January 26 Writer Birthdays

1831 – Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge, an influential American writer, children’s author, and children’s magazine editor. Best known for her novel Hans Brinker, she was the recognized leader in juvenile literature for almost a third of the 19th century and persuaded many of the world’s top writers of the world to contribute to her children’s magazine — including Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tennyson, and Longfellow. When Kipling told her a story of the Indian jungle, she asked him to write it down; the result was The Jungle Book.

1848 – Justo Sierra Méndez, prominent liberal Mexican writer, historian, journalist, poet, judge, teacher, politician, historian, journalist, and political figure who was a leading voice of the Científicos, “the scientists” who were the intellectual leaders during the regime of Porfirio Díaz.

1915 – K.S. Narasimhaswamy, Indian poet in the Kannada language; his most popular collection of poems, Mysooru Mallige, is often given to newly married couples in Karnataka.

1929 – Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist, author, screenwriter, playwright, children’s book author, illustrator, and educator who was considered the most widely read satirist in the country; in 2004 he was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame.

1938 – Henry Jaglom, British-American film director and playwright.

1944 – Angela Davis, American left-wing political activist, academic, and author
of books on class, feminism, and the U.S. prison system.

1945 – Nguyen Ngoc Ngan, Vietnamese writer and essayist, now based in Canada; he was imprisoned after the fall of Saigon and did forced labor in a re-education camp, an experience described in his autobiography, The Will Of Heaven; after his release he escaped by boat to Malaysia, but the boat capsized in a storm and his wife and child drowned, but he was pulled unconscious from the water.

1949 – Jonathan Carroll, World Fantasy Award-winning American author of novels and short stories, most of them in the genres of magical realism, slipstream, and fantasy.

1951 – Laurence Shames, American author of Florida-based fiction and mystery novels.

1973 – Shinjo Mayu, Japanese Manga author.

1974 – Shannon Hale, Newbery Honor-winning American author of young-adult fantasy.

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