March 23 Writer Birthdays

1814 – Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda y Arteaga, Cuban-born Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright who sometimes used the pseudonym La Peregrina (The Pilgrim); her most famous work is the antislavery novel Sab, about a slave who is deeply in love with his mistress Carlota, who is entirely oblivious to his feelings for her.

1881 – Roger Martin du Gard, Nobel Prize-winning French author lauded “for the artistic power and truth with which he has depicted human conflict as well as some fundamental aspects of contemporary life.”

1882 – Amalie Emmy Noether (better known as Emmy Noether), German mathematician and writer who made important contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics.

1910 – Akira Kurosawa, Japanese film director and screenwriter who is considered one of the most important and influential figures in the history of filmmaking.

1912 – Eleanor Cameron, National Book Award-winning American librarian, critic, essayist, and children’s author, best known for The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, and for her criticism of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which she found tasteless, sadistic, and phony overall, as well as racist in its original depiction of the Oompa-Loompas; descriptions and pictures of them were revised for later editions, possibly as a result of her criticism.

1947 – Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Nebula Award-winning American author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories who frequently collaborated with author Anne McCaffrey; she is also a registered nurse.

1942 – Ama Ata Aidoo (née Christina Ama Aidoo), Ghanaian novelist, playwright, short-story writer, professor, and Minister of Education; her work, written in English, emphasizes the paradoxical position of the modern African woman; some sources list her birth year as 1940. She is considered one of Africa’s greatest writers.

1943 – Winston Francis Groom, Jr., American novelist and nonfiction writer, best known for his book Forrest Gump, which was adapted into a wildly popular film.

1950 – Ahdaf Soueif, Egyptian novelist, essayist, nonfiction writer, and political and cultural commentator; in her works, she focuses on Egyptian history and politics and also writes about Palestinians.

1951 – Plantu (pen name for Jean Plantureux), French cartoonist, political satirist, and sculptor.

1952 – Kim Stanley Robinson, American author of science-fiction and fantasy books and short stories, best known for his Mars trilogy; a winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, he has produced work that the Atlantic calls “the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing,” and he has been called by The New Yorker, “one of the greatest living science-fiction writers.”

1960 – Yoko Tawada, award-winning Japanese writer, novelist, essayist, playwright, Germanist, and literary scholar who is based in Germany and writes in both Japanese and German.

1968 – Mitch Cullin, American novelist, poet, and short-story writer who lives in both the United States and Japan.

1972 – Judith Godrèche, French screenwriter, director, actress, and novelist.

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