August 21 Writer Birthdays

1798 – Jules Michelet, French historian, professor, and author credited with coining the word “Renaissance.”

1886 – Ruth Manning-Sanders, British poet and author whose children’s books collected and retold fairy tales from around the world.

1897 – Constance McLaughlin Green, Pulitzer Prize-winning American urban historian and author.

1906 – Friz Freleng, American cartoonist, animator, screenwriter, and producer for the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons under the Warner Bros. banner.

1908 – M.M. Kaye, Indian-born British author, illustrator, screenwriter, and children’s writer who who was best known for her bestselling novel, The Far Pavilions, set in British-controlled India; her real name was May Margaret (Mollie) Kaye.

1911 – Ismat Chughtai, Indian Urdu novelist, short-story writer, and filmmaker who wrote in a realistic style on themes including female sexuality and femininity, middle-class gentility, and class conflict, often from a Marxist perspective, establishing herself as a significant voice in 20th century Urdu literature.

1920 – Don E. Fehrenbacher, Pulitzer Prize winning American historian and author best known for his writings on politics, slavery, and Abraham Lincoln.

1929 – X.J. Kennedy, American poet, translator, editor, and author of children’s literature and writing guides; he added the “X” as a first initial to distinguish himself from dynasty founder and political mastermind Joseph P. Kennedy.

1934 – Gennady Nikolaevich Aygi, Russian Chuvash poet and translator.

1935 – Mart Crowley, American playwright and television writer, best known for his play Boys in the Band, which was considered groundbreaking for its portrayal of gay life.

1937 – Robert Stone, National Book Award-winning American novelist who has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Time magazine included his novel Dog Soldiers on its list of the 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005

1943 – Jonathan Schell, American author and professor whose work argued against the proliferation of nuclear weapons; he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

1943 – Lucius Shepard, American science-fiction and fantasy novelist and short-story writer whose work often leaned into other genres, such as magical realism.

1948 – Sharon Draper, American novelist, children’s writer, and teacher who is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for books about the adolescent African-American experience.

1954 – Claudia Mills, American librarian, professor, and children’s book author; early in her career, as a secretary at a publishing firm, she submitted manuscripts to the company under an assumed name and had to write rejection letters to herself.

1966 – Denise Mina, Scottish crime writer, poet, novelist, comic writer, playwright, and lawyer who has written novels featuring the character Patricia “Paddy” Meehan, a Glasgow journalist, some of which have been adapted for television.

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