May 1 Writer Birthdays

1672 – Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician.

1751 – Judith Sargent Murray, American essay writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, and influential advocate for women’s rights.

1848 – James Ford Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning American industrialist, historian, and author whose work includes a seven-volume history of the United States.

1855 – Mary Mackay (also known by her pseudonym Marie Corelli), popular English novelist and poet whose novels sold more than those of her contemporaries Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wills, and Rudyard Kipling combined.

1881 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French idealist philosopher, writer, Jesuit priest, paleontologist, and geologist.

1900 – Ignazio Silone (pen name for Secondino Tranquilli), Italian novelist, essayist, and political activist.

1913 – Victor Stafford Reid, influential Jamaican author who is credited with writing the first West Indies novel to be written throughout in a dialect; his work is an attempt to break away from Victorianism and to embrace the Jamaican independence movement

1917 – Elizabeth Marie Pope, Newbery Honor-winning American author and young-adult writer who wrote both fiction and nonfiction, most of it based in the Elizabethan age.

1923 – Joseph Heller, American novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and playwright whose satirical novel Catch-22 is a classic of war fiction; its title has become synonymous with an absurd or contradictory choice.

1927 – Akira Yoshimura, Japanese writer, screenwriter, and novelist.

1940 – Bobbie Ann Mason, American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and literary critic whose memoir was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

1945 – Yoko Aki, Japanese novelist, essayist, lyricist, songwriter, and actress.

1948 – Terry Goodkind, American writer known for the epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth as well as the contemporary suspense novel The Law of Nines.

1949 – Vishakha N. Desai, Indian-born American scholar of Asian studies whose work focuses on art, culture, policy, and women’s rights.

1951 – Omar Abdul-Kafi, egyptian islamic scholar, writer, and biologist.

1963 – Laura Mary Catherine Beatty (née Keen), award-winning British writer, novelist, and biographer.

1970 – Cylin Busby, American author, journalist, screenwriter, memoirist, and children’s writer.

1970 – Priscilla Gilman, American writer, professor, and advocate for autistic people; she has written about about literature, parenting, education, and autism and is best known for her book, The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy, which was inspired by her autistic son Benjamin.

1973 – Susane Colasanti, bestselling author of realistic, contemporary teen novels.

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