1837 – William Dean Howells, American author and literary critic; creator of the novel The Rise of Silas Lapham.
1880 – Lytton Strachey, British author and critic, most known for his biographies and for his association with Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group of English writers, artists, and philosophers.
1892 – Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Japanese writer who is considered the Father of the Japanese Short Story.
1898 – Sara Haardt, American novelist, short-story writer, reviewer, essayist, and professor of English literature.
1914 – Ralph Ellison, National Book Award-winning African-American novelist, literary critic, essayist, and professor known for his realist approach to fiction; much of his work, including his best known novel, Invisible Man, reflected the experiences of African Americans in the early 20th century.
1917 – Robert Lowell, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet who was named U.S. Poet Laureate and also won the National Book Award; his work often dealt with New England and his own family, which traced back to the Mayflower.
1917 – Fadwa Tuqan, Palestinian poet known for her descriptions of the suffering of the Palestinian people and resistance to Israeli occupation; she is considered “one of the most distinguished figures of modern Arabic literature.”
1921 – Richard Wilbur, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and translator who was named U.S. Poet Laureate; his poetry was praised for its wit, charm, and gentlemanly elegance.
1923 – Shantabai Kamble, Indian Marathi writer and activist from the Dalit (untouchable) class of Hindu society; her book, Picturebook of My Life, was the first published autobiography by a Dalit woman.
1940 – Nuala O’Faolain, Irish writer, novelist, memoirist, biographer, journalist, book reviewer, television producer, and teacher, best known for her memoirs Are You Somebody? and Almost There.
1941 – Robert Hass, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning American poet, critic, and translator who was named U.S. Poet Laureate; his work has been called “musical, descriptive, meditative poetry.”
1942 – Josephine Hart, Lady Saatchi, Irish novelist, screenwriter, theatrical producer, and television presenter.
1946 – Jim Crace, award-winning English author of literary fiction.
1952 – Nevada Barr, American author best known for her Anna Pigeon mysteries, set in U.S. National Parks.
1966 – Delphine de Vigan, French novelist and screenwriter.