Today is the birthday of two of my favorites who also happen to be in my age cohort. Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk is exactly my age, fellow Dartmouth alum Louise Erdrich two years younger. None of us is well-served by revealing quite what that age is, so let’s just say that it is sufficient. I started reading Erdrich shortly after Love Medicine came out in 1983 and I’ve never stopped, although I’m slightly in arrears at the moment. I remember reading what turned out to be the first chapter of Tracks in The Atlantic and being completely blown away. I was also blown away by Pamuk’s Snow a couple of years after it was published in English and immediately predicted that he would one day win the Nobel. I just didn’t know that one day would be in five months. He wasn’t the youngest–that would be Kipling, who was 41–but he probably had the shortest bibliography of any writer when the prize was awarded (five books, I think). I have a lot of catching up to do with him, but he is always interesting, so catching up is a pleasure. So here’s hoping that their respective days are happy and that they produce lots more novels–and that I get to hang around to read them.