I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful.
November 6, 1952: Happy 61st birthday, Michael Cunningham! The novelist’s most popular book is The Hours, which won a Pulitzer. It was inspired by the book that made Cunningham want to be a writer, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.
Charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful.
October 16, 1919: Kathleen Winsor’s racy 1944 novel, Forever Amber, was banned in 14 states. Despite (or because of!) that, it became a best seller. She was born in Minnesota, 94 years ago today.
I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.
October 15, 1920: Italian American author Mario Puzo is best known for writing The Godfather, which popularized mafia literature in America. He also wrote the original screenplay for the 1978 version of Superman.
History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.
James Fenimore Cooper
September 15, 1789: James Fenimore Cooper was spurred to write his first book, Precaution, after a bet with his wife. He went on to write enormously popular novels including The Last of the Mohicans. The author was born 224 years ago today.
One day might be different from another, but there ain’t much difference when they’re put together.
William H. Armstrong
September 14, 1911: Writer and teacher William Armstrong wrote celebrated children’s books including the Newbery Medal-winning Sounder, about an African American sharecropper family with a loud and loyal hound, inspired by Odysseus’ dog Argus. Armstrong was born in Virginia 102 years ago today.
She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.
September 12, 1943: Happy birthday, Michael Ondaatje! Born in Sri Lanka of Dutch and Indian parents, the novelist eventually became a Canadian citizen. He is best known for The English Patient, which became an Oscar-winning film. Ondaatje turns 70 today.
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
September 11, 1885: British writer D.H. Lawrence’s life was marked by conflict and controversy. During World War I he managed to be accused of spying by both the Germans and the British, and his later works, including Lady Chatterley’s Lover, were labeled pornographic. He was born in Nottinghamshire, 128 years ago today.