August 20 Writer Birthdays

1613 – Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg (Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg), German poet, writer, and composer.

1663 – Amalia von Königsmarck (Amalia “Emilie” Wilhelmina Königsmarck), Swedish poet, writer, and painter. As an actress, she was one of a group of courtiers who performed the Swedish premier of Iphigénie by Racine, which was the first play with an all-female cast known to be performed in Sweden; Amalia played Achilles.

1881 – Edgar Guest, English-born American poet whose works tended to be optimistic in outlook; he was known as The People’s Poet.

1889 – Cora Coralina (pseudonym of Anna Lins dos Guimarães Peixoto Bretas), Brazilian writers, poet, children’s author, sociologist, confectioner, and diplomat who drew on her experiences of rural Brazil to create rich, poetic prose, often featuring the Brazilian countryside, and focusing on the people in small towns across the state of Goiás.

1890 – H.P. Lovecraft, American author and editor of horror, fantasy, and science fiction; he is best known for his Cthulhu Mythos cycle but was also a prolific letter writer.

1895 – Marianne Katharina “Käthe” Leichter, Austrian economist, women’s rights activist, trade unionist, journalist, and politician.

1901 – Salvatore Quasimodo, Nobel Prize-winning Italian author and poet who was known for his lyrical poetry, “which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times.”

1910 – Yi Sang, Korean avant-garde writer and poet who experimented with language and was influenced by Western literary concepts including Dadaism and Surrealism.

1918 – Jacqueline Susann, American actress and author know for her bestselling novels including Valley of the Dolls; she was the first author to have three novels on the New York Times Best Seller List at the same time and is credited with revolutionizing the process of book promotion and creating the modern author book tour. Her books were considered racy and were panned by critics but popular with the reading public.

1919 – Noni Jabavu (full name Helen Nontando Jabavu), South African writer, journalist, columnist, editor, and autobiographer was one the first African women to pursue a successful literary career and the first black South African woman to publish autobiography.

1922 – Augustus Taiwo “Tai” Solarin, Nigerian educator and author.

1932 – Vasily Aksyonov, Soviet novelist, screenwriter, poet, physician, and teacher.

1933 – Sue Alexander, American author of children’s fiction and nonfiction books and stories.

1935 – Lionel G. Garcia, award-winning Mexican-American novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.

1937 – Rosemarie Said Zahlan, Palestinian historian, writer, journalist, musician, and professor who championed the Gaza Library Project for supplying books to Palestine.

1940 – Musa Geshaev, Chechnyan poet, literary critic, and cultural historian who wrote about the culture of the Chechen and Ingush people

1948 – Heather McHugh, American poet, essayist, translator, and educator.

1951 – Greg Bear, American science-fiction author known for his many different series; his themes include galactic conflict, artificial universes, consciousness and cultural practices, and accelerated evolution.

1960 – Deidre Madden, award-winning Irish novelist who has been described as “a pivotal voice in Northern Irish writing, her understated yet complex fictions often touching on the religious and political turmoil of the North.”

1961 – Greg Egan, Australian science-fiction author who writes most in the sub-genre of hard science fiction.

1961 – Martha Medeiros, Brazilian writer and journalist.

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