If you've ever wondered whether you share a birthday with a famous author, or are just looking for an excuse to buy a book, this list of literary birthdays might help.
November 9- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
Carl Sagan, Image from NASA via Wikipedia. Public Domain.
American astronomer, astrophysicist and science communicator, Carl Sagan, was born on November 9th, 1934. He hosted the television show, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which inspired generations of children and adults to become more interested in science. He also penned a number of books including Cosmos, The Demon Haunted World and Pale Blue Dot.
November 10- Neil Gaiman (1960- present)
Neil Gaiman, photo by By Kyle Cassidyl, CC BY-SA 3.0.
British fantasy author, Neil Gaiman is probably best known for his novel, American Gods (now adapted into a TV series for the Starz cable network) and his work on the Sandman comic series. He also co-wrote the apocalyptic novel Good Omens with Sir Terry Pratchett and created the BBC TV miniseries Neverwhere.
November 11- Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922 – 2007)
The prolific Kurt Vonnegut Jr. has had 14 novels, five plays, three short story collections and four works of non-fiction published. His most famous work is the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, a satirical story partly based on Vonnegut's experiences as a prisoner of war. Slaughterhouse-Five was a New York Times best-seller in 1969, and numerous public school districts in the US have banned it from their school libraries for profanity, violence, and sexual and religious content.
November 12- Christopher Pike (1955- present).
The Thirst by Christopher Pike
Christopher Pike (aka Kevin Christopher McFadden) is an American author of young adult books. His teen horror novels include the Remember Me series, Final Friends and The Last Vampire series. Tattered paperback versions of these novels were passed from person to person when I was a teenager. Although those particular copies are unlikely to survive today, Pike himself is still around. His most recent novel, Strange Girl, was published in 2015. November 13- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Robert Louis Stevenson at age 26.
Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson is famous for his novels Treasure Island, Kidnapped and (the) Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. His pirate novels have shaped the idea of how pirates should look, sound and behave in popular culture (peg legs, parrots and treasure maps marked with an 'X' all originate with him).
Swedish author Astrid Lindgren is best known for her Pippi Longstocking series. She also wrote several fantasy novels for children, including Ronia, the Robber's Daughter. Her books have been translated into 95 different languages.
November 22- George Eliot, aka Mary Anne Evans, English novelist, (1819 - 1880)
By Unknown. Upload, stitch and restoration by Jebulon - Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain.
George Eliot was the pen name of English author Mary Anne Evans, who is famous for her novels including Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch. She used a male pen name to be taken seriously as a writer and not dismissed as a writer of fanciful romances.
November 26- Charles M. Schulz (1922- 2000
Charles M. Schultz. Photo by Roger Higgins, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. , Public Domain.
Charles Schultz is the creator of the comic strip Peanuts. His cartoon strips, books of collected cartoons, and films have been tremendously popular and he has been an influence on other cartoonists such as Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) and Matt Groening (of The Simpsons).
November 29- Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)
By Unknown - , Public Domain.
American writer Louisa May Alcott was best known for her novel Little Women, which has been adapted many times into films and television series. She also wrote two sequels: Little Men and Jo's Boys, as well as a number of other novels and short stories.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. He is best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel Huckleberry Finn. Like Slaughterhouse-Five, Huckleberry Finn is frequently challenged or banned by various school districts for reasons such as "racism" and "offensive language".
Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list of authors born in November. If you happen to know that one of your favourite authors has a birthday this month please share it in the comments.