We're back with another installment of our blog series that celebrates authors' birthdays, this time for the month of March. As in previous months, we've chosen to feature authors with March birthdays from both classic and contemporary times, as well as many different genres. Whether you're looking for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or children's/young adult books, we hope this list will lead you to your next favorite read!
Robert Frost is one of the best-known American poets. He is remembered primarily for his realistic writing about rural life in New England despite being born in San Francisco and growing up in the city. Frost never graduated from college, but he received more than 40 honorary degrees throughout his lifetime, in addition to his four Pulitzer Prizes. Frost was also the first poet ever asked to read at a presidential inauguration (John F. Kennedys). However, he couldn't read the poem he wrote specifically for the event due to bright sunlight and instead recited his poem The Gift Outright from memory. Some of Frost's other poems include Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Mending Wall, and The Road Not Taken.
Ralph Waldo Ellison (not to be confused with his namesake Ralph Waldo Emerson) was born in Oklahoma City and considered a career in music before deciding to write. In 1952, he published his first and most famous novel, Invisible Man. The novel, about an unnamed Black man trying to find his place in society, won a National Book Award. Ellison wrote several short stories and essay collections and taught at several universities during the remainder of his life. After his death, the executor of his estate published two more of Ellison's novels, Three Days Before the Shooting and Juneteenth.
Along with his friends and fellow authors Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac was a core member of the 1950s literary movement known as the Beat Generation. Born to Canadian parents, Kerouac grew up in a French-speaking household in Massachusetts. He wrote his first novel during a brief stint in the U.S. Merchant Marines during World War II, but it wasn't published until 40 years after his death. Kerouac's first published novel was The Town and the City, and his second and most famous was On the Road. Reviewers criticized On the Road at first for its casual language and stream-of-consciousness writing style, but many now consider it a literary classic. Kerouac also wrote many poems during his lifetime and influenced several popular musicians of the 1960s, including Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and at age 15 moved to the United States with his family to escape the Soviet-Afghan War. Before becoming a novelist, Hosseini graduated from UC San Diego School of Medicine and was a practicing physician for more than a decade. His first novel, The Kite Runner, stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for two straight years. It received mostly positive reviews, although many libraries challenged the novel because of its mature content. All three of Hosseini's novels, the other two being A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, show different perspectives on family and community relationships in 20th-century Afghanistan. In addition to writing, Hosseini has done much advocacy work for Afghan refugees.
Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated more than 60 books during his lifetime under a pen name that he adopted while studying at Dartmouth College. He started his career creating drawings for magazine advertisements. After publishing his first few books, he took a break to create animated films for the U.S. Army during World War II. When Dr. Seuss returned to writing books, he published many children's classics including Horton Hears a Who!, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax. His books have been adapted many times for film, television, and theatre. Dr. Seuss's books aren't just for children, though-his later publication Oh, the Places You'll Go! has become a common graduation gift.
At age fourteen, British author Anna Sewell injured her ankles in an accident and couldn't walk long distances for the rest of her life. As a result, she rode in horse-drawn carriages frequently, inspiring her to advocate for the humane treatment of animals. Sewell worked on many social campaigns with her mother as an adult, contributing to the temperance and abolitionist movements of the mid-19th century. Toward the end of her life, Sewell revisited her love of horses by writing her only novel, Black Beauty. She originally intended the book for adult audiences, particularly those who worked with horses, as part of her animal rights campaigning. However, because the story is narrated by a horse, Black Beauty eventually became one of the best-selling children's novels of all time.
Lois Lowry was born in Hawaii and spent her childhood moving all around the world since her father was an army dentist. She skipped first grade because she had already been reading independently for three years. Although she studied literature in college and submitted several short stories to magazines while raising her children, she didn't publish her first novel until age 40. Since then, she has won two Newbery Medals; the first came in 1990 for Number the Stars, a middle-grade historical fiction novel set during World War II. Lowry won her second Newbery Medal in 2004 for the young adult dystopian novel The Giver, which appears on lists of both the top books assigned in middle schools and the most commonly banned or challenged books for that age range. Lowry followed The Giver with three popular sequels: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
James Patterson started his career as an advertising executive after completing a master's degree at Vanderbilt University, although he had already been writing novels for nearly 20 years when he quit his advertising job. Patterson writes across many genres, including mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, romance, and nonfiction. He also writes books for both adults (like the Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series) and young adults (including the Maximum Ride and Witch and Wizard series). Patterson has sold more than 300 million copies of his books and was the first author to sell one million ebooks. In addition to writing, Patterson has done lots of advocacy and charity work to increase literacy and education access across the United States.
A New York City native, Alice Hoffman writes fantasy and historical fiction novels for adults, young adults, and children. She is best known for her Practical Magic series, the first of which was adapted into a 1998 film. One of her young adult novels, Aquamarine, also inspired a popular movie. Hoffman did extensive research in Europe for her adult novel The World That We Knew, inspired by a true story of teenage refugees during World War II but with added magical elements. Her other projects have included writing the screenplay for the 1983 movie Independence Day and co-establishing the Hoffman Breast Center at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts after undergoing cancer treatment there herself.
A New York City native, Sarah J. Maas grew up writing anime fan fiction and short stories based on popular fairy tales. At age 16, she had the idea to write a novel framing the character of Cinderella as an assassin instead of a princess. She published fragments of the story online before publishing the whole as the first of seven books in the young adult fantasy series Throne of Glass. Maas's second young adult fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and has gathered a massive following online (where it is often referred to as ACOTAR). Crescent City is her third fantasy series and first for an adult audience. The second Crescent City book, House of Sky and Breath, was released on February 15, 2022-just one week after the birth of Maas's second child.
If you want to discover more books by authors with birthdays in spring, check out our lists for April and May. For additional titles at low prices from all these authors and more, visit DiscoverBooks.com or download our shopping app. We hope you’ll find your next favorite read with us!
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