1861 – Anna Brigadere, Latvian writer, poet, playwright, children’s writer, and autobiographer whose work illuminated the lives of Latvian women in the late 19th century.
1894 – Rachel Field, Newbery Award Medal-winning American author best known for Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.
1900 – Wlodzimierz Slobodnik, Polish poet, translator, satirist, and author of numerous books for young adults.
1911 – William Golding, Nobel Prize-winning British novelist, poet, and playwright, best known for his classic book, Lord of the Flies and his other novels, “which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world today.”
1918 – Penelope Mortimer, British journalist, biographer, and novelist.
1919 – Khumar Barabankvi (real name Mohammed Haidar Khan), Indian/Pakistani Urdu poet and lyricist.
1922 – Salil Chowdhury, Indian Bengali composer, poet, playwright, and lyricist.
1922 – Damon Knight, American science-fiction author, mostly known for his short stories; the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have named their Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award after him.
1933 – Ingrid Jonker, South African poet who is often called the South African Sylvia Plath, because of the intensity of her work and the tragic course of her life; she committed suicide at the age of 31 by walking into the sea and drowning.
1938 – Keorapetse William Kgositsile (also known as ‘Bra Willie’), South African poet and political activist who was South Africa’s National Poet Laureate; his influential collection, My Name is Afrika, established him as a leading African poet.
1947 – Thomas H. Cook, Edgar Award-winning American mystery author.
1947 – Tanith Lee, celebrated British author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
1960 – Maud Sulter, Scottish writer, poet, playwright, photographer, educator, artist, and curator of Ghanaian heritage.
1960 – Oksana Zabuzhko, Ukrainian poet, novelist, and essayist.
1963 – Milena Ercolani, award-winning Sammarinese author, poet, novelist, children’s writer, and teacher who is president of the Sammarina Cultural Association, which promotes the artistic work of San Marino, a tiny independent country surrounded by north-central Italy.
1964 – Yvonne Vera, Zimbabwean novelist and short-story writer whose novels are known for their poetic prose, difficult subject matter, and strong women characters, and are firmly rooted in Zimbabwe’s difficult past.
1972 – N.K. Jemison, American psychologist and author of science fiction and fantasy, best known for her Inheritance trilogy; her fiction explores a wide range of themes, notably cultural conflict and oppression.
1972 – Rebecca Skloot, American writer who specializes in science and medicine; her bestselling nonfiction book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was made into a movie by Oprah Winfrey.
1974 – Sabrina Calvo, French poet, screenwriter, game designer, comics writer, science-fiction writer, and illustrator; she identifies as a transgender person, with her work before 2018 published as David Calvo.
1975 – Gina Trapani, American tech blogger and writer, co-founder of Lifehacker and author of several of books.