June 26 Writer Birthdays

1786 – Phra Sunthonwohan (known as Sunthorn Phu), Thailand’s best-known royal poet; his epic poetry is still popular today.

1791 – John Mactaggart, Scottish encyclopedia writer, poet, and civil engineer.

1859 – Alice Werner, Italian-born German writer, poet, teacher, and translator of the Bantu language.

1881 – Ya’akov Cohen, Israeli poet, playwright, and translator.

1882 – Sharda Mehta, Indian Gujarati writer, essayist, autobiographer, translator, children’s author, social worker, reformer, and education activist.

1892 – Pearl S. Buck, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Nobel Prize-winning American writer especially known for her bestselling novel, The Good Earth; she spent much of her time in China, where her parents were missionaries and where she was known as Sai Zhenzhju ( 賽珍珠). She was praised for her “rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces,” and was a prominent advocate for the rights of women and minority groups and for Asian and mixed-race adoptions.

1905 – Lynd Ward, American artist and storyteller, known for his wordless novels illustrated with woodcuts and watercolors; his books won a Caldecott Medal and two Newbery Medals.

1914 – Laurie Lee, English poet and novelist whose best-known work was an autobiographical trilogy.

1915 – Charlotte Zolotow, prolific American author, editor, and publisher of children’s books.

1916 – Virginia Satir, award-winning American nonfiction author and psychotherapist who is regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy.”

1922 – Walter Farley, American author known for the Black Stallion series.

1931 – Colin Wilson, English author of both fiction and nonfiction, whose philosophical works he calls phenomenological existentialism.

1936 – Edith Pearlman, American short-story writer and nonfiction author.

1936 – Nancy Willard, Newbery Medal-winning American novelist, poet, children’s author, and illustrator.

1939 – Barbara De Wayne Chase-Riboud, American novelist, poet, and sculptor, best known as the author of the bestselling book Sally Hemings.

1940 – Ketaki Kushari Dyson (née Ketaki Kushari), Bengali-born poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, translator, critic, diaspora writer, and scholar who lives in Britain and writes in both Bengali and English.

1941 – Yves Beauchemin, Canadian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, editor, and teacher.

1943 – Warren Farrell, American author of books on men’s and women’s issues.

1956 – Amma Darko, Ghanaian novelist and children’s author; many of her books explore everyday life in Ghana.

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