Month of Literary Days

August 26, 2017
  • Birthday of Benjamin Bradlee (August 26, 1921 - October 21, 2014)


    Born, raised, and educated in the Boston area, Bradlee went on to a long and influential career in journalism, serving as Executive Editor of the Washington Post, and overseeing the publication of both The Pentagon Papers and Woodward and Bernstein's investigation of the Watergate scandal. He received the French Legion of Honor in 2007 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

August 27, 2017
  • Birthday of Jill Lepore (August 27, 1966)


    Born and raised in West Boylston, Lepore is a professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer for the New Yorker, where she writes about history, law, literature and politics. She has won numerous awards for her books, which have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

August 29, 2017
  • Birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 - October 7, 1894)


    A man of many talents in letters and in medicine, Holmes was a member of the "Fireside Poets" and is perhaps remembered best today for "The Autocrat Of The Breakfast Table," a series of essays published originally in The Atlantic Monthly and then collected in a volume. It was in one of those essays, referring to the Massachusetts State House, that Holmes coined the term "hub of the solar system."

September 2, 2017
  • Birthday of Cleveland Amory (9/2/1917 - 10/14/1998)


    Massachusetts native and Harvard alumnus Cleveland Amory was an author, reporter, editor, columnist and commentator. His popular "The Proper Bostonians," published in 1947, set the tone for many books to come in which Amory poked fun at societal pretensions. He is also well-known for his animal rights activism, which prompted a series of books about his cat, beginning with "The Cat Who Came For Christmas."

September 5, 2017
  • Birthday of Jonathan Kozol (9/5/1936)


    Born and educated in the Boston area, including a degree from Harvard University in English Literature, Jonathan Kozol is an educator and activist who has spent his 40+ year career advocating for public education, particularly focusing on inner city schools and integration. He has founded non-profit organizations to advance these causes and written many award-winning books on the subject, including "Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools," which won the National Book Award.

  • Birthday of Ward Just (9/5/1935)


    Massachusetts resident Ward Just began his career in journalism, shifted to fiction writing, and has been an award-winning writer of novels and short stories, including his most recently published "American Romantic." In 2013, Just was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters for lifetime achievement in the field of Literature.

September 10, 2017
  • Birthday of Hannah Webster Foster (9/10/1758 - 4/17/1840)


    Born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, Hannah Webster Foster was a Boston journalist and novelist whose writing concentrated on women's issues. Her first novel, "The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton," was published anonymously and sold well, and her second, ""The Boarding School; or, Lessons of a Preceptress to Her Pupils," was fictionalized commentary on the topic of female education in the U.S. at the time. Both of her daughters were successful writers as well.

September 11, 2017
  • Birthday of Andre Dubus III (9/11/1959)


    Son of celebrated short story writer Andre Dubus II, Andre Dubus III was raised in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts and has made his own mark writing novels and short stories. He is best known for his bestselling novel "House of Sand and Fog," which was adapted to film and nominated for an Oscar, and his non-fiction work "Townie: A Memoir." Dubus has taught creative writing at Harvard, Tufts, and Emerson and is currently a full-time professor of English at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is a member of PEN American Center, and has served on panels for the National Book Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

September 14, 2017
  • Birthday of Geraldine Brooks ((9/14/1955)


    Australian-American author and journalist Geraldine Brooks makes her home in Massachusetts. She is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, and won the Pulitzer Prize for "March," a book focused on the Alcott family. Amongst her awards, Brooks was honored with the 2009 Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction for "People of the Book," a fictionalized account of the breakup of Yugoslavia.

  • Birthday of Anne Bernays


    American novelist, editor, and teacher Anne Bernays has lived in Massachusetts for most of her adult life, writing from her Cambridge and Cape Cod homes and teaching writing at Boston University, Boston College, Holy Cross, Harvard and Lesley. She is a founder of PEN/New England, Chairwoman of the Board of Fine Arts Work Center, and Co-President of Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Her books include "Growing Up Rich" and "Professor Romeo," as well as non-fiction works she co-authored with her husband, Justin Kaplan.

September 15, 2017
  • Birthday of Robert McCloskey (9/15/1914 - 6/30/2003)


    Beloved children's book writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey was named a Library of Congress "Living Legend" in 2000. Closely tied to Boston by his perennially best-selling Caldecott Medal-winning book "Make Way for Ducklings," McCloskey also won a Caldecott Medal for "Time of Wonder." His other children's books include classics "Blueberries for Sal," "One Morning in Maine," and "Burt Dow, Deep-water Man," depicting memories of the New England way of life. He also wrote the popular "Homer Price" series.

  • Birthday of Robert Benchley (9/15/1889 - 11/21/1945)


    American humorist Robert Benchley was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, attended Harvard, and made his name as an essayist, newspaper columnist and film actor. He is best known for his contributions to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, and he also won an Academy Award for his film "How to Sleep." He was the father and grandfather to other successful writers as well (Nathaniel, Peter and Nat Benchley).

September 19, 2017
  • Birthday of Roland Merullo (9/19/1953)


    Roland Merullo was born in Boston and makes his home in Western Massachusetts. He writes novels, essays and memoir, best-known for "Breakfast with Buddha," "In Revere, In Those Days," and "Revere Beach Elegy," for which he won the 2003 Massachusetts Book Award for Non-fiction. "Revere Beach Boulevard" was named one of New England's top 100 essential books by The Boston Globe.