Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 (1953) on a coin-operated typewriter that charged 10 cents for every 30 minutes, costing him $9.80.
Born in January 1921, the writer Patricia Highsmith once smuggled 100 snails and a head of lettuce into a literary party in her handbag so she had someone to talk to.
When Maxim Gorky arrived in the US in 1906, he initially received a warm welcome. President Roosevelt, Mark Twain planned to meet him. But when it was reported that Gorky was accompanied not by his wife, but by his mistress, his hotel threw him out and he got cancelled. Gorky on a goodwill and fundraising mission for the Bolsheviks. But in 1906 this didn’t mean much to Americans.
It turned out the woman accompanying Gorky was not, in fact, Mrs. Gorky. She was Maria Andreyeva, a star of the Moscow Art Theatre. Sure, she was another ardent Bolshevik, but apparently that wasn’t the problem. She and Gorky weren’t legally married. That was the problem, considered by the media to be a moral blemish worse than anarchism. American morality, was made of different stuff.
The best-selling living author, Danielle Steel, has received “a resounding lack of critical acclaim” for her 179 books. In her romance novels, she draws from her experiences of having been married 5 times to financiers, ex-convicts, and a vintner, and having 9 children.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.
When Leo Tolstoy became a vegetarian, two of his children followed, but his wife and aunt didn’t. He didn’t pressure them, but sometimes teased them. His aunt once came to dinner and found a knife and a chicken on her chair. Tolstoy said “We knew you wanted chicken, but none of us would kill it”.
J.R.R Tolkien was rejected for a Nobel Prize, in 1961, on the grounds of his poor storytelling.
In 1954, Ernest Hemingway survived two plane crashes in two days. He was presumed dead almost 24 hours later until he was spotted coming out of the jungle carrying bananas and a bottle of gin. One of the planes was burning on the runway. The door was stuck. So Hemingway headbutted it open. He never fully recovered from the concussion and it’s theorised this may have been the starting point for his cognitive decline.
H G Wells was inspired to write War of the Worlds by the plight of the Tasmanian Aborigines.
By the time Wells wrote that book there were no Tasmanian Aboriginals left to have a plight.
The native of Tasmania were victims of one of the most complete genocides in modern history. The last male Tasmanian Aboriginals had his scrotum turned into a tobacco pouch after death and the last female died in 1876. The remains of some of the last to die were put in museums back in England whole or in parts.
More recently the population of Tasmanian Aboriginals has been revived by people who believe themselves to have some aboriginal ancestry who learned or recreated some of the old culture and languages and lobbied to have the definition of aboriginals widened to include them and anyone who self-identifies as such.
Agatha became skilled at body-boarding in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and in Hawaii she learned to ride while standing on the board.