June 23 Writer Birthdays

1889 – Anna Akhmatova (pen name for Anna Andreyevna Gorenko), Russian poet, literary critic, and translator who was one of the most important Russian poets of the 20th century.

1898 – Winifred Holtby, British novelist, journalist, and suffragist, whose best known work, the novel South Riding, was published posthumously.

1894 – Alfred Kinsey, American biologist and sexologist who was one of the authors of the controversial Kinsey Reports.

1928 – Michael Shaara, American author of science fiction, sports fiction, and historical fiction who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his historical novel about the American Civil War, The Killer Angels, which was the basis for the film Gettysburg.

1936 – Richard Bach, American author best known for his 1970 bestselling novella Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a fable whose main character is a seagull trying to learn about life and flight. Bach named the seagull after John H. Livingston, a test pilot who died of a heart attack after test flying an acrobatic home-built Pitts Special. The book met with mixed reviews from critics, being called both one of 50 “timeless spiritual classics, and “so banal that it had to be sold to adults; kids would have seen through it.”

1953 – Manjula Padmanabhan, award-winning Indian playwright, journalist, short-story writer, columnist, comic-strip artist, and children’s book author and illustrator.

1956 – Mai Yamani (Arabic: مي يماني‎), Egyptian-born author, scholar, and anthropologist; much of her work exploresthe tension between perceptions of tradition and modernity in Saudi Arabia.

1958 – Steven Dietz, American dramatist and theater director who has been called “the most ubiquitous American playwright whose name you may never have heard.”

1964 – Joss Whedon, Oscar-nominated American film and television director and producer, novelist, screenwriter, composer, animator, and science-fiction writer who is best known for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly television series and the Avengers superhero films.

1975 – Markus Zusak, bestselling, award-winning Australian novelist for adults and teens, best known for his World War II novel, The Book Thief.

1980 – Farhat Ishtiaq, is Pakistani novelist and screenwriter whose work focuses on Pakistani society.

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