Uncategorized | April 23, 2004

Today we celebrate the birthdays of four writers: Vladimir Nabokov, Barry Hannah, Charles Johnson and William Shakespeare (we think). You can see author birthdays each day on powells.com, where I made this discovery. I’ve always been intrigued by how little we know about Shakespeare. It’s amazing to me that someone I quote constantly without realizing it could have eluded historians so well. I’ve heard all kinds of conspiracy theories throughout my life, including the suspicion that he was actually a noble who used Shakespeare as an alter ego.

Who knows if we’ll ever find out what Shakespeare was like? Perhaps you’ll get closer to the truth by visiting Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet, a mega-site dedicated to preserving the information we do know about this literary giant. If you’re in Washington, D.C., you can check out the Folger Shakespeare Library . The library boasts 229 Quarto editions of the bard’s plays and poems, as well as many folio editions and other rare European books. I took a tour there a few years ago.

I raise my glass to good writers everywhere who were born today. If you’re in Columbia, MO, you can raise your own glass at Shakespeare’s Pizza, a town favorite that honors the writer from Stratford-upon-Avon with tasty slices and free refills of soda.