiar with her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gone with the Wind. More recently, a collection of Mitchell’s writings as a young adult, Lost Laysen, was published.

Mark Twain

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, Mark Twain was lauded as the greatest humorist America has ever produced and was deemed “The Father of American Literature” by William Faulkner. That is certainly high praise for the man who wrote “The Great American Novel,” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. If you’re looking for additional literary works from Twain, we recommend Pudd’nhead Wilson or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960 and is a highly regarded and awarded author. In fact, he is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for The Graveyard Book. If you are looking for an author with a diverse range of literary works, then Gaiman is probably your guy! For graphic novel fans, check out The Sandman. If you like getting #ReelLit with us, then there are a plethora of source material in Stardust, American Gods, and Coraline that have all been adapted.

Robert Louis Stevenson

On November 13, 1850, the world was blessed with novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson, who, unlike many writers, enjoyed his literary celebrity while he was alive. Stevenson is famous for the beloved novels, Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but he also wrote a popular collection of children’s poetry, A Child’s Garden of Verses that was first published under the title Penny Whistles.

Your Turn

So…which one of the literary scorpios and sagittarii are on the top of your reading list? Is your favorite author celebrating a birthday this month? What are you currently reading? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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