February Born Authors

February Born Authors

Discover information about authors that were born in February, from Dame Muriel Spark born on the first, through to Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler born on the twenty-eighth.

Photo by Alexa Mazzarello on Unsplash january


1st February 1918 – Dame Muriel Spark (née Camberg), author of ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie‘ was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Dame Sparks received eight honorary doctorates from numerous universities, as well as winning numerous awards for her writing. She died aged 88 on 13th April 2006 in Florence Italy. “I often wonder if we were all characters in one of God’s dreams.”

1st February 1950 – Kate Braverman, author of ‘Palm Latitudes‘ was born in Philadelphia, USA. Kate has won numerous awards for both her fictional and non-fictional work. “Just being in a room with myself is almost more stimulation than I can bear.”

1st February 1967 – Meg Cabot (Meggin Patricia Cabot), author of ‘The Princess Diaries‘ was born in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. As well as Meg Cabot, she has also written under three pen names – Meggin Cabot, Patricia Cabot, Jenny Carroll. “Unrequited love is all right in books and things, but in real life, it completely sucks”

1st February 1967 – Langston Hughes, author of ‘The Weary Blues‘ was born in Joplin, Missouri, USA to James and Caroline Hughes. He died aged 65 on 22nd May 1967 in New York City, New York, USA, after complications with abdominal surgery related to his prostate cancer. “Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”

2nd February 1882 – James Joyce, author of ‘Dubliners‘ was born in Rathgar, Republic of Ireland to John and Mary Joyce. He died aged 58 on 13th January 1941 in Zürich, Switzerland after undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer on the 11th January. The following day he fell into a coma, awoke briefly and asked for his wife, Nora and son, Giorgio, to be called to the hospital. Unfortunately he died before they got there. “All Moanday, Tearday, Wailsday, Thumpsday, Frightday, Shatterday.”

3rd February 1874 – Gertrude Stein, author of ‘Tender Buttons‘ was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA to Daniel and Amelia Stein. She was the youngest of their five children. In 1903 she moved to Paris, France become her home for the rest of her life. She lived with her life partner Alice Babette Toklas from 1907 until her death. She died aged 72 on 27th July 1946 after having surgery for stomach cancer in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. “We are always the same age inside.”

3rd February 1907 – James A Michener, author of ‘Tales of the South Pacific‘ was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA. He did not know who his biological parents were, he was raised by his adoptive mother, Mabel Michener. He died aged 90 from Kidney failure after suffering from terminal kidney disease, on 16th October 1997 in Austin, Texas, USA. “I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”

3rd February 1926 – Richard Yates, author of ‘The Easter Parade‘ was born in Yonkers, New York, USA. He attended Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut, where he became interested in writing. After Avon he joined the army, but by 1946 he was back in New York working as a journalist amongst other professions. He married twice and had three children. He died aged 66 from Emphysema (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), on 7th November 1992, in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. “Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around.”

3rd February 1947 – Paul Auster, author of ‘City of Glass‘ was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA to Samuel and Queenie Auster. After graduating from Columbia University in 1970, he moved to Paris, France where he earned a living translating French literature, before returning to the USA in 1974. “One should never underestimate the power of books.”

4th February 1958 – Keigo Higashino, author of ‘Salvation of a Saint‘ was born in Ikuno-ku, Osaka, Japan. Keigo has won numerous awards for his work including ‘Mystery Writers of Japan Award’ in 1999. “Even when you’re at the top, there’s always something higher,”

5th February 1905 – Herman Charles Bosman. author of ‘Ramoutsa Road‘ was born in Kuils River, Cape Town, South Africa. In 1926 he had an argument with his step brother. Charles shot and killed him. He was tried and convicted for murder and sentenced to death. This sentence was later changed to 10 years hard labour, but in 1930 Charles was released from prison. He died aged 46 on 14th October 1951, in Edendale, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on route back to hospital after earlier being discharged following him attending with chest pains.

5th February 1914 – William S. Burroughs, author of ‘Naked Lunch‘ was born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence, but did not begin publicising his writing until his thirties. In 1951 whilst in Mexico, he accidentally killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer during a drunken game with a pistol. He died aged 83 on 2nd August 1997 in Lawrence, Kansas, USA. “A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.”

6th February 1929 – Keith Waterhouse, author of ‘Billy Liar‘ was born in Hunslet, Leeds, W. Yorkshire, UK. His career began at the Yorkshire Evening Post and he also wrote regularly for Punch, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Mail. He also joined the Mirror as a reporter in 1952, before his career as a playwright and novelist. He died aged 80 on 4th September 2009 in London, UK peacefully in his sleep. “I turn over a new leaf every day. But the blots show through,”

7th February 1912 – Charles Dickens, author of ‘Bleak House‘ was born in Landport, Hampshire, UK at 1 Mile End Terrace to Elizabeth and John Dickens. Charles has created some of the most well known fictional characters. He was married to Catherine Hogarth and together they had ten children. He died aged 58 from his second stroke, on 9th June 1870 in Higham, Kent, UK. “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

7th February 1885 – Sinclair Lewis (Harry Sinclair Lewis), author of ‘Main Street‘ was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, USA to Edwin and Emma Lewis. In 1930 he became the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was married twice and had two children. He died aged 65 after suffering a heart attack, on 10th January 1951 in Rome Italy. “It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”

7th February 1950 – Patrick McGrath, author of ‘Dr. Haggard’s Disease‘ London, UK. He is married to actress Maria Aitken and lives in New York City. “A tissue of small sounds filled the room, a bird, a clock, a voice from another garden. What we call silence.”

8th February 1955 – John Grisham, author of ‘The Firm‘ was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA to John and Wanda Grisham. Eight of his books have been adapted for the big screen. He not only writes legal thrillers, he also has a series of children’s books too. He is married with two children. “When witnesses concoct lies, they often miss the obvious.”

11th February 1917 – Sidney Sheldon (Sidney Schechtel), author of ‘Master of the Game‘ was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA to Ascher and Natalie Schechtel. He was married three times. He had a daughter (novelist Mary Sheldon) with his second wife. He died aged 89 on 30th January 2007 from pneumonia, at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, California, USA. “Life is like a novel. It’s filled with suspense. You have no idea what is going to happen until you turn the page.”

12th February 1812 – Charles Darwin, author of ‘The Origin of Species‘ was born in The Mount, Shrewsbury, UK to Robert and Susannah Darwin. He married Emma Wedgwood in 1839, together they had 10 children. He died aged 73 on 19th April 1882 in Down, London, UK from heart failure, although there is speculation that he actually died from Chagas disease. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. “I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men”

12th February 1938 – Judy Blume (née Judith Sussman), author of ‘Superfudge‘ was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA to Rudolph and Esther Sussman. Judy has been married three times and has two children. “Our finger prints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”

13th February 1903 – Georges Simenon, author of ‘Dirty Snow‘ was born in Liège, Belgium. He died aged 86 on 4th September 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland. “We are all potentially characters in a novel”

14th February 1955 – Claire Cook, author of ‘Life’s a Beach‘ was born in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Claire wrote her first book at 45, her second was adapted for the big screen. She is married and has two children. “If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.”

17th February 1928 – E. M. Nathanson (Erwin), author of ‘The Dirty Dozen‘ was born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. After a tough early childhood in which he was sent to an institution at the age of two an the to an orphanage, he majored in anthropology at New York University. He worked for a while as the associate editor of Daring Detective magazine. Erwin wrote his most famous novel after hearing about a similar true story from a friend. He died aged 88 on 5th April 2016, from heart failure, in Laguna Niguel, California, USA.

17th February 1930 – Ruth Rendell (née Grasemann), author of ‘The Girl Next Door‘ was born in South Woodford, London, UK to Arthur and Ebba Grasemann. In 1996 she was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire), and then in 1997 she was given a life peer, becoming ‘Baroness Rendell of Babergh, of Aldeburgh’. Her Inspector Wexford series of books were adapted for TV. She died aged 85 on 2nd May 2015 in London, UK. “Greed and envy took from a man’s heart everything but—well, greed and envy.”

18th February 1931 – Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford), author of ‘The Bluest Eye‘ was born in Lorain, Ohio, USA to George and Ramah Wofford. Throughout her career she has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. As well as a novelist she also is a professor at Princeton University. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

18th February 1931 – Charles Higham, author of ‘Trading with the Enemy‘ was born in London, UK to MP Sir Charles Higham and Josephine. In 1952 he married Norine Lillian Cecil. After they divorced he lived with his partner Richard V. Palafox until Richard’s death in 2010. He died aged 81 from a heart attack, on 21st April 2012 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

19th February 1958 – Helen Fielding, author of ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary‘ was born in Morley, Leeds, W. Yorkshire, UK. Helen has won numerous awards including in 1997 she won British Book of the Year. She also has an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of York. Her Bridget Jones’s Diary books have been adapted for the big screen. She has two children with her Husband Kevin Curran who died in 2016. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”

21st February 1962 – David Foster Wallace, author of ‘The Pale King‘ was born in Ithaca, New York, USA to Sally and James Wallace. As well as being a writer he was also a university instructor of English and creative writing. He suffered badly with a depressive disorder for many years. On 12th September 2008 aged just 46, David hanged himself from a rafter of his house, in Claremont, California, USA. “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

24th February 1971 – Gillian Flynn, author of ‘Sharp Objects‘ was born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA to Edwin and Judith Flynn. Gillian is also a screenwriter and a comic book writer. She is married with two children. “The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”

25th February 1842 – Karl May, author of ‘Winnetou: The Apache Knight‘ was born in Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Germany. As a young man Karl May spent his time in and out of jail for various crimes, including stealing and fraud. He died aged 70 on the 30th March 1912 in Radebeul, Germany. His death certificate states from Cardiac Arrest, Acute Bronchitis and Asthma. “I don’t care about losing people who don’t wanna be in my life anymore. I’ve lost people who meant the world to me and I’m still doing just fine.”

26th February 1858 – Thomas W. Lawson, author of ‘Friday, the Thirteenth‘ was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA to Thomas and Anna Maria Lawson. He married Jeannie Augusta Goodwillie in 1878 and the couple had six children. The only seven-masted schooner (ship) ever built was named after him. He died aged 67 on 8th March 1925 in Boston Massachusetts, USA.

27th February 1902 – John Steinbeck, author of ‘East of Eden‘ was born in Salinas, California, USA to John Ernst and Olive Steinbeck. He was married three times and had two children. In 1962 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died aged 66 from heart disease and congestive heart failure, on 20th December 1968, in New York City, New York, USA. “I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”

28th February 1970 – Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, author of ‘We Are Pirates‘ was born in San Fransisco, California, USA to Louis and Sandra Handler. He is married to Lisa Brown and they have one child. “Wicked people never have time for reading. It’s one of the reasons for their wickedness.”


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