September 16 Writer Birthdays

1846 – Anna Kingsford, English physician, writer, poet, philosopher, novelist, suffragist, and activist for the rights of women and animals; she was only the second English woman to obtain a degree in medicine, and, as a staunch anti-vivisectionist, the only medical student at the time to graduate without having experimented on a single animal; her thesis, written in Paris as L’Alimentation Végétale de l’Homme, was on the benefits of vegetarianism and was published in English as The Perfect Way in Diet.

1851 – Emilia Pardo Bazán, Spanish countess who was a novelist, journalist, literary critic, poet, playwright, translator, editor, and professor; she is known for introducing naturalism into Spanish literature, for her detailed descriptions of reality, and for her groundbreaking introduction of feminist ideas into the literature.

1880 – Alfred Noyes, English poet best known for ballads such as “The Highwayman.”

1888 – Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Nobel Prize-winning Finnish writer praised “for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature.”

1898 – H.A. Rey, Worked with his wife Margret Rey as authors and illustrators of children’s books, especially the beloved Curious George series.

1911 – Krishnalal Shridharani, Indian poet, playwright, author, and journalist.

1919 – Ku Sang, Korean poet, writer, and journalist

1926 – John Knowles, American novelist best known for his book A Separate Peace; the plot is not autobiographical, but the setting is based on Knowles’s experiences as a student at Phillips Exeter Academy; The Devon School, the book’s setting, is a thinly veiled fictionalization of Exeter, with both campus and town easily recognizable.

1929 – Margarita Carrera, award-winning Guatemalan writer, poet, philosopher, professor, and journalist.

1934 – Yashwant Trivedi, Indian Gujarati poet, writer, translator, literary critic, and essayist.

1935 – Jules Bass, With Arthur Rankin, Jr., the animators responsible for the classic Rankin & Bass stop-motion films, including the classic Christmas television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; he was also a composer, writer, and children’s author, notably of Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon.

1939 – Breyten Breytenbach, South African writer and painter who was arrested as an opponent of apartheid and wrote The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist while in prison.

1943 – James Alan McPherson, essayist, short-story writer, and professor who was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

1948 – Julia Donaldson (born Julia Catherine Shields), English writer, playwright, lyricist, and performer who was the U.K. Children’s Laureate; she is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, especially The Gruffalo.

1950 – Henry Louis Gates, African-American author, historian, literary critic, professor, editor and filmmaker who promotes the importance of African-American literature and hosts the PBS television Finding Your Roots, which combines the work of expert researchers in genealogy, history, and genetics with historic research to tell guests about the lives of their ancestors.

1964 – Molly Shannon, American screenwriter, comedian, actress, author, and children’s book writer who came to prominence as a cast member at Saturday Night Live.

1966 – Wil McCarthy, American science-fiction novelist, short-story writer, and science columnist.

1966 – Elizabeth McCracken, award-winning American novelist, short-story writer, and editor.

1971 – Prasoon Joshi, Indian poet, screenwriter, and lyricist.

1973 – Justin Haythe, London-born American novelist whose debut novel The Honeymoon was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.

1980 – Aisha Sasha John, Canadian poet, writer, artist, and dancer.

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