American Literature is extremely fascinating and captivating, regardless of whether you love reading over and over again the “Scarlet Letter” or a more contemporary novel signed by Stephen King. However, famous writers are people just like you and me, and they do funny, interesting things which seem outside their academic school of thought…So let’s check out a few interesting facts about some of the greatest minds in American Literature.
- Ray Bradbury- famous for his novel “Fahrenheit 451”, Bradbury isactually a direct descendant of one of the Salem Witches, Mary Perkins Bradbury. The supposed “witch” has been sentenced to death by hanging back in late 1690s, but she managed to escape…this is how she made perpetuation of the family tree possible!
- Tennessee Williams- tremendously famous American playwright, notable for plays such as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” or “A Streetcar Named Desire”. His death was not asfamous as his genius, as he actually died by choking on a plastic bottle cap. Famous writers and less famous deaths…
- Dan Brown- contemporary author notable for his thriller fiction books. Just as any other writer, he can get a writer’s block. This is when no good ideas come to life, so the writer is just still for weeks…but Dan Brown is said to fight his writer’s block by wearing gravity boots and hanging upside down until some idea sparks on the horizon!
- Truman Capote- this great American author actually started reading and writing at the age of 5. By the time he entered 1st grade, he already taught himself to read and write.
- Mark Twain- he believed strongly he had psychic powers. He even invented a phrase for this ability, calling it “mental telegraphy”. During his lifetime, there were 9 documented times when he almost died by drowning, and he actually predicted his own death. He died of a heart attack.
- One of the mostfamous writers, Ernest Hemingway had his own weird behavior problems. Once, he took home a urinal from his favorite bar. At the time he told he actually “pissed away” such a great amount of money at that bar that the urinal belongs to him!
- Sue Grafton- Contemporary American writer, best known for the Kinsey Millhone Mysteries. She argues that the thing inspiring her most for writing these great novels…was the thought of killing her husband!
- John Steinbeck- the original manuscript ofone the greatest novels written by him “Of Mice and Men” has been literally eaten by his dog. His dog made confetti of his greatmanuscript, so Steinbeck had to start all over again..
- Harper Lee- an American novelist, with only one single work published. This is the critically acclaimed “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Even though it was her sole work of fiction, it brought her a Pulitzer Prize, and the book spent more than 80 weeks on the Best Seller lists…
- Stephen King- struggles with an interesting phobia called “treiskaidekaphobia”- or fear of the number 13. He will never stop writing at page 13, but he will continue until he reaches a safe number. He also never stops writing at any number page that is a sum of the number 13 (such as 26, 193 or 382). If there are 13 stairs, he will double climb the 12 &13thstairs, so he won’t have to actually step onto step no. 13. Who would have thought?
As youcan note, there are quite a few interesting facts relating to some of our most famous writers, contemporary or not. Some went through interesting lives, while others have truly strange phobias and behaviors…maybe without these, they wouldn’t even be such great geniuses!