Before America celebrates her birthday by getting drunk and blowing stuff up, it might be interesting to take a look at some of the great American writers who were also born on this day.
Nathaniel Hawthorn: (born in1804) Mr. Hawthorn introduced us to literature’s most famous baby mama, Hester Prynne in The Scarlett Letter. His writing is considered historically important because it documented the life of the puritan in colonial America. His characters often struggled with the conflict between their wants and desires and their need to appear moral and righteous to others.
Lionel Trilling: (born in 1905) When republicans speak of the “culturally elite” one can’t help but think of Lionel Trilling who was a literary critic and a member of The New York Intellectuals. He wrote for The Partisan Review which was a socialist magazine.
He was the author of The Liberal Imagination, which is considered to be one of the greatest works of social criticism ever written. According to Goodreads the anthology of essays makes the argument that “Only the imagination, can give us access and insight into these realms and only the imagination can ground a reflective and considered, rather than programmatic and dogmatic, liberalism.”
Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (1918): These twins from Iowa became two of the best known advice columnist in the world Esther “Eppie” Friedman took over the Ann Landers advice column in The Chicago Sun Times in 1956 and Pauline Friedman became Abigail Van Buren and started her own advice column in San Francisco Chronicle shortly thereafter. Each of their columns became syndicated. The columns started a bitter rivalry and the twins did not speak to each other for most of the remainder of their lives. Neither sister had any formal training in psychology.
Neil Simon (1927): Mr. Simon is one of America’s most famous and beloved playwrights was born in Brooklyn and is the author of over thirty stage plays including, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Goodbye Girl and The Sunshine Boys. Almost all of his plays were made into award winning films. According to PBS he is considered to be one of the most monetarily successful playwrights in the world and what could be more American than that?