1840 – Alphonse Daudet, French novelist of the naturalist movement.
1907 – Daphne du Maurier (Lady Browning), English author and playwright whose stories have been described as “moody and resonant,” with overtones of the paranormal; much of her work was set in Cornwall. Her book Rebecca won the U.S. National Book Award, and has never gone out of print.
1927 – Clive Barnes, British-born theater and dance critic.
1937 – Roger Zelazny, American poet and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He often portrayed characters from myth, set in the modern or future world, with tension between the ancient and the contemporary, and the surreal and the familiar; his style was also influenced by that of wisecracking hardboiled detective stories.
1938 – Norma Klein, American author of popular young-adult novels.
1938 – Francine Pascal, American author of young-adult novels, best known as creator of the Sweet Valley series.
1940 – Bruce Chatwin, English novelist, journalist, and travel writer, best known for his book, In Patagonia; he is ranked among The Times‘s list of “50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945.”
1940 – Rachel Holmes Ingalls, British-based American author of short-stories, novellas, and novels.
1944 – Armistad Maupin, American writer known for the San Francisco-set series of novels, Tales of the City.
1946 – Anne Lee Tzu Pheng, award-winning Singaporean writer and poet
1947 – Charles Baxter, American author, essayist, and poet.
1947 – Stephen R. Donaldson, American science-fiction and fantasy writer best known for his ten-novel series “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.”
1947 – Alexander Keyssar, American author, professor, and historian whose work explores historical problems that have contemporary policy implications.
1948 – Natasha Lako, Albanian writer, poet, politician, translator, screenwriter, and journalist.
1950 – Manning Marable, Pulitzer Prize-winning American professor, historian, author, and Malcom X biographer.
1957 – Koji Suzuki, Japanese author whose Ring books were adapted into a manga series and a feature film; he has also written books about fatherhood.
1960 – Jen Bryant, American poet, novelist, biographer, and children’s author.
1964 – Stephen Colbert, American comedian, television personality, and author.
1967 – Masha Gessen, National Book Award-winning Russian-American journalist, author, and translator.