Literary Birthdays for Today!

Okay, this isn’t quite your usual Unleaded post with some handy tip or writerly advice.  It’s a list of author’s birthdays for June 14.  Not even all of June to catch folks like Sara Paretsky and Tess Gerritsen or even Anne Frank, but just today.  Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m lazy.  Pulling up links for authors and their work AND book covers and links to Amazon…it’s exhausting!  So I thought I’d just focus on today.  That may seem silly but I’m willing to bet that few of you will have heard of or read ALL of the authors below.  And if not…you should.  They’re all classics, and award-winners in one way or another.  There are no mediocre writers in this collection.  (See how I slaved for you dear readers – only the best).  But seriously, even just skimming the Wikipedia entries for these folks, I found myself fascinated by them and their work.  It deserves some attention.  So today, THEY are featured here on Unleaded: Fuel for Writers.

Mona Simpson (b. 1957) – U.S. novelist – Anywhere but Here  

“Strangers always love my mother… And even if you hate her, can’t stand her, even if she’s ruining your life, there’s something about her, some romance, some power. She’s absolutely herself. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never get to her. And when she dies, the world will be flat, too simple, reasonable, fair.”


Harriet Beecher Stowe (b. 1811) – U.S. novelist – Uncle Tom’s Cabin 

“I have been careful, and I have been patient, but it’s growing worse and worse; flesh and blood can’t bear it any longer; – every chance he can get to insult and torment me, he takes. I thought I could do my work well, and keep on quiet, and have some time to read and learn out of work hours; but the more he sees I can do, the more he loads on. He says that though I don’t say anything, he sees I’ve got the devil in me, and he means to bring it out; and one of these days it will come out in a way that he won’t like…”


Ernesto Che Guevara (b. 1928)Argentinian author – The Motorcycle Diaries 

“This isn’t a tale of derring-do, nor is it merely some kind of ‘cynical account’; it isn’t meant to be, at least. It’s a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams. In nine months a man can think a lot of thoughts, from the height of philosophical conjecture to the most abject longing for a bowl of soup – in perfect harmony with the state of his stomach. And if, at the same time, he’s a bit of an adventurer, he could have experiences which might interest other people and his random account would read something like this diary.”       


Laurence Yep (b. 1948) – U.S. AuthorDragonwings 

“Perhaps…” Miss Whitlaw tapped a finger against her lips for a moment. “Perhaps the truth of the dragon lies somewhere in between the American and the Chinese versions. He is neither all-bad nor all-good, neither all-destruction nor all-kind. He is a creature particularly in tune with Nature, and so, like Nature, he can be very, very kind or very, very terrible. If you love him, you will accept what he is. Otherwise he will destroy you.” 


Yasunari Kawabata (b. 1899) – Japanese Author – Snow Country 

“The road was frozen. The village lay quiet under the cold sky. Komako hitched up the skirt of her kimono and tucked it into her obi. The moon shone like a blade frozen in blue ice.”


UPDATE:  The images weren’t showing up in a tidy fashion so I was forced to delete them.  🙁   Hope you like the quotes instead!


About the author

DayAlMohamed Day Al-Mohamed is author of the Young Adult novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.” She is also co-editor for the anthology, “Trust & Treachery” from Dark Quest Books. In addition to speculative fiction, she also writes comics and film scripts. She is an active member of the Cat Vacuuming Society of Northern Virginia Writing Group, of Women in Film and Video, and a graduate of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop.