January 4

Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben (born January 4, 1962) - U.S. mystery/thriller novelist - Win (2021)

Read about Harlan Coben on his website

Listen to Harlan Coben talk about his work here


Gao Xingjian (born January 4, 1940) - Chinese playwright, novelist, painter; 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature - The Other Shore (1986)

Read about Gao Xingjian's play The Other Shore


Read Gao's Nobel Prize acceptance speech:


Once literature is contrived as the hymn of the nation, the flag of the race, the mouthpiece of a political party or the voice of a class or a group, it can be employed as a mighty and all-engulfing tool of propaganda. However, such literature loses what is inherent in literature, ceases to be literature, and becomes a substitute for power and profit.
In the century just ended literature confronted precisely this misfortune and was more deeply scarred by politics and power than in any previous period, and the writer too was subjected to unprecedented oppression.
In order that literature safeguard the reason for its own existence and not become the tool of politics it must return to the voice of the individual, for literature is primarily derived from the feelings of the individual and is the result of feelings.
...as well as serving as a carrier of thought literature must also appeal to the auditory senses. The human need for language is not simply for the transmission of meaning, it is at the same time listening to and affirming a person's existence."