Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Literary Fact of the Day | January 2011

Here are the Literary Facts of the Day (#lfotd) from the past month. If you follow The Ape on Twitter, @readingape, you can get these delivered hot and fresh every day. 

Also, if you have a Tweetable factoid you'd like to share, let me know; I'll be happy to give you credit for it. 

Sales of Haruki Marakami's 1Q84 reached 1 million copies in the first month after its Japanese release 

Virginia Woolf once accidentally baked her wedding ring into a pudding (via @ ) 

Martin Amis read comic books exclusively until his aunt gave him some Jane Austen. 

The Bronte sisters' poor health has been attributed to drinking water contaminated by runoff from a nearby graveyard.

Edith Wharton's connections in the French gov't allowed her to report from the front lines during WWI.

During his used-book selling career, Larry McMurtry has bought all or part of 30 bookshops  (from  )

Jonathan Lethem saw STAR WARS 21 times during its original theatrical release.

Margaret Ann Shriver renamed herself "Lionel" at age 15, because she thought a male name suited her better.

Trollope wrote for three hours a day and required of himself "250 words every quarter of an hour" 

Leather ball beats leatherbound: the total revenue for the NFL was $8 billion in 2009. The total book market in 2009 was $5.1 billion.

Fleming's James Bond books were not big sellers in the US until JFK included FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE on a list of his favorite books.

Raymond Chandler could never bring himself to inter his wife's ashes; they sat in storage for 57 years before being buried in 2010.

In 1912, Sherwood Anderson had a nervous breakdown and disappeared for 4 days before being found wandering through a cornfield.

In 1994, six years before the writing a novel of the same name, Dan Brown released a CD called "Angels & Demons."

Angry that she was encroaching on his work, Fitzgerald convinced Zelda's doctors to keep her from writing about their relationship.

In 1907, H. D. Became engaged to Ezra Pound, but the engagement was called off because her father disapproved of him.

Joseph Heller would only begin working on a story when he had the first and last line in mind.

New Yorkers used to gather on the docks as the ship bringing the latest installment of Dickens was arriving.

William Faulkner wrote AS I LAY DYING in six weeks.

A six foot floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign sat next to Ayn Rand's casket at her funeral.

In the mid-1980s, Nadine Gordimer hid members of the then illegal African National Congress in her home.

Lorrie Moore gave up the piano while studying at Cornell because it was taking up too much of her writing time.


Buy books mentioned in this post (or anything else, actually) using the below links, and The Reading Ape gets a small referral fee to defray our nominal operating costs.

Shop Indie BookstoresVisit Powells.com


  1. I see I'm going to enjoy these. Can't really cope with more communications via Twitter so will just read these monthly summaries.

    I did know that about Wharton ... she was a very interesting woman wasn't she.

    What an intelligent woman Martin Amis' aunt was - and clearly, he must be too if he took her up on it. I must read more of his books now!

  2. Love the Bronte tidbit. And Amis reading Austen.

  3. What a cool and fun idea! I love it!

  4. If some one wishes expert view on the topic of blogging afterward i
    suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage,
    Keep up the pleasant job.

    My page description