1872 – Max Beerbohn, English writer, essayist, broadcaster, and drama critic best remembered for his only novel, Zuleika Dobson, a parody of undergraduate life at Oxford.
1890 – Jean Rhys (pen name of Ellen Gwendolyn Rees Williams), Dominican author whose best known work is Wide Sargasso Sea, written as a prequel to Jane Eyre.
1899 – Jorge Luis Borges, award-winning Argentine essayist, poet, and short-story writer.
1915 – James Tiptree, Jr. (pen name of Alice Bradley Sheldon), groundbreaking American author of science-fiction short stories; she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon.
1922 – Howard Zinn, American historian, author, playwright, and social activist who wrote more than 20 books, including his bestselling A People’s History of the United States.
1936 – A.S. Byatt (pen name of Dame Antonia Susan Duffy), award-winning English novelist who was listed by The Times as one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
1937 – Susan Sheehan, Pulitzer Prize-winning Austrian-born American nonfiction author and journalist.
1947 – Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist whose allegorical novel The Alchemist has been translated into more than 70 languages.
1948 – Alexander McCall-Smith, Rhodesian-born Scottish writer famous for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.
1951 – Orson Scott Card, American science-fiction author, essayist, critic, and columnist, best known for the novel Ender’s Game.
1951 – Oscar Hijuelos, American novelist who was the first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1962 – Ali Smith, Scottish playwright, journalist, and author of fiction and nonfiction who has been described as “Scotland’s Nobel laureate-in-waiting.”
1963 – Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Icelandic writer of crime fiction and children’s books.
1977 – John Green, bestselling American author of popular young-adult fiction; he was included in Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World and is also known for his series of educational YouTube videos.