January 1 Writer Birthdays

1768 – Maria Edgeworth, prolific Irish writer of adults’ and children’s literature; she was a pioneer in realistic writing for children and an influential figure in the evolution of the novel.

1839 – Ouida, pseudonym of prolific English novelist Maria Louise Ramé.

1854 – Sir James George Frazer, Scottish social anthropologist who studied mythology and comparative religion and is considered one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology.

1873 – Marija Jurić, Croatian journalist, novelist, and dramatist who wrote under the pen name Zagorka; she was the first female journalist in Croatia.

1879 – Edward Morgan “E.M.” Forster, British novelist best known for his book, A Passage to India.

1903 – Jasimuddin Mollah (Bengali: জসীমউদ্দীন), Bengali poet, songwriter, prose writer, folklore collector, and radio personality who is known in Bangladesh as The Rural Poet for his faithful use of Bengali folklore in his work.

1919 – Jerome David “J. D.” Salinger, American author, best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye and his reclusive nature.

1921 – Isma’il Raji al-Faruqi, Palestinian philosopher best known for Al-Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life.

1933 – John Kingsley “Joe” Orton, controversial English playwright and author of scandalous black comedies.

1943 – Drauzio Varella, Brazilian physician, educator, scientist, and bestselling author known for popular writing about science and public commentary on government and social welfare.

1949 – Olivia Goldsmith, American author, best known for her novel The First Wives Club; she was born Randy Goldfield but changed her name to Justine Goldfield and later to Justine Rendal.

1952 – René de Ceccatty, French novelist, essayist, and literary translator.

1960 – Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, and bestselling author whose work focuses on problems of randomness and probability; the Sunday Times called his book The Black Swan one of the twelve most influential books since World War II.

1964 – Simon Lehna Singh, British author who writes popular books about math and science.

1975 – Eiichiro Oda (尾田 栄一郎), Japanese manga artist.

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