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“Of something beautiful, but annihilating”: Celebrating Scorpio Writers

Posted by Sarah Bofenkamp on

Imagine for one moment that every copy of every book ever written was being stored in a giant one-room library. Now imagine that this most extensive archive had been organized in an entirely new way… by birthday. Finally, imagine that it caught fire like the Library of Alexandria before it and only one section escaped - that containing the work of every author born between October 23 and November 21. 

If one were browsing those remaining shelves, surrounded by the smoldering coals of a leveled literary world, they might notice something. Sincerity over sensationalism perhaps, or possession over purity. One might notice the remaining names etched in a smokey gold-leaf: Margaret Atwood, Chinua Achebe, Dylan Thomas. For the astrologically astute, the word “Scorpio” might surface. 

Chinua Achebe

Those shelves would cradle the soothsayers, the black-earth miners, the puppeteers. Sylvia Plath would be held there, under her fig tree of heartache and determination. Bram Stoker too, writing feverishly a love letter he would send four years late. Psychic Anne Sexton would be there, and the ever-sensuous John Keats. Those shelves would all be haunted… occupied only by the authors of this season. 

Eventually, the library would be rebuilt around them, adorned with ornate wallpaper and shining banisters of cherry wood. Its books would be about things and beings and futures, about loyalty and vengeance. It would begin with Michael Crichton and end with Voltaire: holding tight to Fran Lebowitz and J.G. Ballard in between. It would house those authors whose souls were gentle but whose tongues were sharp… whose pens stung the edges of existence.

Sarah J. Bofenkamp is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Palouse, Washington.

More Notable Scorpio Writers
Michael Crichton - October 23, 1942
Pablo Picasso - October 25, 1881
Nathaniel Mackey - October 25, 1947
Zadie Smith - October 25, 1975
Dylan Thomas - October 27, 1914
Nawal el Saadawi - October 27, 1931
Sylvia Plath - October 27, 1932
Fran Lebowitz - October 27, 1950
Evelyn Waugh - October 28, 1903
Ezra Pound - October 30, 1885
John Keats - October 31, 1795
Andre Malraux - November 3, 1901
Yiyun Li - November 4, 1972
John Berger - November 5, 1926
Sam Shepard - November 5, 1943
Colson Whitehead - November 6, 1969
Albert Camus - November 7, 1913
Joni Mitchell - November 7, 1943
Bram Stoker - November 8, 1847
Alice Notley - November 8, 1945
Kazuo Ishiguro - November 8, 1954
Ivan Turgenev - November 9, 1818
Anne Sexton - November 9, 1928
Carl Sagan - November 9, 1934
Oliver Goldsmith - November 10, 1728
Neil Gaiman - November 10, 1960
Carlos Fuentes - November 11, 1928
Mary Gaitskill - November 11, 1954
Fyodor Dostoevsky - November 11, 1821
Kurt Vonnegut - November 11, 1922
Roland Barthes - November 12, 1915
Lucia Berlin - November 12, 1936
Robert Louis Stevenson - November 13, 1850
Marianne Moore - November 15, 1887
J.G. Ballard - November 15, 1930
Jose Saramago - November 16, 1922
Chinua Achebe - November 16, 1930
Margaret Atwood - November 18, 1939
Alan Dean Foster - November 18, 1946
Joanne Kyger - November 19, 1934
Nadine Gordimer - November 20, 1923
Don DeLillo - November 20, 1936
Voltaire - November 21, 1694
Isaac Bashevis Singer - November 21, 1902
Zodiac Series

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