1727 – Elizabeth Griffith (sometimes credited as Elizabeth Griffiths), Welsh-born, Irish-based dramatist, fiction writer, essayist, and actress.
1782 – Steen Steensen Blicher, Danish poet, short-story writer, and failed clergyman.
1825 – Maria Firmina dos Reis, Brazilian writer, poet, novelist, teacher, and abolitionist; her novel Úrsula described life for Afro-Brazilians under slavery.
1854 – Adela Zamudio (full name Paz Juana Plácida Adela Rafaela Zamudio Rivero), Bolivian poet, feminist, and educator; she is considered the most famous Bolivian poet ever, and is credited as founding the country’s feminist movement. She also used the pen name Soledad.
1876 – Gertrud von Le Fort (full name Baroness Gertrud Auguste Lina Elsbeth Mathilde Petrea Freiin von Le Fort), German writer of novels, poems, and essays.
1885 – François Mauriac, Nobel Prize-winning French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist, lauded “for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life.”
1922 – G.C. Edmondson (full name “José Mario Garry Ordoñez Edmondson y Cotton), Mexican author and translator who is best remembered for his science fiction but who also wrote westerns; some of his work was written under pseudonyms C.M. Kotlan, Kelly P. Gast, J. B. Masterson, and Jack Logan.
1925 – Elmore Leonard, American novelist who started out writing westerns but is better known for his suspense and mystery books, many of which have been made into movies.
1926 – Thích Nhất Hạnh (born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo), prolific Vietnamese author, Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, and founder of the Plum Village school of Buddhism.
1929 – Annette Baier, New Zealand writer and philosopher who focused on feminist philosophy and was a scholar of the works of Enlightenment philosopher David Hume.
1929 – Russell Freedman, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s author and biographer.
1932 – Saul Friedländer, Pulitzer Prize-winning Israeli historian and author of The Years of Extermination.
1935 – Daniel Quinn, award-winning American author, environmentalist, cultural critic, and publisher of educational texts; he is best known for his novel Ishmael.
1936 – James M. McPherson, Puliter Prize-winning American historian, author, essayist, and professor who specializes in American history of the Civil War and civil rights eras; he is best known for the book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.
1944 – Margaret Busby, Ghanaian-born publisher, editor, writer, and broadcaster who now lives in the UK, where she was Britain’s youngest and first black female book publisher in the 1960s when she co-founded the London-based publishing house Allison and Busby.
1946 – Silvia Molina, award-winning Mexican author, playwright, editor, and essayist.
1952 – B.M. Suhara, award-winning Indian Malayalam novelist and short-story writer.
1962 – Anne Enright, Irish novelist, short-story writer, and nonfiction author whose novel The Gathering won the Man Booker Prize; much of her work deals with issues of family, love, identity, and motherhood.
1962 – Richard Paul Evans, American author best known for his novel The Christmas Box.
1963 – Juanita Phillips, Australian journalist, author, children’s writer, autobiographer, and television news presenter.