Here at Discover Books, we have been celebrating famous writers’ birthdays on our blog. In regards to authors with June birthdays, we’ve chosen writers in various genres and periods to feature, as well as a mix of adult, young adult, and children’s authors. No matter what you’re looking for, this list can help you find a great used or new book to enjoy!
Born June 25, 1903
Eric Arthur Blair–better known as George Orwell–was born in 1903. However, he is more often associated with a year that he didn’t live to see: 1984. His famous dystopian novel examines the dangers of authoritarian governments and propaganda through the eyes of rebel Winston Smith. Before publishing 1984, Orwell wrote his other famous novel Animal Farm, which was based on the historical events of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the politics of the Soviet Union. These works popularized the use of the word Orwellian in describing governments similar to those he wrote about, as well as terms like newspeak, thought police, and Big Brother.
Pearl S. Buck
Born June 26, 1892
Pearl S. Buck became the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She also received a Pulitzer Prize for her best-known novel The Good Earth. This book is set in China and based on Buck’s observations while living there as the daughter and eventual wife of missionaries. Her other novels include The Big Wave and Sons, which also contain themes related to Chinese culture. Through her writing and public engagements, Buck fought for women’s rights, adoption reform, and a greater understanding of Asian cultures in the United States.
Born June 7, 1916
Gwendolyn Brooks began publishing poetry at age 13 and kept writing until shortly before her death at age 83. Her poems and short stories highlight the lives of everyday people in her Chicago community. Her work became so famous across the country that in 1950 she became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. She received numerous other accolades throughout her lifetime, including serving as Poet Laureate of Illinois for 32 years. Readers today are still impacted by poetry from Brooks’s collections A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen, and others.
Born June 3, 1926
Allen Ginsberg is remembered as one of the main poets of the Beat Generation, along with his college friends William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Ginsberg’s poem Howl became the subject of a famous obscenity trial in 1956. As was the case with most Beat Generation poems, many readers were uncomfortable with the themes presented in Howl at first. However, it was eventually appreciated around the world. Ginsberg is also known for his later poetry collection The Fall of America, which won him the National Book Award.
Born June 2, 1840
Thomas Hardy was mostly known as a Victorian realist, but his work was influenced by the up-and-coming Romantic movement. Hardy often criticized Victorian society in his writing and in person; his goal was to create better living and social conditions for rural residents of England. Hardy’s tragic, passionate novels Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd made him famous when they were released in the 1870s and are still widely read.
Born June 7, 1954
Louise Erdrich is a highly versatile writer. Her published work spans the genres of children’s literature, historical fiction, memoirs, and poetry. Erdrich also received a Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel The Night Watchman. However, all of her writings are centered around Native American settings, characters, and cultural elements. This is because Erdrich is a member of the Chippewa tribe and seeks to use her work (whether fictional or based on real-life events) to teach her readers about her cherished Native American history and culture.
Born June 10, 1928
Maurice Sendak began his career as an illustrator in the late 1940s. He created most of the artwork for Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear series, which was eventually made into a children’s television show. Sendak later started writing his own children’s books, and he published his most famous work Where the Wild Things Are in 1963. At first, many libraries banned the picture book because adults saw the drawings of the “wild things” (which Sendak imagined as caricatures of his extended family) as too grotesque. But children loved the story and kept it alive as a classic.
Born June 5, 1964
Rick Riordan began writing best-selling middle-grade fantasy with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. These novels began as bedtime stories for Riordan’s older son, who loved mythology and was learning to navigate his ADHD and dyslexia. So, the character Percy Jackson is a “demigod”–the modern-day son of a human woman and the Greek god Poseidon. Percy, like most of his demigod friends, has ADHD and dyslexia. But these learning differences become superpowers for Percy as he battles classic monsters from Greek mythology, such as the minotaur and the hydra.
The success of Percy Jackson and the Olympians led Riordan to write several other series based on different mythological systems. These include The Kane Chronicles (Egyptian), The Heroes of Olympus (Roman), and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (Norse). Riordan also contributed to the creation and writing of the children’s adventure series The 39 Clues.
Born June 7, 1990
Adam Silvera has recently published several young adult romance novels. His most famous book is They Both Die at the End, which follows the development of a relationship between two teenage boys on the last day of both of their lives. Silvera’s most recent project is the Infinity Cycle trilogy: Infinity Son, Infinity Reaper, and a third book still forthcoming. This series is perfect for readers who prefer epic fantasy novels over romance.
Born June 23, 1975
Markus Zusak is an Australian young adult author best known for his historical fiction novel The Book Thief. The novel’s narrator is a personification of Death, who follows Liesel Meminger (a.k.a. the “Book Thief”) as she comes of age in World War II Germany. Throughout the novel, Liesel wants to be a “normal” child but must deal with a number of difficulties related to the war, including living with a foster family that ends up hiding a Jewish friend in their basement. Zusak wrote the novel based on the life stories of his parents, who grew up in Austria and Germany during the 1940s before emigrating to Australia after the war.
Since its publication, The Book Thief has received many awards and was made into a movie. Zusak’s other novels include the mystery novel I Am the Messenger and the family drama Bridge of Clay. Both of these young adult books became bestsellers soon after their releases.
We hope you’ll enjoy these books by authors with June birthdays as much as we do. If you missed our lists for April or May, click here or here to discover more authors and their wonderful writings! And as always, you’ll find books from all these authors and more, along with low prices and free shipping on orders of $9 or more, at Discover Books.