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This Day in the Arts: November 16

1849:

Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky is sentenced to death for anti-government activities. Later, his execution will be cancelled at the last minute.

1873:

W.C. Handy, an American composer whose best-known work is the classic song “St. Louis Blues,” is born. His work would change the course of popular music by integrating the blues idiom into then-fashionable ragtime.

1930:

Writer Chinua Achebe is born in Ogidi, Nigeria. Achebe is considered the father of the African novel in English; his Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, has sold more than 10 million copies around the world, been translated into 50 languages, and appeared on numerous lists of the 100 greatest novels of all time.


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