Apr. 8, 2000
I Will Make You Brooches
Poem: "I Will Make You Brooches," by Robert Louis Stevenson.
It's the birthday of novelist BARBARA KINGSOLVER, born in Annapolis, Maryland (1955), who grew up in rural Kentucky. Her first novel, The Bean Trees (1988), was followed by Animal Dreams (1990), Pigs in Heaven (1993), and The Poisonwood Bible (1998).
It's the birthday of journalist SEYMOUR HERSH, born in Chicago (1937), who broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
It's the birthday of jazz singer CARMEN McRAE, born in Harlem, New York (1920). At 19 she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater on 125th street in Harlem. She was noticed by the wife of pianist Teddy Wilson, who played for Billy Holidayand so was able to meet her greatest musical inspiration. "If Billie Holiday had never existed," she said years later, "I probably wouldn't have either."
It's the birthday of editor and publisher ROBERT GIROUX, born in New Jersey (1914). He was working his way through the editorial ranks of what was then Harcourt, Brace & Company, when he discovered author Jean Stafford. Later, he discovered Bernard Malamud, and published Malamud's first novel, The Natural, in 1952. Other authors Giroux edited in his long career include Carl Sandburg, Flannery O’ Connor, Jack Kerouac, and T.S. Eliot.
It's the birthday of novelist JOHN FANTE, born in Denver (1911). He settled in L.A. during the depression and wrote many novels set there. His books include Ask the Dust (1939), Full of Life (1952), Brotherhood of the Grape (1977) and Dreams from Bunker Hill (1982).
It's the birthday of lyricist (E.Y.) 'YIP' HARBURG, born in New York City (1988). He wrote the words to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" (1932), "April in Paris" (1932), and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (1939), among others.
On this day in 1871, ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, 20 years old, told his father he was giving up engineering to become a writer. Chronic poor healthhe would die of tuberculosis at 44had made schooling difficult, yet he was expected to carry on his father's trade of lighthouse design. He married a divorced American, and the couple moved to Switzerland, where he wrote the adventure story Treasure Island (1883). He later wrote Kidnapped (1887), and A Child's Garden of Verses (1885).
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®