At Discover Books, we love to recognize the wonderful writers whose books we resell and redistribute. So, we’ve once again compiled a list of ten authors with November birthdays to celebrate. This month’s list is loaded with famous names in classic and contemporary literature, spanning many genres. However, the works listed here are just a few of the used and new books you can find at DiscoverBooks.com and on our app!
Born November 30, 1835
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Missouri shortly after Halley’s Comet appeared in the sky. Later in life, he predicted that he would die when the comet next approached earth, and he was right. The origin of Twain’s pen name is unknown, but is thought to come from a riverboat captain on the Mississippi River, where Twain set many of his writings. Twain’s most famous novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; critics often mention the latter as a candidate for the “Great American Novel.” His other well-known works include the memoir Life on the Mississippi and the fantasy novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Born November 13, 1850
Despite being in poor health for most of his life, Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson traveled widely and applied the knowledge he gained while traveling to his writing. His most famous novels include Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The latter established Stevenson as an internationally recognized author, a status which he retains today as the 26th most-translated writer in the world (just behind Charles Dickens). Additionally, Stevenson dabbled in poetry before his early death at age 44, publishing the collection A Child’s Garden of Verses.
Born November 22, 1819
Mary Ann Evans is remembered as one of the leading British writers of the Victorian era. Although she wrote some poetry and worked as a journalist, her most widely read works are her seven novels, particularly Middlemarch and Silas Marner. At the time that Eliot published her work, women often wrote under their own names. However, Eliot used a male pen name because women authors were stereotyped as only being capable of writing light romantic fiction. She instead wanted a wider literary community to take her novels seriously, and she succeeded. In addition, if you’ve ever said “floppy” or “lunchtime” in conversation, you have Eliot to thank for those terms.
Born November 29, 1898
Clive Staples Lewis is best known as the author of the children’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. Widely considered literary classics, the seven Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies in nearly 50 languages combined. Additionally, three of the novels inspired blockbuster film adaptations in the early 21st century. While the novels span the whole history of the fictional country of Narnia, readers can enjoy the books in any order. Lewis also wrote many works of religious fiction and nonfiction for an adult audience, including The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity.
Born November 29, 1918
Madeleine L’Engle spent her childhood writing short stories and keeping journals as her family moved many times around the United States and France. However, she received many publishers’ rejections as an adult and nearly gave up writing. L’Engle finally published her breakthrough young adult science fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time in 1962 and received that year’s Newbery Medal. Following this success, L’Engle wrote dozens of books for children and adults. Her other notable works include The Summer of the Great-grandmother and Two-Part Invention.
Louisa May Alcott
Born November 29, 1832
Louisa May Alcott grew up in New England with her parents and three sisters. She received an education based in the Transcendentalist Movement of the mid-1800s, which included reading authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau as a teenager. Throughout her adult life, Alcott advocated for abolition and women’s rights. In addition, her childhood experiences inspired her best-known novel, Little Women, and its sequels. Since its publication, Little Women has been adapted for stage and screen multiple times, most notably the 1994 and 2019 Academy Award-nominated movies.
Born November 30, 1874
Lucy Maud Montgomery spent most of her life in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, where she set her first and most famous novel Anne of Green Gables. Readers around the world quickly fell in love with heroine Anne Shirley, so Montgomery wrote many sequels. Additionally, several settings from the novels have become literary landmarks in Canada. Anne of Green Gables also inspired many film and television adaptations, including the popular Netflix series Anne with an E. Montgomery’s other novels include The Story Girl and Emily of New Moon.
Born November 11, 1922
Kurt Vonnegut grew up in Indianapolis and studied biochemistry at Cornell until the U.S. entered World War II, when he withdrew and enlisted in the Army. He was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and spent several months in a prison camp in Dresden, where he survived a bombing by hiding in a meat locker. Vonnegut drew on his war experiences when writing his best-known novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Generally, he is known as one of the leading American writers of satire and science fiction due to the success of novels like Cat’s Cradle and short stories like “Harrison Bergeron.”
Born November 18, 1939
A native of Ontario, Margaret Atwood’s writing career spans six decades and a variety of styles. However, her most recognized work remains the 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Large audiences have enjoyed the Hulu Original television series based on the book. But the novel examines the themes of feminism, power politics, and the impact of language on society that are present in much of Atwood’s writing more deeply. Her other successful novels include Cat’s Eye and The Blind Assassin. In addition to novel-writing, Atwood co-invented and patented the LongPen, a remote writing device.
Born November 6, 1969
Colson Whitehead is the first Black author (and the fourth in history) to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction. His first win was for the speculative historical fiction novel The Underground Railroad, which was adapted into a 2021 Prime Video miniseries. The Nickel Boys, Whitehead’s other Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is based on the real-life experiences of teenage boys at a juvenile reform institution in Florida. Whitehead has also written several nonfiction books and magazine columns. In addition, he has taught creative writing classes and/or been a writer-in-residence at ten different universities across the United States throughout his career.
If you’d like to discover more books by authors with birthdays in autumn, check out our author birthday lists from September and October. Additional writings by all these authors are available on DiscoverBooks.com and our app, which you can download on Google Play and the App Store. With free shipping on orders of $9 or more in the contiguous United States and low prices for all customers, Discover Books is the perfect place to find your next favorite read!