April 19 Writer Birthdays


1666 – Sarah Kemble Knight, American teacher, businesswoman, and diarist who is especially remembered for her diary of a journey from Boston to New York in 1704–1705, which provides one of the few first-hand-accounts of travel conditions in Connecticut during colonial times.

1819 – Frances Parthenope Verney, Lady Verney (née Nightingale), Italian-born English essayist, novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, much of whose writing concerned social questions of the day, including class inequity, religion, and the toll taken by war. Nurse and social reformer Florence Nightingale was her sister.

1832 – José Echegary, Spanish engineer, statesman, and dramatist who won the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature “in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama.”

1849 – Leona Florentino (born Leona Josefa Florentina), Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages; she is considered the “mother of Philippine women’s literature” and the “bridge from oral to literary tradition.”

1886 – Manuel Bandeira, Brazilian writer, poet, translator, university teacher, journalist, and literary critic.

1900 – Richard Hughes, British novelist, playwright, and poet.

1917 – Sven Hassel (pen name of Børge Willy Redsted Pedersen), bestselling novelist whose books were set during World War II; he also used the pen name Sven Hazel.

1923 – Lygia Fagundes Telles, award-winning Brazilian novelist and short-story writer who is also a lawyer; she was the third woman elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

1931 – Mária Ember, Hungarian novelist, journalist, and essayist.

1931 – Etheridge Knight, African-American poet who was a key member of the Black Arts movement.

1947 – Sandro Petraglia, Italian screenwriter and film director.

1962 – Candy Gourlay (formerly Candy Quimpo), award-winning British-based Filipino author, journalist, and children’s writer.

1976 – Rivka Galchen, Canadian-American novelist, editor, short-story writer, and writing professor who also holds an M.D.

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