Literary Birthdays: January 11 – January 17

January 11

Alan Paton (born January 11, 1903) – South African novelist, anti-apartheid activist – Cry, the Beloved Country [1948]

Essay by Alan Paton: “Who Is Really To Blame for the Crime Wave in South Africa?” (1945),pageNum-3.html

Essay by Paton’s second wife / widow Anne: “Why I’m Fleeing South Africa” [1998]

January 12

Jack London (born January 12, 1876) – U.S. adventure-nature novelist, short story writer – Call of the Wild (1903)

January 13

Shahnon Ahmad (born January 13, 1933) – Malaysian novelist, satirist – Shit (1999)

January 14

LL Cool J (James Todd Smith) [born January 14, 1968] – U.S. rapper, songwriter – “Father”

Second verse and chorus of “Father”
Moms got tired of the beatings said, “Yo, we got to go”
Packed up her bags we bounced out the do’
She said, “I ain’t takin these whippin’s no mo’
I wanna live to see my little Todd grow”
I remember tear drops on my pops face
Lookin down at me standin on the staircase
Handsome brother with a smooth goatee
Makes me wonder why he act so ugly, you feelin me? (I’m feelin you)

[Chorus: LL Cool J and singers]
(all I ever wanted) All I ever wanted
(all I ever needed) All I ever needed
(was a father) was a father
(that’s all) That’s all!
(all I ever wanted) All I ever wanted
(all I ever needed) All I ever needed…
was a father

January 15

Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin) (born January 15, 1622) – French playwright, comedian – Tartuffe

Mikki Doyle (Miriam Leventhal) (born January 15, 1916) – U.S. journalist, women’s page editor, Communist

January 16

Garth Ennis (born January 16, 1970) – Northern Irish comic book writer – Preacher series

Youtube video interview of Garth Ennis speaking about his 2006 comics series The Boys:

January 17

Anne Bronte (born January 17, 1820) – British novelist, poet – Agnes Grey
Poem by Acton Bell (pseudonym for Anne Bronte)

My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.
The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky
I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
And hear the wild roar of their thunder to-day!

Anton Chekhov (January 17 Julian (old) calendar or January 29 Gregorian calendar) (b. 1860) – Russian playwright, short story writer – The Cherry Orchard (1904)


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