April 3: What do you think? I think F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald may be the most documented literary couple of the 20th century. (Runner-ups: Dylan and Caitlin Thomas or Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath?) On this day in 1920, the couple married in NYC and the Fitzgerald’s  honeymoon at the Biltmore Hotel is so boisterous, management asks them to leave. 

April 4: Marguerite Duras, author of The Lover, is born in Indochina on this day in 1914.

April 5: H.L. Mencken is arrested on this day in Boston in 1926 for selling a banned copy of the American Mercury  to the Chief Watcher of Boston’s Watch and Ward Society.

April 6: One of the most romantic and mysterious interactions from the early Renaissance begins on this day in 1327 when Francesco Petrarca, 22, sees a beautiful, married woman in the Church of Santa Clara in Avignon. Throughout his life, he will write 366 poems to the mysterious woman he names Laura. Her real identity is never revealed.

April 7: Critic Alexander Woollcott sues the management of Shubert theatres after he is banned from their productions for what they call his reviews of “rancor and malice and venom.”

April 8: A 21-year-old Robert Louis Stevenson takes a walk on this day with his father in 1871 and tells him he is abandoning his engineering studies to devote himself to writing full-time.

April 9: On 1859, after serving a two-year apprenticeship, Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is on this day licenced as a pilot of Mississippi steamboats. Twenty-four years later, he will use his experiences to write one of his classics, Life on the Mississippi.

April 10: Paul Theroux, novelist but perhaps best known as a travel writer for such classics as Riding the Iron Rooster is born on this day in 1941 in Medford, Mass. His name Theroux, sounds like the Chinese word Tielu for railway as spoken by a Chinese person attempting the French pronunciation of his name. “The word never failed to turn my head. What were they saying about me?”


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