We at Discover Books have recently celebrated authors born each month by featuring them in a series of blog posts. In general, we've chosen writers in various genres, periods, and age categories for each month's list. However, our list of authors with September birthdays contains some of the most famous names in literature that we've recognized. Whether you're familiar with these authors or are just getting to know their writing, this list could lead you to your next favorite used or new book!
Born September 15, 1890
Dame Agatha Christie is the best-selling fiction writer of all time, and her 80 mystery novels and short stories have been translated into more than 100 languages. Many of Christie's novels feature the fictional detectives Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. However, her most widely read work is the standalone book And Then There Were None. In addition, Christie's play The Mousetrap holds the world record for the longest-running play, performed on London's West End without a break from 1952 until the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Born September 24, 1896
F. Scott Fitzgerald was a leading writer of the Lost Generation-those who came of age during World War I-along with Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and many others. Fitzgerald's first two novels, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned, brought him immediate commercial success. However, his third novel failed to capture public attention until after his death in 1944, when the Council on Books in Wartime distributed hundreds of thousands of copies to American soldiers fighting in World War II. The Great Gatsby has since become required reading for thousands of high school and college students. Additionally, many literary critics consider it a candidate for the title of the Great American Novel.
Born September 25, 1897
Although William Faulkner is often mentioned with the Lost Generation, he is best known as a writer of Southern literature. Faulkner spent most of his life in Mississippi and set many of his novels and short stories in its fictional Yoknapatawpha County. He developed an extensive body of literary works over four decades, including The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August. These writings allowed Faulkner to become the first person from Mississippi to win a Nobel Prize, in addition to his two Pulitzer Prizes in Fiction.
Born September 26, 1888
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but he moved to England full-time after attending Oxford and eventually became a British citizen. Eliot wrote some of the most recognized English-language Modernist poems between jobs as a teacher, banker, publisher, and literary critic. Most of his poetry follows the Modernist conventions of straightforward style and serious subject matters, including The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. However, Eliot's collection Old Possums Book of Practical Cats is a lighthearted work about the social structures of humans feline companions, which became the basis for the long-running Broadway musical Cats.
Born September 21, 1947
When discussing contemporary novel genres, the name Stephen King is basically synonymous with horror and supernatural fiction. Born and raised in Maine, King sold various short stories that he wrote to magazines to make money during and after college before his novel-writing career took off with the publication of Carrie. Carrie was the first of King's novels to be adapted for film; other famous movies based on his writings include Cujo, Doctor Sleep, and The Shining. In total, King has published 63 novels, more than 200 short stories, and five nonfiction books (including the award-winning writer's manual On Writing).
Born September 25, 1960
Kristin Hannah spent brief stints working at an advertising agency and a law firm before settling on novel-writing as a career. Since then, she has published more than 20 novels, many of which bridge historical and contemporary fiction genres. For example, Hannah's best-known work, The Nightingale, tells the story of two sisters living in Occupied France during World War II. The novel begins in modern times and is told by one of the sisters as a flashback, but readers don't learn which sister is narrating the present-day portion until the end. Additionally, Hannah's novel Firefly Lane was recently adapted as a Netflix original series, and The Great Alone spent four straight weeks at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List. To read more about Kristin Hannah's work, click here.
Born September 13, 1916
Roald Dahl rose to fame as a writer of children's fantasy novels shortly after World War II, during which he served as an intelligence officer for the British Royal Air Force. Most of his stories center around the macabre and contain elements of dark comedy, although they typically have happy endings and teach the importance of kindness. Dahl's most famous novels include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was adapted into two blockbuster movies in 1971 and 2005, and Matilda, which became a popular Broadway musical in 2015. His later work, The BFG, reflects his devotion to his own children. Dahl dedicated the book to his oldest daughter Olivia, who died at age seven, and named its main character Sophie after his second daughter's child.
Gail Carson Levine
Born September 17, 1947
Gail Carson Levine did not begin publishing middle-grade novels until age 50, but since then, she has had much commercial success and received a Newbery Medal. Several of Levine's stories are retellings of the classic fairy tales she loved as a child; for example, her novel Ella Enchanted is loosely based on the story of Cinderella. Other books by Levine have original fantasy plots, such as Ever and The Two Princesses of Bamarre. She also wrote the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly in the hopes of passing on her writing knowledge to a new generation of authors.
Born September 20, 1988
Angie Thomas grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and had a short-lived music career performing original rap before majoring in creative writing in college. She was originally drawn to writing middle-grade fantasy. Still, she decided to focus on young adult contemporary fiction because she felt she could make a bigger social impact on her readers and break down racial stereotypes as a Black woman author in that genre. Thomas's award-winning first novel, The Hate U Give, launched a commercially successful movie adaptation and a prequel book titled Concrete Rose. Most recently, Thomas co-authored the romance novel Blackout with five other Black young adult writers.
Born September 3, 1980
As is the case with many contemporary authors, Jenny Han spent her childhood reading as many books as she could get her hands on. But as she entered her teenage years, she noticed that the few young adult books at her local library did not contain female Asian-American characters that she could relate to. So, she dedicated her career to writing novels that she would have wanted to read as a teenager. Han found some success in writing the coming-of-age trilogy The Summer I Turned Pretty and co-authoring the Burn for Burn series with Siobhan Vivian before publishing her first #1 New York Times Best Seller, To All the Boys I've Loved Before.
A young adult romance novel told from the perspective of a Korean-American girl, To All the Boys I've Loved Before was adapted into an instantly popular movie released on Netflix in 2018. The novels two sequels also became Netflix movies, and the second book in the trilogy won Han the Young Adult 20152016 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.
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