September 29 Writer Birthdays

1547 – Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright whose major work, Don Quixote, is considered the first modern European novel.

1760 – William Beckford, reclusive and eccentric English novelist, travel book writer, and architect, best known for his romance, The History of the Caliph Vathek.

1810 – Elizabeth Gaskell, British novelist and nonfiction writer of the Victorian era, possibly best known for her biography of Charlotte Brontë.

1848 – Caroline Ardelia Yale, U.S. educator who revolutionized the teaching of hearing-impaired students; she developed a more comprehensive system of phonetic symbols than was in use at the time and published Formation and Development of Elementary English Sounds to describe it; she collaborated with inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his father, Alexander Melville Bell, on her teaching methods. Her system became the predominate one in the U.S. for teaching deaf students. She also published an autobiography, Years of Building-Memories of a Pioneer in a Special Field of Education. The crater Yale on the planet Venus is named in her honor.

1862 – Kuroiwa Shuroku (also known as Kuroiwa Ruiko), Japanese journalist, writer, and novelist who was also a prolific translator.

1866 – J.E. Casely Hayford (also known as Ekra-Agiman), Ghanian writer, editor, journalist, lawyer, and politician who supported pan-African nationalism.

1881 – Ludwig von Mises, Ukrainian-born Austrian-U.S. writer, economist, university teacher, philosopher, and sociologist who is best known for his work on praxeology, a study of human choice and action.

1882 – Miekichi Suzuki, Japanese novelist and children’s writer who published a children’s literature magazine that was groundbreaking in its emphasis on learning from observation and experience rather than by rote, and focused on everyday language as much as ceremonial language.

1897 – Herbert Agar, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist, historian, author, and editor who is best remembered for his book The People’s Choice, a critical look at the American presidency.

1914 – Diederik (or Dirk) Johannes Opperman (commonly referred to as D.J.
Opperman), South Africa writer, poet, and university teacher who is one of the best known Afrikaans poets of the twentieth century.

1915 – Oscar Handlin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian, writer, and professor who helped promote social and ethnic history, virtually inventing the field of immigration history.

1916 – İsmet Kür (born Zorluhankızı), Turkish educator, journalist, columnist, short-story writer, novelist, memoirist, poet, and nonfiction writer; she is best known for her children’s literature.

1923 – Stan Berenstain, U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books, known for the “Berenstain Bears” series of picture books he co-wrote with his wife Jan.

1925 – Eugenia Apostol, Filipino journalist and publisher notable for her role in peaceful overthrow of two Philippine presidents.

1927 – Elizabeth Peters, pen name of U.S. mystery author and Egyptologist Barbara Mertz, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Michaels; as Elizabeth Peters, her main series involves Egyptologist Amelia Peabody. She also wrote two nonfiction books about ancient Egypt.

1929 – Xu Huaizhong, award-winning Chinese novelist, screenwriter, and editor who is best known for his novel Qianfengji.

1930 – Colin Dexter, English crime writer who was well known for his Inspector Morse novels, which have been adapted for television.

1930 – Satya Vrat Shastri, award-winning Indian poet, author, professor, grammarian, and literary critic who writes in Sanskrit.

1932 – Henrique Abranches, award-winning Portuguese-born Angolan fiction writer, poet, playwright, essayist, anthropologist, and political activist who is also the director of Angola’s National Museum of Slavery.

1934 – Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi, Hungarian-born psychology professor best known for his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimum Experience.

1934 – Stuart Kaminsky, award-winning U.S. author of mystery novels.

1935 – Chung-ying Cheng, Taiwanese writer, philosopher, and professor of philosophy.

1935 – Rieko Nakagawa, award-winning Japanese children’s literature writer, author, essayist, and lyricist; she has also written under the name Yuriko Ōmura; she is particularly well known for her “Guri and Gura” series of children’s books.

1935 – Ingrid Noll (married name Ingrid Gullatz), award-winning Chinese-born German thriller writer who published her first novel at the age of 55 and is today one of the most popular German authors; some of her books have been adapted for film and television.

1936 – James Fogle, U.S. author of the autobiographical novel Drugstore Cowboy.

1942 – Donna Leon, award-winning U.S. author whose series of crime novels set in Venice feature Commissario Guido Brunetti.

1942 – Steve Tesich, Academy Award-winning Serbian-born screenwriter, playwright, and novelist best known for the film Breaking Away.

1947 – Festus Iyayi, Nigerian writer, economist, and professor known for his radical and sometimes tough stance on social and political issues; he wrote in a realistic style that depicted the social, political, and moral environment that both the rich and poor live and work in.

1947 – Cassandra Jean Pybus, award-winning Australian historian, writer, and professor who has published extensively on Australian and American history.

1950 – Duni Chand Chambial (often known as D.C. Chambial), prolific Indian poet, editor, and literary critic who writes in both English and Hindi.

1950 – Merle Collins, Aruban-born Grenadian poet, novelist, short-story writer, professor, literary critic, and performing artist.

1951 – Miguel Castro Enriquez (also known as Mike Enriquez), Filipino journalist, television announcer, and radio newscaster.

1952 – Gábor Csupó, Hungarian animator, writer, cartoonist, film producer, graphic designer, and filmmaker.

1959 – Jon Fosse, Norwegian writer, poet, playwright, and children’s writer.

1963 – Lopito Feijóo (born João André da Silva Feijó), Angolan poet who writes in Portuguese and belongs to a generation of Angolan poets whose themes revolve around relationships and love.

1965 – Petra Östergren, Swedish feminist writer, debater, social commentator, and self-defense instructor.

1966 – Kaajal Oza Vaidya, prolific Indian novelist, poet, screenwriter for films and soap operas, essayist, short-story writer, columnist, radio personality, journalist, and actress.

1986 – Delara Darabi, Iranian writer, poet, and painter who was sentenced to death after having been convicted of murdering her father’s female cousin; she said her older boyfriend, Amir Hossein, had killed the woman and persuaded her to lie about it to protect him. While on death row she wrote poetry, most notably the poem, “Prison,” a psychological and philosophical work about life in prison. She was hanged in 2009 at the age of 22.

September 28 Writer Birthdays

0551 BCE – Confucius, Chinese philosopher and politician who was traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages and one of the most important and influential individuals in human history; his teachings and philosophy formed the basis of East Asian culture and society, and continue to remain influential.

1493 – Agnolo Firenzuola, Italian Florentine poet, writer, fabulist, short-story writer, translator, and abbot.

1565 – Alessandro Tassoni, Italian poet, writer, and literary critic.

1788 – Charlotte Anne Eaton (née Waldie), English novelist, travel writer, memoirist, and banker.

1797 – Sophie von Knorring, Swedish novelist who is regarded as a pioneer of the realistic novel in Sweden; most of her novels are love stories set in an aristocratic environment.

1800 – Sibella Elizabeth Miles (née Hatfield), English novelist, writer, poet, and schoolteacher.

1803 – Prosper Mérimée, French dramatist and short-story writer who is best known for his novella Carmen, on which Bizet based the opera Carmen.

1810 – Inocêncio Francisco da Silva (often referred simply as Innocencio), Portuguese writer and bibliographer who compiled seven centuries’ worth of information about Portuguese-language authors up to the mid-19th century into one mammoth reference book.

1824 – Francis Turner Palgrave, British critic, anthologist, biographer, and poet who was best known for his literary criticism, which was seen as demonstrating sensitivity, tact, intuitive perception, and sound judgment.

1839 – Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard, U.S. writer, educator, temperance reformer, labor activist, and women’s suffragist who laid the groundwork that resulted in the passing of the Eighteenth (on Prohibition) and Nineteenth (on women’s suffrage) Amendments to the United States Constitution; during her lifetime, she succeeded in raising the age of consent in many states as well as passing labor reforms including the eight-hour workday.

1840 – Rudolf Baumbach, German poet and writer of the informal vagabond school; he also wrote many drinking songs, which endeared him to German students.

1840 – Ben Davies, Welsh author, minister, and sermon writer, best remembered for his four volumes of sermons.

1855 – John Muirhead Macfarlane, Scottish botanist, writer, and professor; he wrote and illustrated many books about botany, but is best known for his first book, The Causes and Course of Organic Evolution: A study in Bioenergics.

1857 – Matthias Johann Eisen, Estonian writer, folklorist, ethnologist, and professor who is most known for his very thorough collection and a systematic typology of Estonian folk tales, totaling more than 90,000 pages.

1856 – Kate Douglas Wiggin, U.S. educator and author of children’s stories, including the classic novel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

1858 – Gustaf Kossinna, German writer, professor, archaeologist, anthropologist, and librarian who was one of the most prominent prehistorians of his day.

1861 – Alice de Chambrier, Swiss poet and writer whose masterpiece is Au-delà, an anthology of poems; she died at age 21.

1862 – Violet Hunt, British novelist and feminist writer who founded the Women Writers’ Suffrage League in 1908 and participated in the founding of International PEN.

1863 – Vladimir Obruchev, Russian writer, geologist, geographer, university teacher, paleontologist, children’s writer, and explorer who was one of the first Russian science-fiction writers; as a geologist, he specialized in the study of Siberia and Central Asia.

1867 – James Edwin Campbell, U.S. African-American educator, school administrator, newspaper editor, poet, and essayist who was the first principal of the West Virginia Colored Institute (present-day West Virginia State University) and is considered by the university to be its first president.

1868 – Evelyn Beatrice Hall, English writer and biographer best known for the biography, The Life of Voltaire; she often wrote under the pseudonym S.G. Tallentyre. She also wrote the book, The Friends of Voltaire, including her phrase: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” as an illustration of Voltaire’s beliefs; that quotation – sometimes misattributed to Voltaire himself – is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech.

1872 – David Unaipon, Indigenous Australian writer, preacher, and inventor; he is featured on the Australian $50 note in commemoration of his work.

1892 – Elmer Rice (born Elmer Leopold Reizenstein), U.S. playwright who is best known for his plays The Adding Machine and his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama of New York tenement life, Street Scene.

1935 – Simon Leys (pen name of Pierre Ryckmans), Belgian writer, sinologist, essayist, and literary critic who writes in French and English; he has written books on the Chinese Cultural Revolution and has translated important works of Chinese literature.

1938 – Rosario Ferré, Puerto Rican novelist, short-story writer, poet, biographer, essayist, professor, and translator who has written in both Spanish and English. Her father, Luis A. Ferré, was the third elected Governor of Puerto Rico; when her mother died, she took on the duties of First Lady for her father.

1944 – Marcia Muller, U.S. mystery and thriller novelist, best known for her Sharon McCone series.

1944 – Simon Winchester, British-born nonfiction author, journalist, travel writer, and novelist who lives mostly in the United States; he has covered numerous significant events including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate scandal; his books include The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, which has been made into a film.

1945 – Alioune Badara Bèye, Senegalese civil servant, novelist, playwright, poet, and publisher.

1948 – Kim Yong Taik, modern South Korean poet and teacher whose work celebrates the simple images and experiences of rural life and criticizes city politicians and policymakers, using dialect, proverbs, colloquialisms, and traditional rhythms to strengthen the sense of rural community in his poetry.

1950 – Brian Keenan, Northern Irish writer whose work includes the book An Evil Cradling, an account of the four-and-a-half years he spent as a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon.

1952 – Hallgerður Gísladóttir, Icelandic ethnologist, anthropologist, writer, poet, and television presenter who specialized in Icelandic food traditions and gastronomy, as well as Icelandic man-made caves.

1955 – Lila Prap, Slovenian writer, children’s author, illustrator, and architect who is best known for her children’s picture books.

1956 – Antonio Soler, award-winning Spanish novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist.

1959 – Michael Scott, Irish author, children’s writer, screenwriter, science-fiction and fantasy author, horror writer, and collector and editor of folklore; he also writes romance novels under the name Anna Dillon.

1960 – Andrew Brel, South African-born author, short-story writer, songwriter, and musician.

1960 – Marina Gershenovich, Russian writer, poet, translator, author, and linguist.

1961 – Tatiana de Rosnay, French novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and short-story writer who is best known for her bestselling novel Sarah’s Key, which was made into a film.

1965 – Antoine Rault, award-winning French dramatist and novelist whose works deal with both contemporary and historical themes.

1965 – Kenneth T. Williams, award-winning Canadian Cree playwright, journalist, and art and literature reviewer who also worked as an encyclopedia salesman, bartender, and drummer.

1967 – Fang Shimin (pen name Fang Zhouzi), Chinese popular scientific writer who is primarily known for his campaign against pseudoscience and fraud in China.

1969 – Piper Kerman, U.S. author of the memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison; the book has been adapted into an Emmy Award-winning television series for Netflix.

1972 – Heli Pauliina Laaksonen, Finnish poet, writer, and translator.

1974 – Martyna Wojciechowska (born Marta Eliza Wojciechowska), Polish writer, journalist, television presenter, mountaineer, and editor-in-chief of National Geographic Poland.

1978 – Rovshan Abdullaoglu, Azerbaijani writer, publicist, Oriental philosopher, psychologist, and theologian.

1985 – Helen Mort, award-winning British poet and novelist who was the Derbyshire Poet Laureate.

September 27 Writer Birthdays

1696 – Alphonsus Liguori, Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian; one of the most widely read Catholic authors, he is the patron saint of confessors.

1719 – Abraham Gotthelf Kästner, German mathematician and epigrammatist who was well known for writing textbooks and compiling encyclopedias, but even better known for his epigrammatic poems; the crater Kästner on the Moon is named after him.

1729 – Michael Denis (full name Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael Denis; also known as Sined the Bard), Austrian writer, poet, librarian, bibliographer, translator, zoologist, lepidopterist, curator, entomologist, and Catholic priest.

1772 – Sándor Kisfaludy, Hungarian lyric poet, writer, and playwright; he is considered the first romantic poet from Hungary.

1776 – Maria Johanna Elselina Versfelt (also known as Ida Saint-Elme, Elzelina av Aylde Jonghe, and by her pseudonym La Contemporaine), Dutch writer and stage actress who was known for her adventurous life and for her memoirs, Mémoires d’une Contemporaine.

1808 – Lucretia Maria Davidson, U.S. poet and writer who wrote nearly 300 surviving poems, though she died at age 16; her work was praised by such literary luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe.

1821 – Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer, poet, philosopher, translator, diarist, university teacher, and literary critic.

1829 – Fanny Duberly (Frances Isabella Duberly), English writer who is best known for publishing a journal of her experiences on campaign in the Crimean War and the Indian Rebellion of 1857, in which her husband was a soldier.

1831 – Ana Plácido, Portuguese novelist and author; she is best known for her novel Herança de Lágrimas (A Legacy of Tears) and for an autobiographical book Luz Coada por Ferros (Light Filtered Through Bars).

1857 – Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids, British writer and translator who wrote extensively on economics before becoming widely known as an influential editor, translator, and interpreter of Buddhist texts in the Pali language; she was also an activist for poverty relief, children’s rights, and women’s suffrage.

1858 – Þorsteinn Erlingsson, Icelandic poet whose work often attacked the ruling classes and the church, though he also composed popular ditties and romantic poems about nature.

1861 – Corinne Roosevelt, U.S. poet, writer, and lecturer; she was the younger sister of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the aunt of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

1871 – Grazia Deledda (full name Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda), Nobel Prize-winning Italian writer praised “for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general.”

1874 – Myrtle Reed, bestselling U.S. novelist, poet, and journalist who also published a series of cookbooks under the psuedonym Olive Green.

1887 – Cynthia Mary Evelyn Asquith (née Charteris), English writer, biographer, novelist, anthologist, children’s writer, and diarist who is best known for her ghost stories, diaries, and works about the British Royal family.

1889 – Pilar de Valderrama Alday, Spanish poet and playwright who is identified with postmodernism; she was also known by the pen name Guiomar.

1890 – Constance Wiel Nygaard Schram, Norwegian writer, biographer, children’s author, and translator.

1894 – Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetayeva, Russian writer, poet, novelist, short-story writer, fairytale writer, and memoirist whose work was praised by writer Boris Pasternak; she was arrested more than once and spent time in prison and in Siberian labor camps. Her acclaimed Vospominaniya (Memoirs) made her famous and remains her best-known work.

1896 – María Adelaida Gurrea Monasterio, Filipina writer, journalist, poet, and playwright who wrote in Spanish and was the Filipino Literature Ambassador in Spain.

1898 – Suzanne Caubet (also known as Suzanne Caubaye), French actress, singer, and playwright; one of the plays she wrote, Our Sarah, was about her godmother, renowned actress Sarah Bernhardt.

1904 – Dimiter Angelov, Bulgarian author best known for the novel Life or Death, which was made into a film.

1906 – Satinath Bhaduri, Indian Bengali novelist and politician who was known by his literary pseudonym, Chitra Gupta.

1906 – James Myers Thompson, U.S. author and screenwriter who was known for hard-boiled crime fiction.

1911 – Nicholas Mordvinoff, Caldecott Medal-winning Russian-born artist who was best known for illustrating the book Finders Keepers, by William Lipkind; the collaborators together used the pseudonym Nicolas and Will.

1914 – Teófilo Cid, award-winning Chilean poet who was a member of the Chilean Generación del 38 and of the Surrealist group known as La Mandrágora.

1917 – Louis Auchincloss, U.S. lawyer, historian, novelist, and essayist who wrote about the East Coast upper class; some of his work was written under the name Andrew Lee, the name of an ancestor who cursed any descendant who drank or smoked.

1918 – Faith Bandler (born Ida Lessing Faith Mussing), Australian writer, novelist, and activist for the civil rights of indigenous Australians and South Sea islanders.

1920 – Tô Hoài (born Nguyễn Sen), Vietnamese writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist. and correspondent.

1924 – Ernest Becker, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. cultural anthropologist, professor, and author.

1924 – Josef Škvorecký, award-winning Czech-born Canadian novelist whose work deals with the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz.

1924 – Bernard Waber, U.S. children’s author and illustrator best known for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and its sequels, about a city-dwelling crocodile named Lyle who lives in a bathtub.

1927 – Te Uruhina McGarvey-Tiakiwai, award-winning New Zealand writer who was a prominent elder in two Maori groups, the Ngāi Tūhoe (or simply Tuhoe) and the Te Arawa; in her work, she advocated for education and the retention of Maori language and customs, and has been called, “the voice that guided Tuhoe in hard times.”

1927 – Romano Scarpa, Italian animator and Disney comic-book story creator.

1932 – Friedrich Neznansky, popular Belarusian-born Russian crime novelist and lawyer; although his novels are light fiction, they also touch on the political and social currents of the day, as well as everyday Russian realities.

1933 – Paul Goble, Caldecott Medal-winning British-born U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books, many with Native American themes; he is best known for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.

1939 – Guðrún Kristín Magnúsdóttir, award-winning Icelandic writer, artist, and children’s book author who often writes about nature.

1949 – Amir Hosein Fardi, Iranian Azerbaijani writer of Persian literature.

1952 – Katie Fforde (born Catherine Rose Gordon-Cumming), British romance novelist who was chairman and then president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a patron of the UK’s first National Short Story Week; novelist Jasper Fforde is her husband’s cousin.

1954 – Slobodan Škerović, Serbian author, editor, poet, science-fiction novelist, essayist, comics writer, painter, and philosopher who is a member of the international neo-avantgarde movement Signalism; his work is characterized by an intensive synthesis of traditional spirituality and advanced technology.

1955 – Do Jong-hwan, South Korean poet, writer, and politician who was his country’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

1958 – Aminta Buenaño Rugel, award-winning Ecuadorian short-story writer, journalist, politician, and diplomat.

1958 – Irvine Welsh, Scottish novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who is best known for his novel Trainspotting, which was made into a film; his work is characterized by a raw Scots dialect and brutal depiction of Edinburgh life.

1962 – Khaled Al Khamissi, Egyptian novelist, nonfiction author, columnist, lecturer, writer, and cultural activist whose fiction provides both Arabic and non-Arabic readers with insight into contemporary Egyptian society.

1963 – Flavia Company, prolific Argentine novelist, writer, screenwriter, poet, children’s writer, short-story writer, travel writer, translator, television presenter, and journalist who writes in both Spanish and Catalan.

1964 – Lleucu Roberts, award-winning Welsh-language writer, children’s author, and screenwriter.

1974 – Justine-Juliette Lévy, award-winning French book editor and author whose autobiographical novel Rien de Grave (published in English as Nothing Serious) knocked The Da Vinci Code from Europe’s bestseller lists.

1986 – Olga Sofia Ravn, Danish poet, novelist, editor, translator, literary critic, and blogger whose poetry has been described as “rhythmic, playful, sensual, and image-rich.”

1988 – Mohammed Alfazari, Omani novelist, nonfiction author, journalist, editor, and political activist who is known for his reformist political activities and his opposition to the Omani government.

September 26 Writer Birthdays

1593 – Cosme Gómez Tejada de los Reyes, Spanish writer, poet and dramatist.

1649 – Katharyne Lescailje, Dutch writer, poet, playwright, translator, and publisher; she is considered one of her country’s premier female poets of the 17th century.

1788 – Charles-Victor Prévot (Vicomte d’Arlincourt), French novelist, poet, and playwright who was known as “the prince of the romantics,” and whose popularity rivalled that of Victor Hugo — despite the fact that critics hated his work, calling his plots impossible, his characters cardboard, and his imagery grotesque. His father Louis-Adrien Prévost d’Arlincourt was guillotined during the Revolution.

1792 – Semyon Egorovich Raich, Russian poet, translator, and teacher.

1820 – Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Indian Bengali writer, philosopher, academic educator, translator, printer, publisher, entrepreneur, reformer, and philanthropist; his efforts to modernize Bengali prose resulted in a more rational and simplified Bengali alphabet.

1845 – Maria Holm, Latvian author, poet, and translator.

1846 – Mary Hannay Foott, Scottish-born Australian poet, writer, journalist, and short-story author who wrote under the pen name La Quenouille and is best remembered for a bush-ballad poem, “Where the Pelican Builds.”

1848 – Wacław Święcicki, Polish writer, poet, politician, trade unionist, and lyricist who is best known for writing the words to the revolutionary song “Whirlwinds of Danger.”

1852 – Willie Wilde (full name William Charles Kingsbury Wilde), Irish journalist, poet, and literary critic who was the older brother of playwright Oscar Wilde.

1858 – Manilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi, influential Indian Gujarati-language writer, poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, philosopher, editor, and social reformer.

1860 – Edoardo Scarfoglio, Italian author and journalist who was one of the early practitioners of realistic Italian fiction, a school of writing that embraced direct, colloquial language and rejected the ornate style of earlier Italian literature.

1865 – Mary Du Caurroy Russell (Duchess of Bedford), British writer, ornithologist, hospital founder and wartime nurse, record-breaking aviator, women’s suffragist, and jujitsu expert; despite the fact that she was going deaf, she first took up flying at the age of 63, and broke world records for flights to Cape Town (South Africa) and Karachi (then in India). She died in 1937 at age 71, three months before Amelia Earhart’s death, when her plane crashed into the North Sea. Her book, A Bird-Watcher’s Diary, was published after her death.

1872 – Max Ehrmann, U.S. poet most known for his 1927 work “Desiderata.”

1876 – Edith Abbott, influential U.S. economist, statistician, social worker, economics professor, and author who was the first female graduate-school dean in the United States. She is known for her groundbreaking research and writing on issues related to crime, housing, immigration, and other social issues, and for her advocacy for social work as a profession.

1886 – Chikashi Koizumi, Japanese writer, teacher, and tanka poet who founded two poetry magazines.

1888 – T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize-winning U.S.-born British poet whose best known works are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land; the Broadway musical Cats was based on his Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

1889 – Martin Heidegger, German existentialist philosopher, poet, and professor.

1906 – Zhang Tianyi, left-wing Chinese short-story writer, novelist, and children’s book author, known for his satiric wit.

1907 – Dan Botta, Romanian poet, translator, and essayist.

1908 – M.P. Periyasaamy Thooran, prolific Indian Tamil poet, author, short-story writer, children’s author, encylopaedia editor, teacher, lyricist, and composer who sometimes wrote simply under the name Thooran; he was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and by firebrand poet and revolutionary Subramania Bharathiyar.

1918 – Fernando Alegría, Chilean poet, writer, literary critic, and scholar.

1919 – Aurora Matilde Gómez Camus, Spanish poet, writer, actress, historian, translator, nonfiction writer, and literary critic.

1921 – Cyprian Ekwensi, Nigerian writer, publisher, children’s author, novelist, and pharmacist.

1926 – Asghar Sodai, well-known Pakistani educator and Urdu poet.

1927 – Romano Mussolini, Italian poet, pianist, composer, jazz musician, painter, and film producer who was the son of dictator Benito Mussolini.

1932 – Vladimir Voinovich, Tajikistan-born Russian Soviet writer, poet, painter, science-fiction author, and dissident.

1934 – Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Japanese-U.S. author, journalist, and sociologist, best known for Farewell to Manzanar, an autobiographical book written with her husband James D. Houston; the book details her experiences during her family’s internment, beginning when she was seven years old, at Manzanar, a camp where innocent Japanese-Americans were sent against their will during World War II.

1937 – Marina Colasanti, Eritrean-born Brazilian poet, short-story writer, translator, linguist, children’s author, and journalist.

1938 – Raoul Cauvin, Belgian comic strip author, best known for a series, in French, about the American Civil War.

1942 – Gloria E. Anzaldúa, U.S. writer, poet, novelist, children’s author, literary critic, feminist theorist, and queer theorist who wrote about the marginal, in-between, and mixed cultures that develop along borders.

1944 – Peter Turrini, Austrian playwright, poet, essayist, and screenwriter known for his socio-critical work and earlier folk dramas; rather than presenting an authentic picture of reality, his work attempts to raise the audience’s consciousness through exaggeration.

1946 – Rita Bertha Maria Demeester, Belgian poet, writer, essayist, and short-story writer.

1949 – Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author of bestselling novels; she is also known for short stories, essays, nonfiction books, and young-adult novels.

1949 – Minette Caroline Mary Walters, award-winning English crime writer who has also written romances, historical novels, and short stories, and has been a magazine editor.

1951 – Park Ra Yeon, award-winning South Korean poet whose work has been praised for its compassion and subtlety; recurring themes in her poetry include poverty, loneliness, sadness, pain, and parting, but the tone of her poems remains bright, hopeful, and compassionate.

1961 – Will Self, English author, journalist, short-story writer, nonfiction writer, and television personality. His best-known novel, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

1962 – Mark Haddon, English novelist, poet, and children’s book author, best known for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

1965 – Bernice L. McFadden, award-winning, bestselling U.S. African-American novelist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, and professor who has also written humorous erotic romance novels as Geneva Holliday.

1969 – Yannis Livadas, contemporary Greek poet, essayist, and translator.

1971 – Upendra Bahadur Angdembe (known as Upendra Subba), Nepali poet, lyricist, and short-story writer who was one of the initiators of the movement called Srijanshil Arajakta, or Creative Anarchy.

1976 – Hagit Grossman, Israeli poet, novelist, and short-story writers who is one of the most prominent Israeli poets of her generation.

1985 – Tapiwa Zivira, Zimbabwean digital journalist who has written on issues of social justice.

September 25 Writer Birthdays

1726 – Angelo Maria Bandini, Italian author, librarian, and priest.

1749 – Arnaud Berquin, French writer, playwright, and children’s author whose work depicted common everyday events in realistic ways.

1759 – Francisco de Borja Garção Stockler, Portuguese writer, poet, politician, mathematician, math historian, and military officer from the autonomous Portuguese region of Azores.

1784 – Louisa Gurney Hoare, English diarist and writer on education who was especially concerned with with standards of learning.

1793 – Felicia Dorothea Hemans, English poet and writer; two of her opening lines, “The boy stood on the burning deck,” and “The stately homes of England,” have acquired classic status.

1839 – Mina Kruseman (full name Wilhelmina Jacoba Pauline Rudolphine Kruseman), Dutch feminist author and autobiographer who grew up in the Dutch East Indies; after returning to the Netherlands, she spoke out in her writing against the restrictions Dutch society placed on women.

1855 – Koson Aeba (real name Yosaburou Aeba), Japanese novelist, writer, jouranlist, theater critic, and calligraphy master who was called “The Master of the Bamboo Hut.”

1860 – Charles Edward Russell, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist, editor, columnist, and activist.

1874 – Noëlle Roger (pen name of Hélène Pittard), Swiss journalist, writer, and science-fiction author who wrote in French.

1879 – Lope K. Santos (born Lope Santos y Canseco), Filipino Tagalog-language writer and former senator of the Philippines; he is best known for his socialist novel, Banaag at Sikat, and for his contributions to the development of Filipino grammar and Tagalog orthography. When the Philippines became a member of the United Nations, he was selected to translate his country’s Constitution for UNESCO.

1881 – Lu Xun (魯迅), pen name for Zhou Shuren, leading Chinese poet, novelist, editor, literary critic, translator, and short-story writer.

1897 – William Faulkner, U.S. writer of Southern literature, Nobel Laureate, and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” His best known novel is The Sound and the Fury; it’s one of his many books set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.

1898 – Austregésilo de Athayde, Brazilian writer, journalist, translator, and teacher who became an emblematic figure for the Academia Brasileira de Letras (the Brazilian Academy of Letters).

1901 – António Aurélio Gonçalves (better known as Nhô Roque), Cape Verdean writer, critic, historian, and professor.

1903 – Abul A’la Maududi, Indian writer, theologian, journalist, politician, philosopher, and translator whose works, which covered a range of disciplines including Qur’anic interpretation, law, philosophy, and history, were written in Urdu.

1906 – Madeleine Bourdouxhe, Belgian author and resistance fighter.

1906 – Phyllis Isobella Pearsall, British writer, autobiographer, portrait painter, cartographer, and entrepreneur who founded a successful map company.

1912 – Pere Calders i Rossinyol, Spanish Catalan writer and cartoonist.

1912 – Duanmu Hongliang (born Cao Jingping), Chinese novelist and short-story writer whose works were prominent during the Second Sino-Japanese War and for whom the land and environment were pivotal fictional elements; his fiction is characterized by the “native soil” style, which heavily emphasizes the agrarian environment and heartland values of his home region.

1913 – Clare Mallory (pen name for Winifred Constance McQuilkan Hall), New Zealand children’s book author, autobiographer, and educator who is remembered for her school stories for girls.

1917 – Amir Gilboa, award-winning Ukrainian-born Israeli author and translator who was a leading Hebrew poet; his early work is noted for its archaic, biblical Hebrew, but later, his language became more colloquial, with an abundance of rhymes, word play, and satirical commentary.

1920 – Božidarka “Kika” Damjanovic-Markovic, Yugoslav writer, journalist, and decorated commander in the resistance movement in World War II; she also wrote an autobiography.

1921 – Cintio Vitier, award-winning Cuban poet, essayist, and novelist who was born in the United States; he has been called “one of the most important writers of his generation.”

1923 – Robert Laxalt, Basque-U.S. writer whose novels focused on the Basque experience in Nevada and the American West.

1926 – Balakrishna Hari Kolhatkar (also known as Bal Kolhatkar), Indian Marathi playwright, poet, actor, and director.

1927 – Kim Nam-jo, award-winning South Korean poet and professor; her poetry features dynamic use of sensual language and vibrant imagery to portray the subtlety of human emotions.

1928 – Balraj Komal, award-winning Indian poet, critic, and short-story author who wrote in Urdu.

1929 – Barbara Walters, U.S. broadcast journalist, author, and television presenter who is best known for her interviews.

1930 – Ebba Hentze, award-winning Faroese poet, translator, and writer of children’s books; some of her books were written in Danish and some in Faroese.

1930 – Chit Phumisak, Thai author, poet, politician, historian, linguist, songwriter, and Communist revolutionary who has been described as the “Che of Thailand”; his most influential book was The Face of Thai Feudalism, written under the pseudonym Somsamai Srisootarapan; his other pen names included Kawi Kanmuang and Kawi Srisayam.

1930 – Shel Silverstein, U.S. poet, lyricist, playwright, and bestselling author and illustrator of children’s books; he wrote the song “A Boy Named Sue,” which Johnny Cash made a hit, as well as several classic books for children, including The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends.

1935 – Maj Sjöwall, Swedish author and translator, best known for her crime fiction.

1937 – Amina Sow Mbaye, Senegalese writer, poet, novelist, short-story author, and educator who was also the first qualified female basketball umpire in Senegal.

1940 – Nabile Farès, Algerian-born French novelist, poet, and psychoanalyst whose work is characterized by political engagement and by a drive to expand the definition of Algeria and Algerianness—and to resist factional politics.

1940 – Eva Švankmajerová (born Eva Dvoráková), Czech writer, poet, animator, graphic designer, painter, ceramicist, filmmaker, and surrealist artist.

1947 – Jim Murphy, Newbery Honor-winning U.S. author of children’s books about history.

1948 – Glória Maria Rebelo Ferrante Perez, Emmy Award-winning Brazilian telenovela writer, screenwriter, and actress.

1948 – Vicki Viidikas, prolific Australian poet, prose writer, and artist who was an iconic member of the collection of Sydney poets now known as the Generation of ‘68; the counterculture and her travels in Asia, especially India, are recurrent subjects in her poetry.

1949 – Hideyuki Kikuchi, Japanese author, screenwriter, manga writer, and science-fiction writer who is best known for his horror novels, especially the series Vampire Hunter, Darkside Blues, and Wicked City.

1952 – Gloria Jean Watkins (better known by her pen name, Bell Hooks), U.S. author, feminist, and social activist.

1955 – Luanne Rice, bestselling U.S. author whose fiction tends to deal with nature, the sea, love, and family relationships.

1956 – Miroslav Volf, Croatian theologian, author, and professor.

1958 – Gu Hyoseo, South Korean novelist and short-story author who has experimented with a wide range of literary styles.

1960 – Kristin Hannah, bestselling, award-winning U.S. novelist whose book The Nightingale has been made into a film; many of her books feature strong female characters in historical settings.

1960 – Andrzej Stasiuk, Polish novelist, essayist, travel writer, and critic.

1961 – Maryam Diener-Sachs, Iranian writer, anthologist, and publisher.

1963 – Andrea Davis Pinkney, U.S. editor and children’s book author who won the Coretta Scott King award; her books aim to cultivate pride in African-American culture and achievements.

1964 – Ruth Ohi, Canadian author and illustrator of children’s picture books.

1964- Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Spanish author who has written for adults and teens; he is considered one of Spain’s most successful contemporary novelists.

1966 – Rakel Helmsdal, Faroese writer, poet, and children’s author whose mother is the poet Guðrið Helmsdal.

1993 – Thisuri Wanniarachchi, Sri Lankan author who is best known for her book Colombo Streets, which she began writing when she was fourteen years old.

September 24 Writer Birthdays

1547 – Faizi (pen name for Shaikh Abu al-Faiz ibn Mubarak), Indian poet, writer, scholar, scientist, translator, diplomat, and calligrapher.

1550 – Tang Xianzu, Chinese writer, poet, and playwright who is known mostly for his plays and operas; Mudan Ting (The Peony Pavilion) is generally considered to be his masterpiece.

1717 – Horace Walpole, English author, art historian, and politician who is now best known for his Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto and for and his 8-volume Letters, which are of significant social and political interest.

1780 – Henricus Franciscus Caroluszoon Tollens (often known as Hendrik Tollens), Dutch poet best known for Wien Neêrlands Bloed, the national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932.

1817 – Ramón de Campoamor (full name Ramón María de las Mercedes de Campoamor y Campoosorio), Spanish realist poet, writer, philosopher, and politician.

1821 – Cyprian Norwid, Polish writer, poet, playwright, painter, and sculptor; because his original and nonconformist style was not appreciated in his lifetime, he was excluded from high society, but his work was rediscovered and appreciated by the Young Poland art movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He is now considered one of the four most important Polish Romantic poets.

1825 – Frances E. Watkins Harper, U.S. poet, author, and lecturer; not only was she the first African-American woman to publish a short story, but she was also an influential abolitionist, suffragist, and reformer who cofounded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.

1840 – Rosa Nouchette Carey, prolific, bestselling English children’s writer and popular novelist, whose works reflected the values of her time and were thought of as wholesome for girls, while also being said to be, “not entirely bereft of grit and realism.” Some sources give her birthdate as September 27, 1840.

1841 – Kate Brownlee Sherwood, U.S. poet, short-story writer, journalist, translator, philanthropist, and patron of art and literature; the founder of the Woman’s Relief Corps, she is best known as the author of army lyrics and poems written for military occasions.

1856 – Pratap Narayan Mishra, Indian Hindi essayist who is famous for exhorting all Indians to chant and believe in “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.”

1862 – Júlia Valentina de Silveira Lopes de Almeida, influential Brazilian novelist who was one of the first Brazilian women to earn acclaim and social acceptance as a writer; she is best known for her novels, which were influenced by naturalists Émile Zola and Guy de Maupassant, and is also remembered as an early advocate of women’s rights, modernized gender roles, and the abolition of slavery.

1870 – Ruth Sofia Almén, Swedish author, poet, composer, pianist, and teacher.

1896 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, influential U.S. author of Jazz Age novels, essays, screenplays, and short stories who was a member of the Lost Generation of writers and is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.

1896 – Park In-deok (pen name Eunbong), South Korean writer, poet, educator, independence activist, and social reformer who belonged to the first generation of Korean female writers, all of whom were born around 1900.

1900 – Alexander Davidovich Meiselman, Russian writer, poet, essayist, translator, and orientalist who specialized in Asian theater studies.

1906 – Zhao Shuli, Chinese novelist who was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature.

1910 – Cao Yu, Chinese playwright and screenwriter who is considered China’s most important playwright of the 20th century.

1912 – Robert Lewis Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist, biographer, and journalist.

1913 – Woodrow Wilson Rawls, U.S. novelist, children’s writer, and carpenter best known for his books Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys, but was perhaps the most influential as a motivational speaker; he wrote under the name Wilson Rawls.

1919 – Konstantin Dmitrievich Vorobyov, Russian Soviet novelist, short-story writer, and war hero who was a major exponent of the “lieutenant prose” movement in Soviet war literature; much of his writing was either unpublished in his lifetime or suffered greatly from massive censorial cuts. Vorobyov has been described as, “the most American of all Russian writers, a strange mix of Hemingway and Capote.”

1925 – Kunio Tsuji, award-winning Japanese author, novelist, screenwriter, professor, and scholar of French literature; his works, including many historical novels in which characters search for meaning in times of social change, were on the whole idealistic and spiritual.

1930 – Ingrid Bachér (pen name for Ingrid Erben, born Ingrid Schwarze), award-winning German writer, screenwriter, journalist, travel writer, and children’s writer.

1931 – Fransiskus “Frans” Harjawiyata, Indonesian Roman Catholic monastic abbot, author, writer, theologian, and translator who helped develop Christianity in Indonesia by translating Catholic scriptures and chants into Indonesian.

1933 – Geneviève Dormann, award-winning French journalist and novelist who often wrote about strong-willed modern women.

1934 – John Brunner, Hugo Award-winning British science-fiction author.

1934 – Yasutaka Tsutsui, Japanese novelist, science-fiction author, screenwriter, playwright, and actor.

1940 – Rogelio Lunasco Ordoñez (also known as Ka Roger), award-winning Filipino fiction writer, poet, activist, journalist, and educator.

1941 – Gaby Vallejo Canedo, Bolivian writer, novelist, and children’s author.

1941 – Janet Quin-Harkin, British writer of children’s picture books, young-adult novels, and (as Rhys Bowen) mystery novels.

1943 – Dina Porat, Argentine-born Israeli writer, historian, and professor.

1945 – Larisa Alexeyevna Rubalskaya, Russian writer, poet, lyricist, and translator,

1950 – John Kessel, U.S. literary critic, playwright, and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.

1952 – Joke van Leeuwen (full name Johanna Rutgera van Leeuwen), Dutch writer, poet, author, illustrator, children’s writer, and cabaret artist.

1962 – Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Icelandic author, poet, playwright, and visual artist.

1969 – Zainab Salbi, Iraqi book author, activist for women’s rights, television host, and founder of Women for Women International.

1985 – Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize-winning New Zealand novelist and screenwriter.

September 23 Writer Birthdays

480 BC – Euripides, Greek playwright who was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens; his theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, include representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

1605 – Daniel Czepko (full name Daniel Czepko von Reigersfeld), Polish poet, author, playwright, and lawyer.

1783 – Jane Taylor, English poet and novelist whose most famous work is the poem that provided the words to the song “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

1791 – Carl Theodor Körner, German poet, playwright, lyricist, and soldier who fought in the Lützow Free Corps in the German uprising against Napoleon, where he encouraged his comrades with his fiery patriotic song lyrics.

1823 – Sara Jane Lippincott, U.S. feminist writer, poet, lecturer, journalist, children’s writer, author, lecturer, journalist, and newspaper founder who was one of the first women to gain access into the Congressional press galleries.

1831 – Charles Letourneau, French anthropologist, sociologist, writer, translator, and philosopher.

1838 – Victoria Claflin Woodhull (later Victoria Woodhull Martin), U.S. writer, stockbroker, newspaper editor, reformer, and leader of the women’s suffrage movement who in 1872 was the first woman to run for President of the United States.

1849 – Stine Andresen (née Jürgens), German poet and lyricist from the North Frisian island of Föhr, whose works often refer to her native island; in addition to poems in German, she also wrote in Fering North Frisian.

1854 – Abel Botelho, Portuguese writer, playwright, historian, novelist, journalist, politician, and diplomat.

1855 – Ellen Fries, Swedish writer, historian, journalist, and teacher who in 1883 became Sweden’s first female Ph.D.

1857 – Lina Dorina Johanna Eckenstein, British writer, historian, philosopher, translator, travel writer, author, reformer, and polymath who was a scholar in the struggle for women’s rights.

1861 – Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, British novelist, poet, essayist, and literary critic who wrote poetry under the pseudonym Anodos; Robert Bridges, the British Poet Laureate, described her poems as “wonderously beautiful… but mystical, rather, and enigmatic.”

1863 – Mary Church Terrell, U.S. writer, journalist, educator, politician, suffragist, and civil-rights activist who was one of the first African-American women to earn a college degree and the first African-American woman to serve on the school board of a major city (Washington, D.C.); as a writer, she sometimes used the pen name Euphemia Kirk.

1865 – Emmuska Orczy (Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála ‘Emmuska’ Orczy de Orci), Hungarian-born British novelist, artist, and playwright who is best known for her series of novels featuring The Scarlet Pimpernel.

1888 – Mary Edith Scott, notable New Zealand novelist, playwright, autobiographer, and teacher who specialized in romantic comedies set in rural New Zealand, but also wrote detective novels.

1892 – Geneviève Tabouis, French writer, historian, journalist, and radio personality.

1901 – Jaroslav Seifert, Nobel Prize-winning Czech writer, poet, and journalist known for his innovative poetry; he was a key figure of the Czechoslovakian artistic avant-garde.

1903 – Jorge Cuesta, Mexican writer, poet, editor, journalist, literary critic, short-story writer, magazine founder, and chemist.

1907 – Anne Desclos, French journalist, translator, editor, and controversial novelist who wrote under the pseudonyms Dominique Aury and Pauline Réage; her explicit sadomasochistic novel, Histoire d’O (Story of O) was an enormous commercial success.

1908 – Ramdhari Singh (known by his pen name Dinkar), Indian Hindi poet, writer, essayist, politician, translator, journalist, literary critic, and academic who is considered one of the most important modern Hindi poets.

1919 – Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Nepali poet and scholar who was honored as the Rashtrakavi (National Poet) of Nepal.

1919 – Tota Kaneko, award-winning Japanese writer, poet, and peace activist, particularly known for his haiku.

1921 – Tarzie Vittachi, award-winning Sri Lankan journalist, author, editor, and columnist.

1923 – Mohamed Hassanein Heika, Egyptian writer, journalist, and politician who was controversial for his criticism of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

1924 – Olga Kirsch, South African poet, writer, translator, and linguist who wrote mostly in Afrikaans, though some of her work was in English, especially after she relocated to Israel.

1930 – Çelik Gülersoy, Turkish writer, art historian, poet, lawyer, and historical preservationist who published books about historic sites in Istanbul.

1931 – Édouard Joseph Marc Maunick, award-winning Mauritian poet, critic, librarian, and translator who often wrote on themes of isolation and the persecution of his people, stemming from the discrimination he faced, as a mulatto, from both Blacks and Whites.

1942 – Benedetta Craveri, Italian writer, historian, translator, university teacher, and literary critic whose work has been praised for its “stunning originality” and for having “the subtlety of a novelist and the precision of a scholar.”

1946 – Jan Ormerod (born Janet Louise Hendry), award-winning Australian author and illustrator of children’s books; her work was noted for its ability to remove clutter to tell a simple story that young children could enjoy.

1947 – Morteza Avini, Iranian photographer, author, journalist, and film director who made more than 80 films on the Iran–Iraq War.

1947 – Ayshe Talay-Ongan, Turkish-born Australian author, psychologist, and professor; she has written books of both fiction and nonfiction.

1947 – Blanca Wiethüchter López, Bolivian writer, poet, essayist, short-story writer, historian, and publisher of German descent; she is one of the most enigmatic and recognized authors of Bolivian literature in the 20th and 21st centuries.

1949 – Floella Benjamin, Trinidan-born British author, memoirist, children’s writer, politician, businesswoman, university chancellor, actress, television presenter, and baroness.

1949 – Jerry B. Jenkins, U.S. author of biographies, young-adult novels, romances, mysteries, science fiction, religious writing, and self-help books; he is best known as co-author, with Tim LaHaye, of the “Left Behind” series.

1950 – Bruce Brooks, U.S. author of young-adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction.

1950 – Andrey Borisovich Sholokhov, Russian author and biographer who is a newspaper founder and editor.

1953 – Neil Peng, award-winning and controversial Taiwanese screenwriter, filmmaker, writer, journalist, and political activist.

1956 – Peter David, prolific U.S. author of comic books, screenplays, and science-fiction novels, especially known for his work in the Star Trek universe; he jokingly describes his occupation as “Writer of Stuff.”

1957 – Zsófia Bán, Brazilian writer, literary historian, essayist, and art and literature critic.

1959 – Frank Cottrell Boyce, British screenwriter and novelist, best known for his children’s fiction.

1959 – Jennie Shortridge, bestselling U.S. novelist, magazine writer, and musician.

1967 – Justine Larbalestier, Australian writer of young adult fiction, including her best known novel, Liar.

1972 – Ana Marie Cox, U.S. journalist, political blogger, and novelist.

1973 – Shahzada Ja’far us Sadiq Imaduddin (previously known as Jafar us Sadiq Mufaddal Saifuddin), Indian poet, scholar, and university rector.

1976 – Wesley Chu, bestselling Taiwanese-born science-fiction author.

1976 – Shion Miura, award-winning Japanese novelist and nonfiction writer; much of her work has been adapted for films and television.

1982 – Joshua Foer, award-winning U.S. journalist and science writer, best known for his book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.

1982 – Han Han, Chinese screenwriter, novelist, blogger, musician, music producer, film director, and race car driver.

Couch Potato, Part 2

I did it. I bought a couch. I have been going back and forth for the last few days on whether to buy one of the ones I liked at the used furniture store, or to expand my search into other parts of the state or region that are less pricey than my very expensive metropolitan area. In fact, I was about to make plans for such a road trip.

But this morning, after leaning heavily yesterday toward the less expensive used sofa in a Duncan Phyfe style that needs refinishing and reupholstering, today I suddenly knew I wanted the other one. It’s the wrong color. And it’s expensive enough so that I can’t afford to have it reupholstered right away. But in the end, I admitted that the really unusual, hard-to-find, distinctive character of the piece is what I want, it’s in pristine condition, and the style and craftsmanship is permanent. Upholstery fabric can be changed. And I love the fact that I can have it here as soon as I can arrange delivery, rather than having to send it away for weeks to be reupholstered.

So, beige it is. (I know, you’re thinking beige is great, beige is neutral, beige goes with everything. But I hate beige.) I’m going to have the bolster pillows reupholstered in a different fabric. And I will order some throw pillows in colors that go with the room. And in a year or two, or whenever I feel I’m ready to spend more, I’ll have the whole thing reupholstered.

Because it doesn’t have to be reupholstered, this is actually considerably less expensive, overall, than the other couches I looked at, even though it’s the best quality, and the base price was highest.

And despite the color, it is such a great shape for the room. Despite the beige, it’s going to look wonderful under my bay window.

And the winner is…. My new, characterful Victorian walnut sofa. Now waiting to schedule delivery.

September 22 Writer Birthdays

1211 – Ibn Khallikan, Iraqi Islamic scholar and poet who compiled a celebrated biographical encyclopedia of Arab scholars.

1398 – Panfilo Castaldi, (also called Pamfilo or Pamphilo), Italian physician and “master of the art of printing,” to whom local tradition attributes the invention of moveable type.

1547 – Philipp Nicodemus Frischlin, German philologist, poet, playwright, writer, linguist, mathematician, and astronomer.

1556 – Sophia Brahe, Danish horticulturalist, astronomer, writer, historian, chemist, and botanist; she assisted her brother, the astronomer Tycho Brahe, with his astronomical observations.

1680 – Barthold Heinrich Brockes, German poet, writer, translator, librettist, and lawyer.

1747 – Frederick Salvemini de Castillon, Dutch and Italian music theorist, musicologist, music historian, writer, and translator.

1762 – Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, English artist and diarist in colonial Canada; she was the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, and her diary and watercolor paintings provide an important account of 18th and 19th century Canadian life.

1800 – Delvalle Lowry, British geologist, mineralogist, author, and technical illustrator; she wrote both technical books for scientists, and a book that popularized mineralogy for a general audience.

1836 – Emeline S. Burlingame, U.S. writer, editor, minister, and suffragist.

1837 – Lady Anne Blunt (full name, Anne Isabella Noel Blunt, 15th Baroness Wentworth, née King-Noel), English-born writer, explorer, artist, and vastly influential horse breeder who was the was the daughter of William King (1st Earl of Lovelace), and Augusta Ada Byron (world’s first computer programmer), as well as the granddaughter of the poet Lord Byron and the wife of the poet Wilfrid Blunt; she travelled extensively in Arabia and the Middle East, buying Arabian horses, and wrote several books about her travels. She was also a gifted violinist and owned a violin made by Stradivarius.

1840 – Serafin Baroja, Spanish Basque writer, poet, engineer, journalist, and mining engineer.

1841 – Andrejs Pumpurs, Latvian poet, author, and military officer; he is best known for writing the Latvian epic Lacplesis (The Bear Slayer).

1847 – Alice Meynell, English writer, editor, critic, and suffragist who is remembered chiefly for her poetry.

1854 – Henny Koch, German writer, children’s author, translator, and linguist.

1863 – Rasmus Steinsvik, Norwegian journalist, writer, and magazine and newspaper editor.

1872 – Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, U.S. novelist, poet, and children’s writer who was a frequent contributor to The Ladies’ Home Journal.

1876 – Mary Augusta Dickerson (also known as Mary Dickerson Donahey), U.S. novelist, children’s book author, and cookbook writer.

1880 – Christabel Harriette Pankhurst, British suffragette who wrote on women’s rights; she cofounded the Women’s Social and Political Union and directed its militant actions from exile in France in 1912 and 1913. Her best known work is The Case for Women’s Suffrage: The Legal Disabilities of Women.

1895 – Babette Deutsch, U.S. poet, literary critic, translator, journalist, linguist, and novelist who was praised for “her commanding stature as a poet.”

1900 – Ruth Krefting, Norwegian writer, biographer, playwright, and painter.

1907 – Maurice Blanchot, French writer, philosopher, journalist, and literary theorist whose work had a strong influence on post-structuralist philosophy.

1908 – Esphyr Slobodkina, Russian-born U.S. children’s author and illustrator, best known for her classic picture book Caps For Sale.

1910 – György Faludy, Hungarian poet, writer, and translator.

1912 – Hàn Mặc Tử (pen name for Francis Nguyễn Trọng Trí), Vietnamese poet who was the most celebrated Vietnamese Catholic literary figure during the colonial era.

1914 – Alys Faiz, London-born Pakistani poet, writer, journalist, human rights activist, social worker, and teacher.

1915 – Andreas Eriksen, Norwegian novelist, children’s author, and short-story writer; during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany he was arrested and imprisoned in several concentration camp, but survived the war.

1922 – Hussein-Ali Montazer, prolific Iranian author, Shia Islamic theologian, democracy advocate, women’s rights activist, politician, philosopher, and human rights proponent; he was one of the leaders of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and was widely known as the most knowledgeable senior Islamic scholar in Iran.

1924 – Chukwudifu Oputa, Nigerian jurist, academic, and writer who was Judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and headed the Oputa panel that investigated human right abuses by former military juntas.

1924 – Rosamunde Pilcher, bestselling, award-winning British author of romance novels, mainstream fiction, and short stories; she also published under the pen name Jane Fraser.

1926 – Fereydoon Moshiri, prominent Persian poet who wrote poems in both modern and classic styles.

1931 – Ashokamitran (real name Jagadisa Thyagarajan), award-winning Tamil Indian novelist, playwright, and literary critic who is considered one of the finest writers in contemporary Tamil literature, with his novels and short stories characterized by subtle satire and an engrossing portrayal of people who thrive in life despite hardships.

1931 – Fay Weldon, award-winning English author, essayist, and playwright.

1932 – Juan García Ponce, Mexican novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator, and literary and art critic.

1932 – Alejandro Rossi, award-winning Italian and Venezuelan philosopher, author, essayist, and short-story writer whose writing is marked by a rich language that plays with generic definitions.

1932 – Sydney Sipho Sepamla, award-winning South African poet and novelist.

1939 – Junko Tabei (born Junko Ishibashi), Japanese mountaineer, author, and teacher who was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first woman to ascend the Seven Summits, climbing the highest peak on every continent; in addition to writing books, she organized environmental projects to clean up rubbish left behind by climbers on Everest, and led annual climbs up Mount Fuji for youth affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. An asteroid and a mountain range on Pluto were named after her.

1947 – Jo Beverley, English and Canadian writer of contemporary and historical romance novels, known for painstaking research and use of historical detail.

1949 – Liang Xiaosheng, Chinese novelist, screenwriter, and professor.

1950 – Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, Nigerian professor, political scientist, writer, and university vice chancellor.

1954 – Rene O. Villanueva, Filipino playwright, screenwriter, and children’s author whose works “were typified by a sense of an authentic recognition of the Filipino child’s realities, unclouded by sentimentalism” and distinguished by his ear for the language as it was spoken by ordinary people.

1962 – Francis Egbokhare, Nigerian writer, linguist, columnist, and professor whose research areas are in ethics, historical linguistics, and syntax.

1971 – Elizabeth Bear, multiple Hugo Award-winning U.S. author of speculative fiction who has published novels, short stories, and poetry.

1973 – Pang Ho-cheung, Hong Kong screenwriter, novelist, filmmaker, and actor.

1979 – Roberto Saviano, Italian screenwriter, essayist, and journalist who uses literature and investigative reporting to explore the topic of organized crime.

1981 – Kola Tubosun, Nigerian writer, journalist, translator, linguist, and teacher who writes in Yoruba and English.