“Who came
to see what
life could be”: Celebrating
Leo Writers

July 25, 2022
︎︎︎A Good Used Book

Somewhere there is a sun-baked meadow, fragrant with hot basil and juniper and lime, where the Leos go: where Beatrix Potter takes off her shoes and Julia Child rolls out the blankets, where Aldous Huxley and Jun'ichirō Tanizaki meet and where, when the sun gets low, they light the lanterns for the thousands still on their way to the party. Charles Bukowski, for instance, may still be sloshing his way through the knee-high grass. Dorothy Parker too, probably just a few paces ahead.

Born between July 23 and August 22, Leo authors are the smooth-talkers of the mid-season and the only sign ruled by the sun - the planet of energy and self. As creatures of excess and obsession and limitless ambition, they are the ones who write in order to live again and again on the page and in our memory. Take Zelda Fitzgerald, an embodiment of astrological energy when she said: “I wish I could write a beautiful book to break those hearts that are soon to cease to exist: a book of faith and small neat worlds and of people who live by the philosophies of popular songs.”

Like Zelda, these are the authors who refuse to retire. They are the James Baldwins and the Li-Young Lees, the Isabel Allendes and the Gish Jens: the ones who make prey out of beauty and literature out of life.