January 8 Writer Birthdays

1589 – Ivan (Dživo) Franov Gundulić (nickname Mačica), the most celebrated Croatian Baroque poet from the Republic of Ragusa (now southern Croatia).

1601 – Baltasar Gracián y Morales, Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer whose proto-existentialist writings were lauded by Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.

1824 – Wilkie Collins, Victorian-era English novelist and lifelong friend of Charles Dickens.

1881 – Linnie Marsh Wolfe, American librarian who won the Pulitzer Prize for her biography of John Muir.

1897 – Dennis Wheatley, English author of thrillers and occult fiction, whose Gregory Sallust series was an inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

1909 – Ashapoorna Devi (also known as Ashapurna Debi or Asha Purna Devi), prominent Bengali novelist and poet.

1917 – Peter Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of literary fiction set in the southern United States.

1934 – Alexandra Ripley, American writer best known as the author of Scarlett, a sequel to Gone With The Wind.

1941 – Boris Vallejo, Peruvian-American painter known for his fantasy cover artwork.

1942 – Stephen Hawking, British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, professor, and author whose popular works included the bestseller A Brief History of Time.

1944 – Terry Brooks, bestselling American writer of epic fantasy and film novelizations.

1945 – Nancy Bond, Newbery Honor-winning American children’s author.

1951 – Karen Tei Yamashita, Japanese-American writer and professor who has won the American Book Award.

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