It's the birthday of the novelist who said: "I have only one bit of advice to beginning writers: be sure your novel is read by Rodgers and Hammerstein." That's James Michener (books by this author), born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (1907).
He never knew who his parents were — he was taken to an orphanage as an infant, and adopted by a Quaker woman in Pennsylvania. When he was 14, he took off and hitchhiked all over the country. He said: "I think the bottom line is that if you get through a childhood like mine, it's not at all bad. Obviously, you come out a pretty tough turkey, and you have had all the inoculations you need to keep you on a level keel for the rest of your life. The sad part is, most of us don't come out."
His mother read aloud all of Dickens' novels, and after a salesman convinced his aunt to buy the complete works of Balzac, she passed them on to her nephew. By the time he got to high school, he had decided he wanted to go to college, and he did — he was a good student and a good athlete, and he got a full scholarship to Swarthmore.
He was drafted into the military during World War II, and he joined the Navy even though he was a Quaker and 36 years old. He was stationed in the Solomon Islands, where he kept records of aircraft maintenance. While he was there, he wrote some stories and sketches based on life in the Navy, and he sent his manuscript anonymously to Macmillan. They accepted it, andTales of the South Pacific was published in 1947. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and Rodgers and Hammerstein adapted it into the hit musical South Pacific (1949).
Oh boy, Julia, this says it all.
If that didn't do it maybe this will. I am on a real nostalgia kick tonight.
Maybe one more.
he is long and detailed but it seems you are right there in the story when you read his books
I sure did like the videos
i had seen the movies long ago and they were facinating
FEB 4 1921 to FEB 4 2006
Betty Friedan was an author that changed the way a lot of women thought about themselves.
Some of her writings I agreed with and some I did not. She set the modern world on fire.
It's the birthday of Betty Friedan (books by this author), born in Peoria, Illinois (1921). She's the author of The Feminine Mystique (1963), a book that The New York Times described as being "one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century." Friedan wrote about what she called "the problem that has no name," found particularly among educated suburban women in the years after the end of World War II, women who were leading ostensibly idyllic domestic lives as busy housewives and mothers and yet who felt inexplicably unfulfilled, unhappy, and restless.
"The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night — she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — 'Is this all?'"
Friedan once led tens of thousands of women — and quite a few men — down New York's Fifth Avenue and over to the New York Public Library in a strike for women's equality. She held signs that said things like "Don't Cook Dinner — Starve a Rat Tonight!" and "Don't Iron While the Strike Is Hot."
She went on to write several more books, including a memoir,Life So Far (2000). She died on this day in 2006, her 85th birthday.
It's the birthday of the playwright John Guare (books by this author), born in New York City in 1938. One summer he was on a family vacation in Atlantic Beach with his best friend, Bobby. The boys read an article in Life about a group of 10-year-olds who made a movie out of The Adventures of Tom Sawyerduring their summer break. John and Bobby were 11 years old, and they didn't want to be outdone by some 10-year-olds, so John wrote three plays that summer, a trilogy he calledUniverse. He called up Life to inform them that an 11-year-old had written three plays, but they weren't interested. So he calledNewsday and told them that not only had an 11-year-old written three plays, but that all the proceeds from the performances were going to be donated to the orphans of Atlantic Beach. But he didn't get a response. John and Bobby performed the plays in Bobby's garage for a week, and on the last day, a fancy black car pulled into the driveway, and in it were reporters from Newsday. They wrote up a review, and even published photos. Seeing the review in the paper was so exciting for John that he decided to become a playwright.
He went to see a play each week. And once he went to college, he started writing a play each year. He's written many plays since then, including Muzeeka (1967), The House of Blue Leaves(1971), Landscape of the Body (1977), and his best-known work,Six Degrees of Separation (1991). Six Degrees of Separation is based on a news story that Guare read about a teenage hustler who pretended to be Sidney Poitier's son and conned his way into the homes of wealthy New Yorkers.
It's the birthday of poet Victor Hernández Cruz (books by this author), born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico (1949). His parents moved to New York City when he was six years old, and he grew up on the Lower East Side. He started writing poetry when he was a teenager.
When he was 17, he and some friends found an old mimeograph machine and carried it up six flights of stairs to print 500 copies of Cruz's first book of poems, Papo Got His Gun (1966). He distributed the book to local bookstores and asked them to sell it for 75 cents each. An editor of a New York literary magazine happened to see the book, and he published several of the poems in the Evergreen Review.
Cruz was so excited about the publication that he dropped out of high school and joined a theater group that wrote and performed plays in the streets. He went on to become an important member of the group of writers known as the Nuyorican poets — poets from Puerto Rico who grew up in New York City and who write about the blending of the two cultures. He has published many books of poetry, including Snaps (1969), Tropicalization (1976), and most recently, The Mountain in the Sea (2006).
He said: "Exile and political upheaval have intervened with the lives of great writers and confronted them with the reality that they might have to express themselves in a language other than their mother tongue."
Victor Hernández Cruz, “Airoplain” from Tropicalization, copyright © 1976 by Victor Hernandez Cruz. Originally published by Reed, Cannon, Johnson & Co. Reprinted with permission of the author.
Source: Tropicalization (Reed Cannon Johnson & Co., 1976)
Victor Hernández Cruz, “Dolores Street” from By Lingual Wholes (San Francisco: Momo's Press, 1982). Copyright © 1982 by Victor Hernández Cruz. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
February 7, 1867 - February 10, 1957
It's the birthday of another writer from the prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder (books by this author), born just north of Pepin, Wisconsin (1867), author of the wildly popular children's book Little House on the Prairie (1935) and several other books about growing up in the Midwest in the late 1800s. They're all part of the Little House series, which she began writing when she was in her 60s. Since her death, about a hundred different titles have appeared in the Little House series that she created. From her books have come also a television series on NBC (1974-84), a 26-episode animated Japanese cartoon series called "Laura, The Prairie Girl," a couple of made-for-TV movies, an ABC mini-series (2005), and a musical.
All of her books have remained in print continuously since the time they were first published, have been translated widely, and have sold millions of copies. Little House in the Big Woods begins, "Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.
That is the difference between Northerners and Southerners. Northerners begin fairy tales, "Once upon a time...." and Southernhers say, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit....."