In Memoriam on Angelou’s Birthday

Today is the birthday of Maya Angelou, perhaps one of the most well-known Black American writers of the 20th century. Below is an excerpt of Angelou's In Memoriam entry in Contemporary Literary Criticism: volume 389.

Maya Angelou


(Pseudonym of Marguerite Annie Johnson) American autobiographer, poet, essayist, children’s writer, playwright, and screenwriter.

The following entry provides criticism of Angelou’s life and...

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Steinbeck’s Birthday: A Grapes of Wrath Entry Preview

Today is the birthday of 20th-Century American writer and Nobel Prize recipient John Steinbeck. Below is an excerpt from Children's Literature Review: Volume 195, featuring Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath.

The Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck

(Also wrote under the pseudonym Amnesia Glasscock) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, short-story writer, and journalist. The following entry provides criticism of Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath...
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Writing on El Día de Los Muertos

Día de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is observed in Mexico on 2 November, the final day of a celebration that begins on Halloween. Though practices differ from city to city, the holiday is generally an opportunity to honor deceased loved ones, for whom families prepare ofrendas, or altars, which are decorated with candy skulls, marigolds, and incense. As the day proceeds, observance often...
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"The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade-journals." — — from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (born August 22, 1920)

Ray Bradbury. NASA public domain image via Wikimedia Commons.