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1923
Felix Salten (1869-1945) a Viennese Jew, wrote his antifascist allegory "Bambi, A Life in the Woods." It was translated into English by Whittaker Chambers (28) and published by Simon & Schuster in 1928. In 1942 it was made into an animated Disney film.
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1924 Jun 3
Franz Kafka (b.1883), Czech writer, died. He was born in Prague and authored "The Castle" and "The Trial," both published after his death. Kafka had requested that his papers be burned after his death, but his friend, Max Brod, kept them and carried them to Tel Aviv when he fled Prague in 1939. Brod died in 1968 and left his personal secretary, Esther Hoffe, in charge of his literary estate and instructed her to transfer the Kafka papers to an academic institution. A critical German edition of The Castle was published in 1982 and an English translation of that edition came out in 1998. In 1927 Max Brod edited Kafka’s unfinished manuscript called "The Man Who Disappeared" and published it as "Amerika." In 2005 Roberto Calasso authored “K,” a contemporary evaluation of Kafka’s work. In 2010 more of Kafka’s unfinished work emerged from safety deposit boxes in Tel Aviv and Zurich, Switzerland.
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1924 Jul 24
Palmer Cox (b.1840), Canadian artist and writer, died. He wrote and illustrated children’s stories about brownies, little elves from Scottish folklore. 2 dozen of his stories were collected and published in 1887 as “The Brownies: Their Book.” His characters inspired the name for a Kodak camera and for young girl scouts.
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1924 Aug 3
Joseph Conrad (b.1857), Ukraine-born and Poland-raised novelist (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski), died in England. In 2008 Jim Stape authored “The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad.”
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1924
Anita Loos authored “Gentlemen Preferred Blondes.”
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1924
French writer Andre Breton authored the first “Surrealist Manifesto.”
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1925 Feb 6
Pramoedya Ananta Toer (d.2006), writer, was born in Indonesia.
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1925 Mar 25
Flannery O'Connor (d.1964), novelist and short story writer, was born in Savannah, Georgia.
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1925
Hugo Gernsback, publisher and inventor, founded radio station WRNY in NYC.
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1925
Theodore Dreiser authored his novel “An American Tragedy,” a portrayal of the rapidly changing country.
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1925
Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933), Ohio-born novelist, published “The House Without a Key.” The novel included the fictional Chinese-American detective Charlie Chan, who became immortalized in 6 novels and 47 movies. In 2010 Yunte Huang authored “Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous With American History.”
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1925
1939
Joseph Roth (1894-1939), an Austrian Jew, was assigned to Paris by a Frankfurt newspaper. After one year the job was given to a Nationalist. He stayed in Paris and wrote for emigre publications and railed against Germany and racism in his essays and novels. In 2004 his selected essays appeared in English as "Report From a Parisian Paradise: Essays from France, 1925-1939."
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1925
“The White Guard,” a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) of Kiev during the Russian civil war, first appeared in part in serial form. A stage version titled “The Days of the Turbins” ran from 1926-1941. The novel was not reprinted in Russia until 1966.
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1925
Fragments of Ivan Bunin’s “Cursed Days,” compiled of diaries and notes he made while in Moscow and Odessa in 1918-1920, were first published by the Paris-based Vozrozhdenye newspaper. A full version appeared in 1936. It was banned in the USSR until the 1980s. Bunin (1870-1953) was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1933).
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1925
Hector Bywater authored “The Great Pacific War,” a novel that included a surprise Japanese attack on the American fleet, eerily prescient of 1941.
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1926 Apr 5
The 1st issue of Amazing Stories, published by Hugo Gernsback, went on sale. He called the science fiction stories “scientifiction.”
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1926 Apr 28
Harper Lee, American novelist, was born. Her 1960 book, "To Kill a Mockingbird" won a Pulitzer.
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1926
Witter Bynner (1881-1968) authored his play “Cake: An Indulgence.” The protagonist of the play was modeled after Mabel Dodge Luhan, a wealthy supporter of the arts living in New Mexico.
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1927 Mar
J.W. Dunne (1875-1949), Irish engineer and author, published his essay “An Experiment with Time” on the subjects of precognition and the human experience of time. His theory suggested that in reality all time is eternally present, that is, that past, present and future are all happening together in some way. Human consciousness, however, experiences this simultaneity in linear form. It was very widely read, and his ideas were later promoted by several other authors, in particular by J. B. Priestley. Other books by J. W. Dunne are The Serial Universe, The New Immortality, and Nothing Dies.
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1927
Julien Benda (1867-1956), French writer, authored “La Trahison des Clercs,” (Treason of the Clerks). The title of the English translation was The Betrayal of the Intellectuals. The book described the politicization of Western intellectuals, above all their willingness to abandon the disinterested search for truth.
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1927
Upton Sinclair published his novel "Oil," based on the development of oil in southern California. It became the basis for the 2007 film “There Will be Blood.”
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1928 Jan 11
Thomas Hardy (87), English novelist, died near Dorchester. His books included “Far from Maddening Crowd” (1874) and “Jude the Obscure” (1895). In 2006 Claire Tomalin authored “Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man.”
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1928 Feb 5
William Elliot Griffis, American orientalist, Congregational minister, lecturer, and prolific author, died in Florida.
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1928 Mar 6
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Columbian-born novelist and Nobel Prize winner (1982), was born. In 2009 Gerald martin authored “Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life.”
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1928 Apr 4
Maya Angelou (d.2014), American poet and writer, was born.
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1928 Aug
Buck Rogers first appeared as Anthony Rogers in a short space opera, "Armageddon-2419 A.D." by Philip Francis Nowlan, published in the August 1928 issue of Amazing Stories.
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1929 Jan 19
Liang Qichao (b.1873), Chinese intellectual, died in Beijing. He inspired Chinese scholars with his writings and reform movements.
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1929
Rómulo Gallegos, Venezuelan novelist and Venezuela's first freely-elected president, authored Doña Bárbara. Mr. Danger, a long-standing figure in Venezuelan life, was a character in the work. It was republished many times. His government was brought down in a U.S.-backed 1948 military coup, ten months after he took office.
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1929
Hugo Gernsback coined the tern science fiction and used it in the 1st issue of his new magazine Science Wonder Stories.
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1929
Agnes Smedley (1892-1950), American journalist and writer, authored her semi-autobiographical novel “Daughter of Earth.” Smedley, an advocate for women, children, peasants and liberation for the oppressed, then moved to China and covered the civil war there.
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1929
Henry Green (1905-1973), English writer, authored “Living,” a novel of working class factory life.
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1929
Georges Remi (1907-1983), Belgian author and illustrator, created the cartoon character Tintin under the pseudonym Herge for the children’s supplement, Le Petit Vingtieme. Herge wanted to draw cartoons about the Wild West of America, but his publisher ordered that the new fictional reporter be sent to the soviet Union and then to Belgium’s colony in the Congo.
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1929
Irene Nemirovsky (1903-1942), Russian-born French-Jewish writer, authored her high-finance novel “David Golder.”
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1929
William Faulkner (32) published his novel “Sound and the Fury.” It chronicled the decline of a genteel Mississippi family.
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1930 Feb 28
Charles Scott Moncrieff, Scotland-born soldier, spy and translator, died in Rome. His work included the translation of seven of eight volumes of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past.” In 2014 Jean Findlay authored “chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff.”
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1930 May 17
Herbert Croly (b.1869), American liberal political author, died. His books included “The Promise of American Life” (1909).
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1930 Jul 7
Arthur Conan Doyle (b.1859), British novelist, died. His work included 4 Sherlock Holmes mystery novels and 56 short stories about Holmes. Doyle was an eye doctor. In 1999 Daniel Stashower published "Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle."
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1930
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), English writer, authored his novel “Vile Bodies.”
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1930
J.B. Priestley (1894-1984), English novelist and playwright, authored his novel “Angel Pavement.”
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1930
Vladimir Nabakov (1899-1977), Russian writer, authored “The Defence,” his 3rd novel, written during his emigration to Berlin.
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1931 Jan 6
Edgar Laurence Doctorow (E.L. Doctorow), novelist (World's Fair, Ragtime), was born in NYC.
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1931 Apr 7
Donald Barthelme (d.1989), US writer, was born in Philadelphia.
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1931
Dashiell Hammett authored his mystery thriller “The Glass Key.” It was made into a film in 1942.
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1932 Jan 21
Lytton Strachey (b.1880), author and part of the Bloomsbury group, died. He wrote "Eminent Victorians," a scandalous collection of sketches that revolutionized English biography in 1918. Michael Holdroyd later authored his biography. In 2005 Paul Levy edited “The Letters of Lytton Strachey.”
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1932 Jun 11
Athol Fugard, playwright, director, actor and novelist, was born in Middelburg, South Africa as Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard. As a child he was known as Hally before he decided he wanted to be called Athol.
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1932 Nov 15
Charles Waddell Chesnutt (b.1858), author and political activist, died. He is best known for novels and short stories from Fayetteville, North Carolina. In 1978 Frances Richardson Keller (1915-2007) authored “An American Crusade: The Life of Charles Waddell Chesnutt.”
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1932
Philip Stong published his novel “State Fair.” It was made into a non-musical film in 1933 and in 1945 became a musical film with songs by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein.
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1932
Joseph Roth (1894-1939), an Austrian-Jewish writer, authored “The Radetzky March,” a novel of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was translated into English in 1995. Roth’s 1938 sequel was translated to English in 2013.
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1932
Hans Fallada (1893-1947), German writer, authored “Little Man, What Now?” The book was an immediate success in Germany, where today it is considered to be a modern classic, given its intense descriptions of the last days of the Weimar Republic.
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1933 Feb 28
In Germany Carl von Ossietzky, an anti-fascist writer, was arrested after the Reichstag fire and held in so-called protective custody in Spandau prison.
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1933 Dec 8
Patrick Leigh Fermor (b.1915), London-born student, set off to walk the length of Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. He later recounted his adventures in “A Time of Gifts” (1977) and “Between the Woods and the Water” (1986). He was later widely regarded as Britain’s greatest travel writer.
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1934
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), English writer, authored “Ninety-Two Days.” It was based on his 1932 travels in Brazil and British Guiana.
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1934
William Saroyan (1908-1981), Fresno, Ca., writer and painter, published his first book, a collection of short stories that included “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.”
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1934
US writer Ernest Hemingway purchased the Pilar, a 38-foot cabin cruiser in New York for $7,495. In 2011 Paul Hendrickson authored “Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961.”
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1934
Stephen Zweig (1881-1942), a Jewish writer, was exiled from his Austrian home.
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1935 May 19
Colonel Thomas E. Lawrence (b.1888), better known as Lawrence of Arabia, died 6 days after sustaining head injuries in a motorcycle accident on a Dorset, England, country road. Lawrence served the British Foreign Office as liaison officer during the Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I. His leadership and sympathetic understanding of the Arabs were instrumental in Allied General Edmund Allenby's conquest of Palestine in 1917. Bitterly disappointed by the 1919 Paris Peace Conference's refusal to mandate Arab independence, Lawrence resigned from the Foreign Office in 1922 to write books about his Middle East experiences. In 2011 Michael Korda authored “Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia.” In 20154 Anthony Sattin authored “The Young T.E. Lawrence.”
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1935 Sep 19
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (b.1857), Russian scientist, died. He was a visionary and pioneer of astronautics. He theorized many aspects of human space travel and rocket propulsion decades before others, and played an important role in the development of the Soviet and Russian space programs. In 1932 Tsiolkovsky wrote "The Cosmic Philosophy," a summary of his philosophical ideas. He also wrote science fiction books, including "On The Moon” (1895), “Dreams of the Earth and Sky” (1895), and “Beyond the Earth” (1920).
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1935
John Buchan (1875-1940), Scottish novelist and Unionist politician, became Governor General of Canada and was created Baron Tweedsmuir. Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King had wanted him to go to Canada as a commoner, but King George V insisted on being represented by a peer.
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1935
Mussolini exiled Carlo Levi (1902-1975), Italian journalist, artist and doctor. As a Jew and for his antifascist activities he was exiled until 1936 to two isolated villages in the province of Lucania.
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1935
John O’Hara authored his novel “Butterfield 8.” In 1960 it was made into a film.
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