Today is the 112th birthday of one of my favorite fiction writers, Erich Maria Remarque. Remarque is famous for writing All Quiet on the Western Front, but his later works are just as tragically beautiful. I became a die-hard Remarque fan in high school, and All Quiet on the Western Front and its "sequel," The Road Back, are two of the most influential books I've ever read. There's only been a handful of writers who I can honestly claim have changed my life, and Remarque is one of them, introducing me to anti-war literature just as the Iraq War was starting. He's long been under-appreciated as a novelist, but he'll always have my vote as one of the best.
If you're interested in learning more about Remarque, his story is really quite fascinating. He survived World War I as a German soldier, took on the Nazis, and spent most of his life in exile from his home country.
Side Note: When F. Scott Fitzgerald was a Hollywood screenwriter at the end of his life, he only received screen credit for one movie: a film adaptation of Remarque's novel Three Comrades. I love this random connection between two of my favorite writers!