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Remembering James Thurber

By Lauren Corba. Dec 8, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Caldecott Medal

On December 8, 1894, James Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles and Mary Thurber. His father was a clerk and minor politician with bigger dreams of being a lawyer or actor. Thurber was the middle child and while playing a game of “William Tell” with his brothers, he was shot in the eye with an arrow and from the accident, lost sight in one of his eyes. Although sight remained in the uninjured eye, he had various vision problems throughout his life. His wound left him unable to participate in normal activities for children his age, which left him to pursue indoor activities and enhance his imagination.

     
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Hugo vs. Disney: The Changing Case of Notre-Dame

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 5, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Legendary Authors

Walt Disney and his successors have a long tradition of retelling famous stories. Their history of changing the original work is usually rationalized as making the content more suitable for children, but, in some cases, the changes go past small edits. As with most books changed into movies, in order to condense a long work into only 90 minutes, certain more unnecessary plot points must be cut. When remaking The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, however, Disney did more than simplify and streamline. Some elements were removed by necessity, such as much of the violence and many attempted seductions of Esmeralda, to make it appropriate for children, but some of the changes drastically altered characters and plot elements present in Victor Hugo’s original novel. 

     
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Mark Twain and the First Great American Novel

By Kristin Wood. Nov 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature, Mark Twain

It's hard to overstate the influence of Mark Twain. Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," and many critics now cite this work as the first "Great American Novel."

While the majority of those in the English-speaking world have heard of Mark Twain, and his two most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, they may not know as much about this classic American author as they may think. To start with, Mark Twain is not even his real name.

     
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Four of Louisa May Alcott's Lesser Known Novels

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 29, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Louisa May Alcott is best known for Little Women and its sequels. The different adaptations of the March family’s adventures all too often overshadow Alcott’s other work. All of her work possesses well written, intricate plots that often—in a manner similar to Jane Austen—promote a feminist ideal of women’s role in society. She shows the importance of more wholesome, old-fashioned values rather than the opulent lifestyle free of responsibility and traditional morals many of the wealthy were participating in. All this Alcott accomplishes in her novels without sounding preachy or alienating her audience. Here are four of her lesser known works.

     
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Happy Birthday, Doris Lessing!

By Kristin Wood. Oct 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

When it comes to literature, Doris Lessing has her hand in every dish.  She claims the titles of novelist, poet, playwright, short story writer, and biographer – if anyone proves that it’s possible to do it all, and well, it’s Lessing.  She won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, along with the David Cohen prize in 2001.

     
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Four Philip Pullman Articles to Celebrate His Birthday

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Awarded Books

Legendary English author Philip Pullman turns 72 years old today. You know Pullman for the His Dark Materials trilogy, his thought-provoking novel The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, and, most recently, for his The Book of Dust trilogy, which is still in progress. In honor of his birthday, we've rounded-up four of our top posts about Pullman, collecting his works, and why many consider him a modern-day literary mastermind. 

     
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Collecting the Works of Arthur Miller

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American History

Arthur Miller was born on October 17, 1915 in Harlem. He would go on to be one of the most legendary playwrights of the twentieth century. Miller's most famous plays like Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Crucible (1953) remain widely studied and have continued to be performed and adapted today. Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949. Perhaps making him just as much of a household name as his plays is Miller's personal life.

     
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Seven Women Authors Who Used Male Pseudonyms

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 9, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

It's no secret that writers often publish under pseudonyms. Sometimes it's to preserve a personal identity separate from their literary persona. Other times it is to create a distinct brand from one genre to another, like Nora Roberts publishing romance novels under one name and her murder mysteries as J.D. Robb. Stephen King did it when he released his novel under the name Richard Bachman to prove that his success wasn't a fluke and that he could succeed whether or not he used his famous name. Anne Rice has published under her own name, as A.N. Roquelaure, and as Anne Rampling after suffering some backlash over some of her early novels not being initially well received. Daniel Handler wrote his famous Series of Unfortunate Events as Lemony Snickett in order to insert the narrator as a character.

Historically, many women have chosen to use pseudonyms. Due to sexism in the publishing industry, they hoped that a male or gender neutral name could help them succeed in a male-dominated field and world. Some of the most important books in all of literature were written by women who felt they could not publish under their own names. The following seven women writers have each published work under a male or ambiguous name.

     
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Ten Examples of Elie Wiesel's Sentence Crafting

By Abigail Bekx. Sep 30, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: History, Legendary Authors

Elie Wiesel wrote, “Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” Wiesel followed his own advice in his writing. When reading his work, the author’s skill and passion for writing can be seen, and he writes about what he alone can write about. Knowing Wiesel’s experiences in the Holocaust helps readers to understand and appreciate his words and skill as a writer. With over 50 books, speeches, and interviews, it can be hard to narrow down passages to show Wiesel’s skill when there are so many wonderful examples. Nevertheless, here are 10 samples of Wiesel’s skill as a writer. 

     
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Happy Birthday, T.S. Eliot!

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 26, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry, Nobel Prize Winners

T.S. Eliot authored some of the most recognizable poems of the 20th century. He was a major player in the modernist movement, and his "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is considered one of the best of the genre. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, and the selection committee praised him for "his outstanding, [pioneering] contribution to present-day poetry." Many other writers owe a debt of gratitude to T.S. Eliot for paving the way, and as Britannica states, "From the 1920s onward, Eliot’s influence as a poet and as a critic—in both Great Britain and the United States—was immense, not least among those establishing the study of English literature as an autonomous academic discipline." 

     
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