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Ohio Literary Timeline

1788-1875
1876-1900
1901-1920
1921-1930
1931-1940
1941-1950

1951-1960
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1931

Novelist Toni Morrison, considered one of the most significant novelists of the twentieth century, is born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio.

Sherwood Anderson's book Perhaps Women is published.

Louis Bromfield's novel Twenty-Four Hours is made into a movie.

The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities, a collection of James Thurber's New Yorker stories, is published.

Historian, naturalist, novelist, poet, screenwriter and playwright Allan Eckert is born on January 30 in Buffalo, New York.

Langston Hughes's third book of verse, Dear Lovely Death, is published.

Two books in the Nancy Drew Mystery Story series, The Secret at Shadow Ranch and The Secret of Red Gate Farm, are published. Both are written by Carolyn Keene, the pen name for Mildred Wirt Benson.

1932

Sherwood Anderson's book Beyond Desire is published.

Children's author and illustrator Natalie Babbitt is born on July 28 in Dayton, Ohio.

Langston Hughes's book Popo and Fifina, coauthored with Arna Bontemps, is published.

Keeper of the Keys is published. It turns out to be Earl Derr Biggers's final novel.

Louis Bromfield's novel A Modern Hero is published. Also this year, his story "Single Night" is made into the movie titled Night After Night.

Charles Waddell Chesnutt's novel The House Behind the Cedars is made into a movie titled Veiled Aristrocrats.

Charles Waddell Chesnutt, the man considered to be our nation's first great black novelist, dies in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 15.

Hart Crane dies on April 27. He committed suicide by jumping from the deck on a steamship sailing back to New York from Mexico. He had been in Mexico on a Guggenheim fellowship.

Children's author Jane Louise Curry is born in East Liverpool, Ohio.

Two screenplays written by Zane Grey are made into movies: Heritage of the Desert and Wild Horse Mesa.

Langston Hughes publishes The Dream Keeper, a collection of poetry for children. Also that year, he publishes Scottsboro Limited: Four Poems and a Play in Verse.

Lois Lenski's novel The Little Family, part of the Mr. Small series, is published. Also that year, an exhibit of Lenski's watercolors is held at Ferrargils Gallery in New York City.

The Clue in the Diary, a Nancy Drew Mystery Story, is published as written by Carolyn Keene, the pen name for Mildred Wirt Benson.

John Jakes is born on March 31 in Chicago, Illinois. He also wrote under the names of William Ard, Alan Payne, and Jay Scotland.

1933

Louis Bromfield's book The Farm is published.

Sherwood Anderson's book Death in the Woods and Other Stories is published.

The James Thurber story collection My Life and Hard Times is published.

James Cross Giblin, author of both fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults, is born on July 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Author Earl Derr Biggers, best known for his fictional detective Charlie Chan, dies of a heart attack in Pasadena, California, on April 5.

Zane Grey's screenplays made into movies this year include: Man of the Forest, Under the Tonto Rim, To the Last Man, and The Thundering Herd.

Dawn Powell writes an original play called The Party, which satirizes the world of advertising. The play is retitled Big Night when it opens this year.

1934

Sherwood Anderson's book No Swank is published.

Louis Bromfield's novel Here Today and Gone Tomorrow is published. Also, his novel A Modern Hero is made into a movie.

Harlan Jay Ellison, noted horror writer, is born on May 27 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Langston Hughes's collection of stories The Ways of White Folks is published.

Lois Lenski's book Sugarplum House is published.

Andre Norton's book The Prince Commands is published.

The Clue of the Broken Locket, another book in the Nancy Drew Mystery series, is published. The book is written by Carolyn Keene, the pen name for Mildred Wirt Benson.

1935

Sherwood Anderson's book Puzzled America, a book of essays based upon his extensive travels throughout the United States, is published.

Arnold Adoff is born in the South Bronx in New York on July 16.

Louis Bromfield's novel The Man Who Had Everything is published. His novels Deluxe and Times Have Changed are adapted into plays, and both are performed in New York this year.

Langston Hughes's play Mulatto opens on Broadway.

Lois Lenski's book Gooseberry Garden is published.

Mary Oliver is born September 10 in Maple Heights, Ohio.

H. M. (Helen Mary) Hoover is born in Stark County, Ohio, on April 5.

The Message in the Hollow Oak, a Nancy Drew Mystery Story, is published as written by Carolyn Keene, the pen name for Mildred Wirt Benson. Also this year, Benson publishes two other novels under her own name, Sky Racers and The Twin Ring Mystery.

1936

Sherwood Anderson's novel Kit Brandon is published.

Louis Bromfield's novel It Had to Happen is published.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's house in Dayton, Ohio, is dedicated by the Ohio Legislature as a memorial to him. The house, at 219 North Paul Laurence Dunbar Street, has been restored to appear as it did when he lived there and is under the care of the Ohio Historical Society.

Lois Lenski's novel of historical fiction, Phebe Fairchild, Her Book, is published. The book is based on the Lenski farm in Connecticut.

Dawn Powell's satirical novel Turn, Magic Wheel is published.

Conrad Richter's novel Early Americana is published.

Another Nancy Drew Mystery Story is published this year: The Mystery of the Ivory Charm, written by Carolyn Keene, the pen name of Mildred Wirt Benson. Benson also publishes a Dana Girls Mystery Story under the name of Carolyn Keene, titled The Secret at the Hermitage. One other book published by Benson that year is the novel Carolina Castle, which she writes under her own name.

Virginia Hamilton, the distinguished author of children and young adult books, is born on February 19 in Dayton, Ohio.

1937

Louis Bromfield's book The Rains Came is published.

Sherwood Anderson's book Plays, Winesburg and Others is published.

Phebe Fairchild: Her Book, which was published in 1936 by Lois Lenski, is a Newbery Honor Book.

Science fiction writer Roger Zelazny is born on May 13, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Conrad Richter's first novel, The Sea of Grass, is published.

Mildred Wirt Benson publishes three novels under her own name: Courageous Wings, The Shadow Stone, and The Runaway Caravan. Under the name Carolyn Keene, she publishes a Nancy Drew Mystery titled The Whispering Statue, and the Dana Girls Mystery, The Circle of Footprints.

1938

Lois Lenski's historical novel Bound Girl of Cobble Hill is published.

Even though she is still in Collingwood High School, Andre Norton writes a story titled "Ralestone Luck." The story is later published by Norton.

Carolyn Keene's (Mildred Wirt Benson) novel, The Password to Larkspur Lane, is made into a movie titled Nancy Drew…Detective. Benson continues to write under the pen name of Carolyn Keene, this year publishing the Nancy Drew Mystery Story, The Haunted Bridge, and the Dana Girls Mystery Story, The Mystery of the Locked Room.

1939

Louis Bromfield publishes the book It Takes All Kinds, and his work The Rains Came is made into a movie with the same name.

John Crowe Ransom is one of the founders of the literary quarterly The Kenyon Review. He is editor of the publication for the next twenty years.

Zane Grey dies on October 23 of heart failure. Grey, who was called the "Father of the Adult Western," was a prolific writer and storyteller, and when he died, a number of his works were published over the next twenty years.

Three Nancy Drew Mystery books written by Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson) are made into Nancy Drew movies. Published this year are the Nancy Drew Mystery The Clue of the Tapping Heels and the Dana Girls Mystery Story The Clue in the Cobweb.

The play Life With Father, dramatized by Ohioan Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay, opens on Broadway. The play becomes the longest running production on Broadway.

1940

Louis Bromfield's story, "Brigham Young -- Frontiersman," is made into a movie.

Angels on Toast, a novel by Dawn Powell, is published and garners better sales and reviews than her previous works.

Sherwood Anderson's book Home Town is published.

The Last Flower is a picture book and fable for adults written by James Thurber. Also this year, Thurber's play, The Male Animal, opens in New York City and runs for over two hundred performances.

Robert McCloskey publishes his first book, Lentil.

Louis Bromfield publishes a novel, Night in Bombay, and another of his works, Better Than Life, is made into a movie titled It All Came True.

Historical novelist Janet Hickman is born July 8 in Kilbourne, Ohio.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's novel Little Brown Baby is published.

Langston Hughes is awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship and publishes an autobiography of his early life titled The Big Sea.

Lois Lenski publishes the novel Blueberry Corners, which is named a Newbery Honor Book.

Conrad Richter's novel The Trees, which is set in Ohio, is published.

Mildred Wirt Benson continues to publish under the name of Carolyn Keene. Her new books are The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk, which is a Nancy Drew Mystery Story, and The Secret at the Gatehouse, a Dana Girls Mystery Story. This year she also publishes two books under her own name, Mystery of the Laughing Mask and the book titled Linda.

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