1757 – Georgiana Cavendish (Duchess of Devonshire), English socialite, style icon, writer, novelist, political organizer, and activist; she was the great-great-great-grandaunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and has often been compared with her.
1825 – Richard Dodderidge Blackmore, English poet novelist of the Romantic school, best known for the book Lorna Doone; he was often referred to as “the Last Victorian.”
1899 – Elizabeth Bowen, Irish novelist and short-story writer, best remembered for her fiction about wartime London. of domestic fiction.
1914 – Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (popularly known as K.A. Abbas), award-winning Indian film director, screenwriter, novelist, autobiographer, journalist, and columnist who wrote in Urdu, Hindi, and English; he is considered one of the pioneers of Indian neo-realistic cinema and is credited with opening up the overseas market for Indian films in the Soviet Union.
1917 – Gwendolyn Brooks, influential Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet who was U.S. Poet Laureate.
1931 – Okot p’Bitek, Ugandan poet, writer, and university teacher who achieved international recognition with his breakthrough work, Song of Lawino, a long poem dealing with the tribulations of a rural African wife whose husband has taken up urban life and wishes everything to be westernized; he originally wrote it in the Acholi language and self-translated it into English.
1933- Elizabeth Irene Cullinan, acclaimed American short-story writer and novelist, known for her fiction about Irish-Americans; many of her stories were published in The New Yorker.
1935 – Harry Crews, American novelist, short-story writer, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist, known for his Southern Gothic literature.
1938 – Gu Long (pen name for Xiong Yaohua), Hong Kong-born Taiwanese novelist, screenwriter, and film director who started his own studio to produce film adaptations of his works.
1941 – Georgess McHargue, American author, poet, and editor who was best known for her fiction for children, but who also wrote nonfiction, most notably about history, archaeology, mythology, and paranormal studies.
1943 – Barbara Watson Andaya, Australian author, historian, and professor who specializes in Indonesia and Maritime Southeast Asia with an interest in women’s history in the region.
1943 – Nikki Giovanni, influential American poet, professor, children’s book author, and activist.
1952 – Orhan Pamuk, bestselling Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist. and professor.
1954 – Louise Erdrich, award-winning American author of novels, poetry, short stories, and children’s books, generally featuring Native American characters; she is also known as a nonfiction writer and a bookseller.
1957 – Fred Vargas (pseudonym for Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau), award-winning French writer, historican, archaeologist, and novelist, especially known for her crime novels.
1974 – Bear Grylls, British television personality and author of memoirs and survival guides.