7 Author Birthdays April 15 to 21 – Who Shares Your Day?

by LitStack Editor

Here are seven author birthdays for this week. Check out which authors are your favorites, and find out who shares your day.

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day?

You can find and buy the books relating to our author birthdays at the LitStack Bookshop on our list of Sharon’s Birthday Picks.

7 author birthdays who shares your day?

Henry James – April 15

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Henry James

Henry James, an American novelist born on April 15, was a significant figure in transatlantic culture, becoming a naturalized English citizen in 1915. His works, including Daisy Miller (1879), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Bostonians (1886), and The Ambassadors (1903), explored the clash between the innocence and exuberance of the New World with the corruption and wisdom of the Old. In the late 20th century, he was hailed as one of the most skilled craftsmen in novel writing, known for his intricate portrayal of characters’ inner lives that foreshadowed the stream-of-consciousness movement in the 20th century.

Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw is widely regarded as the most intricately dissected and enigmatic ghost story in English literature. Following his passing on 28 February 1916 in Chelsea, London, James was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. Despite his desire to have his ashes interred at Cambridge Cemetery in Massachusetts being legally unfeasible, his devoted wife ingeniously managed to clandestinely transport and bury them in their family plot by smuggling them aboard a ship and eluding customs officials.


Carol Bly – April 16

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Carol Bly

Carol Bly, an acclaimed American author born on April 16, was known for her insightful essays, captivating short stories, and two influential works on the art of creative writing. Before her passing, Bly also penned numerous letters, authored books on writing techniques, and finished a novel. Her narratives skillfully tackled contemporary issues with a touch of realism, showcasing her talent for creating complex and memorable characters. Throughout her career, Bly garnered several prestigious accolades and honors, including the esteemed Minnesota Book Award in 1991 for her work The Passionate, Accurate Story.

Carol Bly’s impactful body of work frequently showcased the struggles of Minnesota women as they grappled with moral dilemmas within their society or personal lives, advocating for change through empathy and a deeper understanding of their circumstances. She remained dedicated to her craft until her passing, leaving behind a thought-provoking novel titled Shelter Half, which was posthumously published by Holy Cow! Press in June 2008. Bly’s legacy endures even after her death from ovarian cancer on December 21, 2007, at the age of 77 in Oakdale, Minnesota.


Isak Dinesen – April 17

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Isak Dinesen

Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), a Danish writer born on April 17, is renowned for her exquisitely crafted tales that transport readers to bygone eras tinged with an otherworldly essence. Within her narratives, she skillfully weaves together the themes of desire and the ethereal world of dreams. Dinesen’s time in Kenya is immortalized in her nonfiction work, Out of Africa (1937), a beloved memoir that captures her profound affection for the continent and its inhabitants. Through poetic prose, she reflects on her triumphs and tribulations – from the loss of her farm to the passing of her companion, Denys Finch Hatton, and the vanishing simplicity of African life that she held dear.

She was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Regrettably, she was not awarded the prize amid concerns of bias towards Scandinavian authors, as per Danish sources. Tragically, Blixen died in 1962 at the age of 77 at her family’s estate in Rungstedlund due to apparent malnutrition. 


Richard Harding Davis – April 18

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Richard Harding Davis

Richard Harding Davis, an esteemed American journalist, was born on April 18 and became an active and prominent figure during the Spanish-American War. His career began after completing his education at Lehigh and Johns Hopkins University in 1864. Davis’ impactful writing not only supported Theodore Roosevelt’s political endeavors but also significantly shaped the American magazine industry. Beyond journalism, his influence even reached the realm of fashion, as he is recognized for popularizing the clean-shaven appearance among men in the early 1900s.

Richard Harding Davis achieved acclaim with his 1897 novel Soldiers of Fortune, garnering admiration from prominent writers of his era. He served as the inspiration for Charles Dana Gibson’s iconic Gibson man, a charismatic counterpart to the renowned Gibson Girl. Tragically, Davis passed away from a heart attack on April 11, 1916, just one week shy of his 52nd birthday, during a telephone conversation.


Etheridge Knight – April 19

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Etheridge Knight

Etheridge Knight, an African-American poet born on April 19 in Corinth, Mississippi, embarked on a transformative journey during his eight-year incarceration at the Indiana State Prison. It was within the confines of jail that Knight discovered his poetic voice, engaging in correspondence with esteemed Black literary figures like Dudley Randall and Gwendolyn Brooks. His seminal work, Poems from Prison (1968), eloquently captures the essence of his experience and reflects on themes of resurrection and redemption. Notably, the back cover of this collection features a profound statement: I perished in Korea from a shrapnel wound, only to be revived by narcotics. I succumbed to a prison sentence in 1960, yet poetry breathed new life into my being. 

Etheridge Knight is a significant figure in the established American poetry lineage. Despite battling poverty, criminality, and drug dependency, Knight defied the odds to embody the very essence of his 1965 notebook musings: a resonant voice that uplifted his community. Etheridge Knight succumbed to lung cancer on March 10, 1991, in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Michel Leiris – April 20

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Michel Leiris

Michel Leiris, a prominent French writer and ethnographer, was born on April 20. He was an integral part of the Surrealist movement in Paris and played a significant role in the College of Sociology alongside Georges Bataille. Additionally, he held the position of head researcher in ethnography at CNRS. Leiris was not only a skilled poet but also viewed poetry as a crucial lens through which to interpret the world. Regarded as a leading figure in 20th century French literature, sociology, and cultural criticism, his body of work is extensive and impactful.

The passing of Michel Leiris occurred on September 30, 1990, in the serene town of Saint-Hilaire, located to the southwest of Paris. The circumstances surrounding his demise remain a mystery. At the time of his departure, he had reached the venerable age of 89 years old.


Charlotte Brontë – April 21

7 Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Charlotte Bronte

Born April 21, Charlotte Brontë, a renowned English writer and poet, stood as the eldest sibling among the Bronte sisters who thrived into maturity. Her literary works have since been hailed as timeless classics in English literature. Notably, her novel Jane Eyre was released under the pseudonym Currer Bell to transcend gender biases of the time. Bronte’s legacy as one of the eminent Victorian female authors is further underscored by her prolific exploration of poetic forms that defined the era, including the long narrative poem and dramatic monologue.

Charlotte Brontë embarked on a new literary endeavor with the creation of the novel Emma, leaving behind a few unfinished pages. Unfortunately, her pregnancy was marred by debilitating illness, ultimately leading to her passing in 1855.


Other LitStack Resources

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