7 Author Birthdays April 29 to May 5 – 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.

7 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?

Jill Paton Walsh – April 29

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Jill Paton Walsh

On the 29th of April, Jill Paton Walsh was born. She became a talented English author renowned for her captivating novels and stories for children. Among her notable works are the acclaimed Knowledge of Angels, which earned a nomination for the prestigious Booker Prize, and the beloved Peter Wimsey Harriet Vane mysteries that carried on the legacy of Dorothy L. Sayers. In an insightful exploration of realism in children’s literature, Paton Walsh expressed that realism, much like fantasy, holds a metaphorical essence. She envisioned the connection between her characters Bill and Julie in Fireweed to be as symbolic as that between dragons and the reader’s inner qualities of greed or courage.

Jill Paton Walsh continued Dorothy L. Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey Harriet Vane series by finishing the unfinished novel Thrones, Dominations in 1998. She then released A Presumption of Death in 2002 and The Attenbury Emeralds in 2010 as further additions to the series. Her final installment, The Late Scholar, was published on January 14, 2014 in North America. In February 2020, she married Nicholas Herbert, 3rd Baron Hemingford, whom she had met earlier that year. Tragically, she passed away three weeks after their wedding in October due to kidney and heart failure at a hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.


John Crowe Ransom – April 30

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? John Crowe Ransom

Born April 30, John Crowe Ransom, a versatile American figure in academia and literature, left a lasting impact as an educator, critic, poet, and editor. Known for his concise yet profound poems that delved into the ironic aspects of life, particularly focusing on domesticity in the American South, Ransom’s work was celebrated with prestigious awards such as the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1951. Notably, his collection of Selected Poems from 1963 was honored with the National Book Award in the subsequent year. Additionally, while serving as a faculty member at Kenyon College, he played a pivotal role as the inaugural editor of the esteemed Kenyon Review.

John Crowe Ransom was a prominent figure in the New Criticism literary movement, which advocated for close reading and text-based criticism in American literature. In 1920, he married Robb Reavill, a sports enthusiast with a passion for games. Their family grew to include three children: Helen, David, and John. Ransom passed away on July 3, 1974, at the age of eighty-six in Gambier and was laid to rest at Kenyon College Cemetery.


Joseph Heller – May 1

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Joseph Heller

Born May 1, American writer Joseph Heller emerged onto the literary scene through his novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. Among his impressive body of work stands out the iconic 1961 novel Catch-22, a sharp satire that cleverly mocks the absurdities of war and bureaucracy. This masterpiece not only captured hearts but also coined a phrase that symbolizes an impossible dilemma. Despite its initial lukewarm reception, Catch-22 eventually garnered a devoted following. Set against the backdrop of World War II on a Mediterranean island, the novel follows the adventures of Captain John Yossarian as he battles for survival.

In 1998, he unveiled his memoir titled Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here, delving into his formative years as the son of a deliveryman and shedding light on the creative sparks behind Catch-22. Heller, known for his agnostic beliefs, passed away from a heart attack at his residence in East Hampton, Long Island in December 1999, shortly after finishing his final masterpiece, Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man. The news of Heller’s departure left his dear friend Kurt Vonnegut in utter shock, exclaiming with fervor, “Oh my goodness! What a dreadful loss for American literature.”


Novalis – May 2

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Novalis

Hailing from a noble lineage, the multifaceted Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, known by his pen name Novalis, was born on May 2. This remarkable German luminary seamlessly embodied the roles of poet, novelist, philosopher, and mystic, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of Jena Romanticism. As his extensive notebooks gained wider recognition in the twentieth century, the profound depth of Novalis’s expertise in philosophy and natural science captivated audiences far and wide.

In August 1800, Novalis began to cough up blood. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis. However, research suggests he may have suffered from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that may have been responsible for the early death of his brother Erasmus. Following a serious hemorrhage in November 1800, Novalis was relocated to Dresden for medical treatment. In January, he expressed a desire to reunite with his parents in Weissenfels. He died there on 25 March 1801 at the age of twenty-eight and was laid to rest in the Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery) of Weissenfels.


Dodie Smith – May 3

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Dodie Smith

Dodie Smith, an acclaimed English novelist and playwright, was born on May 3. She gained fame for her works such as I Capture the Castle and The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which are beloved by readers of all ages. Additionally, Smith penned other notable pieces like Dear Octopus and The Starlight Barking. In her autobiography Look Back with Love (1974), she attributes her passion for playwriting to her grandfather William. Their deep discussions about Shakespeare and melodrama greatly influenced her creative journey.

Smith was a devoted dog enthusiast, with a particular fondness for Dalmatians; she once had a collection of nine. Her first Dalmatian, named Pongo, inspired the main character in her famous novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians. The novel’s inception came when one of her friends observed a group of her Dalmatians and said “Those dogs would make a lovely fur coat.” Smith died in 1990 in Uttlesford, England, where her remains were cremated and scattered into the winds of Essex.


Amos Oz – May 4

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Amos Oz

Amos Oz, a celebrated Israeli writer and intellectual, was born on the 4th of May. He was a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and he passionately supported a two-state solution for the Israeli Palestinian conflict starting from 1967. With an impressive literary career that spanned over 40 books in various genres, including novels, short stories, children’s books, and essays, Oz’s work has been translated into an astounding 45 languages.

Amos Oz once referred to himself as a book-loving atheist, emphasizing the significance of his Jewish roots being deeply rooted in literature and texts. Tragically, his mother, who battled depression, took her own life in January 1952 when Oz was just 12 years old. The impact of this heartbreaking event is vividly explored in his memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. Amos Oz passed away at the age of 79 on December 28, 2018, after battling cancer at Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.


Søren Aabye Kierkegaard – May 5

Author Birthdays Who Shares Your Day? Kierkegaard

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, born on the 5th of May, was a multifaceted Danish thinker known for his roles as a theologian, philosopher, poet, social critic, and religious author. Regarded as the pioneer of existentialist philosophy, Kierkegaard was an incredibly prolific writer whose extensive body of work from the 1840s defies easy categorization. His writings encompassed a wide range of subjects including philosophy, theology, religious and devotional texts, literary analysis, psychology, and social commentary.

Søren Kierkegaard fell unconscious on the street and was hospitalized for more than a month. Despite being offered communion, he declined. Eventually, he passed away in Frederiks Hospital after a prolonged stay, possibly due to injuries sustained from falling out of a tree in his younger years. Professor Kaare Weismann and philosopher Jens Staubrand have proposed that Kierkegaard’s cause of death may have been Pott disease, a type of tuberculosis.


Other LitStack Resources

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Author Birthdays

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?

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