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Literary Fact of the Day Round-Up: October 15-28, 2011

Jeff O'Neal

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Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

Those of you who follow Book Riot on Twitter know that we run a daily nugget of literary trivia there called, well, “Literary Fact of the Day.”

Here’s what we ran over the last two weeks:

Oct 15: Mario Puzo’s eyesight was so bad that he was excused from combat duty in WWII and instead served in public relations.

Oct 16: In 1793, Noah Webster founded the the US’s first daily newspaper, THE AMERICAN MINERVA

Oct 17: The Starbucks at the corner of 43rd & Broadway in NYC was once the location of the Barrett Hotel, where Eugene O’Neil was born.

Oct 18: Gunter Grass is often associated with the artistic movement Vergangenheitsbewältigung, which means “coming to terms with the past”

Oct 19: In 1939, Congress ended the Federal Theater Project, fearing communist infiltration.

Oct 20: Arthur Miller died on the 56th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of A DEATH OF SALESMAN.

Oct 21: 6 years after meeting Terry McMillan, John Plummer, the inspiration for HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK announced that he was gay and the two divorced.

Oct 22: Due to agency policy, David Cornwell had to use a pseudonym to publish his stories, and so A MURDER OF QUALITY appeared under the name John Le Carre.

Oct 23: In 2009, Ursula K Le Guin resigned from the Authors Guild after it endorsed Google’s book digitization project.

Oct 24: Doris Lessing’s formal education ended at age 14, when she decided to leave school.

Oct 25: In 1984, Michael Crichton created a video game called AMAZON that would go on to sell 100,000 copies.

Oct 26: Believing he had betrayed family secrets, members of Pat Conroy’s family picketed book signings of THE GREAT SANTINI.

Oct 27: Despite a lifetime of heavy drinking, Dylan Thomas’ autopsy showed little liver damage.

Oct 28: Evelyn Waugh’s wife’s name was…Evelyn. They went by “he-velyn and she-velyn.”


So, follow Book Riot on Twitter to get these (and links not only to good stuff here but elsewhere on the literary internet). You can also search for the hashtag, #lfotd. If you’re not on Twitter, you’ll just have to wait patiently for semi-regular wrap-ups here.

Also, if you know of a tasty little morsel of bookish knowledge, let us know in the comments or on Twitter. (If we use it, we’ll give you full credit.)