Tag: author birthday

Happy Birthday, Lord Byron: 10 Things We Didn’t Know About This Icon

Lord George Byron was born January 22, 1788, in London, England, and died April 19, 1824, in Missolonghi, Greece. He is known as one of the best British Romantic poets and satirists of all time, penning works such as Hours of Idleness (1807), Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812-1818), The Giaour (1813), The Bride of Abydos (1813), Lara (1814), The Corsair (1814), Don Juan (1818, but unfinished), and more. Even though he is known as a Romantic poet, he actually wrote a lot in reference to his own experiences, (even if they were a little promiscuous and full of heartbreak, affairs, and seduction), and was dubbed a freethinking “bad boy.”

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Haruki Murakami

Happy Birthday, Haruki Murakami

Today, January 12th, marks the 72nd birthday of award-winning Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. A prolific author whose work masterfully blends realistic fiction with mind-bending surrealistic elements, Murakami has published dozens of novels, short stories, and essays. Translated into more than fifty languages, his works has sold millions of copies across the world.

 

Haruki Murakami
IMAGE CREDIT: MARKUS JANS

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Murakami began writing at age 29. On an April afternoon, watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Murakami was struck by the inspirational thought that he could write a novel. It came to him  the same instant the Swallow’s batter hit the ball deep into left field. In his words, “[The idea] felt as if something had come fluttering down from the sky, and I had caught it cleanly in my hands.”

It was an idea that would shape the rest of his life, and the lives of millions of readers for decades to come.

 

 

His classics include A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84. Murakami has also written multiple collections of short stories and several nonfiction works.

 

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IMAGE VIA THE VINYL FACTORY

Murakami is devoted fan of jazz—in the mid-seventies, he and his wife opened a small coffee shop/jazz club—and his personal library boats a collection of nearly 10,000 vinyl records. This passion for music of all genres is a constant theme throughout his work.

Since 1978, Murakami has been using his compelling narrative voice and relatable, utterly human characters to explore themes common to both Japanese culture and the international community. His marvelous, moving, sometimes tragic work provides readers of all ages and nationalities a bright and beautiful window through which to glimpse worlds that are, in turns, completely alien and painfully relatable.

On this day in 1949, Haruki Murakami was born, and what he has done with his voice and his life make this day worth celebrating.

 

 

FEATURE IMAGE VIA THE GUARDIAN

The Queen of Vampires, Anne Rice, Turns Seventy-Nine

As a young girl, I was always fascinated with the supernatural and enthralled by entities that defied all possibilities. I would read anything that contained beings that would spook the living daylights out of any normal human, and I would revel in these creatures’ evil ways and unethical choices. Out of all the supernatural beings in the world, however, vampires are what piqued my interest the most. I don’t know if it was their fangs or their unnatural quitch for blood, but I was drawn to them, like a moth to the glow of a candle.

Unsurprisingly, I was drawn to Anne Rice as well and the vampires she created so eloquently. Without Anne Rice, vampires would not be as prevalent in the world of literature. Without her influence, there would be no Edward Cullen or Bill Compton or blood-thirsty romances that make our toes curl. Interview with the Vampire is what coronated Anne Rice as the Queen of Vampires, and since the book’s debut, no other author has even come close to dethroning the seasoned veteran that has won our hearts.

IMAGE VIA THE WRAP

With that said, for Anne Rice’s 79th birthday, I implore you to pick up her Vampire Chronicles. It is a series that will leave you speechless as you explore the dark, twisted world of vampires in the French Quarter. The series encompasses over ten books, and each will take you on a literary journey that you will not forget.

If you are unsure and worried about diving into Anne Rice’s gothic, erotic vampire novels, don’t be! You will be entertained and left begging for more! Anne Rice’s books have sold more than 100 million copies, and her Goodreads ratings reflect the star-stunning nature of her books. I do bid you a warning, however, once you start reading this twisted series about bloodlust and the utmost desire to kill, you will be hooked. Like myself, you will be drawn to the world of bloodsucking demons and shadows that plunder the night.

Featured image via KALB