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1964 Apr 14
Rachel L. Carson (56), American biologist, author (Silent spring), died. She raised public awareness of environmental pollution and ecological issues with a number of best-selling books -- notably Silent Spring (1962). In 1997 Linda Gear wrote the biography: "Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature." In 2012 William Souder authored “On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson.”
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1964 Apr 22
President Johnson opened the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair in Queens. It featured the futuristic Unisphere and a house made of formica. Ken Kesey and 14 Merry Pranksters drove to the fair in a 1939 bus with Neal Cassidy driving. The trip immortalized in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe in 1968.
Links: USA, NYC, Writer, JohnsonL     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964 Aug 3
Flannery O'Connor (b.1925), novelist and short story writer, died in Georgia of lupus, an incurable, autoimmune disease. In 2009 Brad Gooch authored “Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor.”
Links: Georgia, USA, Writer, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964 Aug 12
Ian L. Fleming (56), British spy, journalist, writer (James Bond), died. He had recently sold a 51% share of the copyright of his books to Sir Jock Campbell, who chaired the Booker Brothers. In 2000 Fleming’s heirs bought back the copyright to the books.
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1964 Sep 14
Vasily Grossman (b.1905), Ukraine-born journalist and writer, died, His work included the novel “Life and Fate,” a chronicle of the Battle of Stalingrad, which wasn’t published until 1980.
Links: Russia, Ukraine, Writer, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1964
J.P. Martin (1879-1966), English Methodist minister, published the 1st of his Uncle series of children‘s books.
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1964
Richard Hofstadter authored his classic essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in the wake of the Goldwater insurgency.
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1964
Jane Rule (1931-2007), American-born Canadian writer, authored her novel, “Desert of the Heart.” It later became recognized as a landmark work of lesbian fiction.
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1964
Waguih Ghali authored “Beer in the Snooker Club,” a story about life in Cairo shortly after the fall of King Farouk (1952).
Links: Egypt, Writer, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1965 Apr 23
Ken Kesey, author of "Sometimes a Great Notion," and 13 pals, that included Neal Cassidy, were arrested in La Honda for growing Marijuana.
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1965 Jul 31
J. K. Rawling, British writer, was born in Yate, Gloucestershire. She became famous for her Harry Potter fantasy series.
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1965 Jul 31
J. K. Rowling, British writer, was born in Yate, Gloucestershire. She became famous for her Harry Potter fantasy series. By 2012 she was the world’s richest author with a net worth of some $910 million.
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1965 Aug 8
Shirley Jackson (b.1916), best-selling author, died in Vermont. She is best known for the short story "The Lottery" (1948), which reveals a secret, sinister underside to a bucolic American village, and for “The Haunting of Hill House” (1959), which is widely considered to be one of the best ghost stories ever written. In 2016 Ruth Franklin authored “Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.”
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1965 Aug 27
Le Corbusier (b.1887), Swiss-French architect and writer, died in France. He was born as Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. His book included books include “Vers une architecture” (Towards a New Architecture) (1923), “The City of Tomorrow” (1925), and “When the Cathedrals Were White” (1937). In 2014 Anthony flint authored “Modern man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow.”
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1965 Sep 14
Vasily Grossman (b.1964, Soviet writer, died in Moscow. In 1961 his novel “Life and Fate,” a book about Nazis and Soviets at war, was confiscated. A copy was smuggled to the US and published in English 1985. In 2011 the BBC dramatized the book on Radio 4.
Links: Russia, Writer, USSR, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1965 Dec 5
Several dozen activists gathered in central Moscow to demand that the trial of two Soviet writers charged with anti-Soviet activity in their yet-unpublished writings, Andrei Sinyavsky (d.1997) and Yuliy Daniel, be open. They were tried in 1966 and sentenced to 6 years in prison for publishing anti-Soviet works. The rally, which was quickly dispersed, was later regarded as the first pro-democracy demonstration in the Soviet Union's history.
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1965
Irving Kristol (1920-2009), political writer and publisher, and Daniel Bell (1919-2011) founded the “Public Interest,” an American quarterly public policy journal.
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1966 Apr 10
Evelyn Waugh (b.1903), British writer, satirist (Brideshead Revisited), died. He also wrote “The Loved Ones,” a satire on California burial customs and “Vile Bodies.” His correspondence with Nancy Mitford, novelist of manners, was edited by Charlotte Mosley and published in 1997. In 2007 Alexander Waugh, grandson of Evelyn Waugh, authored “Fathers and Sons,” his biography of the Waugh family.
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1966
The play “My Sweet Charlie” (1965) was produced on Broadway. It was based on the same name 1965 novel by David Westheimer (1917-2005).
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1966
Chen Mengjia (b.1911), Chinese poet, oracle-bone scholar and spiritual opponent of the Communist’s simplification of the writing system, committed suicide.
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1966
Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) published his novel “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” His setting was a penal colony on the moon in 2075.
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1966
S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970), Jewish writer, shared the Nobel Prize in Literature with Nelly Sachs, a German-born Swede.
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1966
Paul Williams (1948-2013) founded “Crawdaddy,” a pioneering journal of rock criticism. Williams went on to author over 25 books including a 3-volume work on bob Dylan.
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1967 Jun 3
Arthur Ransome (b.1884), English author of children’s adventure stories, died. He is best known for writing the “Swallows and Amazons” series of children's books. It is believed that he served as a double agent and worked in the Russian service after the collapse of the Czarist regime. In 1918 he wrote a propaganda pamphlet titled: “On Behalf of Russia: An Open Letter to America.” In 2009 Roland Chambers authored “The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome.”
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1967 Sep 29
Author Carson McCullers (b.1917) died in Nyack, N.Y., at age 50. Her first novel “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the US South. Her short story “The Ballad of the Sad Café” (1951) was turned into a play by Edward Albee and was made into a film (1991) of the same name with Vanessa Redgrave.
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1967 Nov 17
French author Regis Debray (b.1940) was sentenced to 30 years in Bolivia. Debray (b.1940) was jailed in Bolivia shortly before Che Guevara was captured and was convicted of having been part of Guevara's guerrilla group. He was released in 1970 after an international campaign for his release which included Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, Général De Gaulle and Pope Paul VI.
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1967
S.E. Hinton authored “The Outsiders,” her 1st novel. In 1983 a film version starred Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Cruise. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Fred Roos.
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1967
Norman Mailer (1923-2007), American writer, authored “Why Are We in Vietnam.”
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1967
Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn met with Olga Andreyev Carlisle in Moscow. She agreed to get smuggled copies of "The First Circle" and "The Gulag Archipelago" published in the West. The novel, completed in 1964, was banned by Soviet officials. A shortened version came out in English in 1968. After some years a feud ensued when Solzhenitsyn accused Carlisle of being motivated only by profit and personal acclaim. An unedited English version was scheduled for publication in 2009.
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1967
Robert Katz (d.2010 at 77), American writer and historian, authored "Death in Rome." It was a meticulous reconstruction of an infamous 1944 Nazi massacre. A subsequent movie based on it, called "Massacre in Rome," stirred controversy because it suggested Pope Pius XII did not intervene to stop the massacre even though he knew about the Nazis' plans.
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1968 Apr 16
Edna Ferber (b.1885), US author (Giant, Showboat), died. Her novels included “Show Boat” (1926), which was produced on Broadway in 1927 and later adopted 4 times as a movie.
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1968 May 8
William Styron (1925-2006), a white author, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “The Confessions of Nat Turner” (1967). The book was based on the true story of an 1831 slave revolt in Virginia. Some black intellectuals, including Cornell historian John Henrik Clarke, published a critical response to the book.
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1968 Aug 19
George Gamow (b.1904), physicist and writer, died. He popularized the idea of The Big Bang. His books included “One, Two Three… Infinity” (1947).
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1968 Sep 21
Charles Jackson (b.1903), American writer, died of barbiturate poisoning in NYC. He was known for his novel “The Lost Weekend” (1944). In 2013 Blake Bailey authored “Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson.”
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1968 Oct 19
Yasonari Kawabata (1899-1972), Japanese novelist (Thousand Cranes) won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
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1968 Nov 25
Upton B. Sinclair (b.1878), US novelist and social reformer (Jungle), died at age 90. His work included almost 50 novels, over 20 nonfiction books, plays and countless pieces of journalism. In 1975 Leon A. Harris Jr. (d.2000) authored "Upton Sinclair, American Rebel." In 2006 Anthony Arthur authored “Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair.”
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1968 Dec 10
Thomas Merton (b.1915), American Trappist monk and writer, died in Bangkok, Thailand from accidental electrocution. He had just finished his 7th journal "The Other side of the Mountain." Merton was influenced by the Hindu scholar Mahanambrata Brahmachari (d.1999). Merton's work also the spiritual autobiography "The Seven Story Mountain." In 1978 Monica Furlong (d.2003) authored a biography of Merton.
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1968 Dec 20
John Steinbeck (b.1902), California-born author, died from a bad heart in New York City at age 66. He won the Nobel Prize in 1940. In 1995 Jay Parini published "John Steinbeck: A Biography."
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1968
Roland Barthes (1915-1980), French literary critic, published his essay “The Death of the Author.” In his essay, Barthes criticizes the reader's tendency to consider aspects of the author's identity—his political views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other biographical or personal attributes—to distill meaning from his work.
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1968
Richard Bradford (1932-2002) authored his novel "Red Sky at Morning." A film version was released in 1971.
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1968
Philip Dick (1928-1982) authored his sci-fi novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." In 1982 it was made into the film "Blade Runner."
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1968
Frederick Exley (1929-1992), American novelist, published his book "A Fan’s Notes," a fictional memoir of his failed life. In 1997 Jonathon Yardley published: "Misfit: The Strange Life of Frederick Exley."
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1968
Colin Fletcher (1922-2007), Welsh-born pioneering backpacker and writer, authored "The Complete Walker." It became a manifesto for backpackers.
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1968
Don Freeman (1908-1978), painter and children’s writer, authored "Corduroy," the story of a teddy bear named Corduroy, who is bought in a department store by a girl named Lisa.
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1968
Graham Greene (1904-1991), English author and playwright, wrote "Travels With My Aunt." In 1989 it was adopted for stage by Giles Havergal, director of the Citizens’ Theater in Glasgow.
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1968
Arthur Hailey (1920-2004) author his best-selling novel ”Airport.”
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1968
H. Richard Hornberger (1924-1997), under the pseudonym of Richard Hooker, collaborated with W.C. Heinz on the Korean War novel "MASH." It was made into a film in 1970 and a TV series (1972-1977).
Links: USA, North Korea, South Korea, Writer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968
Chuang Hua (1931-2000), the pen name of Stella Yang Copley, authored her novel “Crossings,” an experimental novel on the life of a first generation Chinese-American woman.
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1968
James Michener (1907-1997), American author, wrote his travel book "Iberia," a detailed and illustrated exploration of Spain at it was during the mid 1960s.
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1968
J. Anthony Lukas (d.1997 at 64) won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "The Two Worlds of Linda Fitzpatrick." It was about a teenage girl from an affluent Connecticut family beaten to death with her hippie boyfriend after turning to a life of drugs in the East Village.
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1968
In Yugoslavia Tito purged Serbian novelist Dobrica Cosic (b.1921) for nationalism. Cosic developed a complex and paradoxical theory of Serbian national persecution that later evolved into the Greater Serbian program of Slobodan Milosevic. Cosic later became the first president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992 to 1993).
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1968
Marie Vieux-Chauvet (1916-1973) published her Haitian trilogy “Love, Anger, Madness.” It was withdrawn soon after publication France following a government warning that it would endanger the author’s family. It was released again in France in 2005 and in English in 2009.
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1968
John Brunner, British novelist, authored “Stand on Zanzibar,” in which he forecast that the world’s population would reach 7 billion in 2010.
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1969 Mar 25
Max Forrester Eastman (b.1883), US critic and essayist, died. His books included “Love and Revolution: My Journey Through an Epoch” (1964).
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1969 Mar 26
Writer John Kennedy Toole (b.1937) committed suicide at the age of 32. His mother helped get his first and only novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces," published. It went on to win the 1981 Pulitzer Prize.
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1969 Mar 26
B. Traven (b.1890), novelist and short-story writer, died. He lived most of his life incognito in Mexico. His work included "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1934), "The Death Ship," The Rebellion of the Hanged" and "The General from the Jungle." In 1976 Michael L. Baumann authored "B. Traven, An Introduction." In 2000 Michael L. Baumann authored "Mr. Traven, I Presume."
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1969 May 5
N. Scott Momaday (b.1934) received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature for “House Made of Dawn.” The Kiowa author was the first American Indian to win the prize. Norman Mailer won the general non-fiction Pulitzer Prize for “Armies of the Night” (1968).
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1969 Aug 14
Leonard Sidney Woolf (b.1880), English publisher, writer, died. He was the husband of writer and critic Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). His books included “The Village in the Jungle,” a novel based on his time in Sri Lanka (1904-1911). In 2006 Victoria Glendinning authored “Leonard Woolf: A Biography.”
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1969 Oct 21
Jack Kerouac (47), Beat Generation chronicler, died of alcoholism in St. Petersburg, Fla. He wrote "On the Road" (1957), "Desolation Angels," "Vanity of Duluoz," and "Dharma Bums." Japhy Ryder the Zen hobo-poet in the book was modeled after poet Gary Snyder. In 1979 Dennis McNally authored the biography "Desolate Angel." In 1998 Ellis Amburn published "Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac." In 1999 Barry Miles published "Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats: A Portrait." In 2004 Douglas Brinkley edited “Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac.”
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1969 Oct
The Nobel prize in Literature was awarded to Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989). He learned of the award while on holiday in Tunisia and avoided the ceremony.
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