1648 – Juana Inés de la Cruz, scholar, poet, writer, composer, mathematician, playwright, philosopher, feminist, and nun in New Spain (now Mexico).
1817 – Bahá’u’lláh (born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri), Persian mystic and prolific writer who was founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
1930 – Ivo Urbančič, influential Slovenian philosopher and writer, considered to be one of the fathers of the phenomenological school in Slovenia.
1934 – John McGahern, Irish author of novels and short stories, arguably the most important Irish writer since Samuel Beckett.
1942 – Janette Turner Hospital, Australian-born novelist and short-story writer.
1945 – Michael Bishop, American author of science fiction and fantasy.
1945 – Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of creative nonfiction, best known for his book, The Soul of a New Machine.
1954 – Christopher Pike (pen name for Kevin Christopher McFadden), American author of bestselling novels for children, young adults, and adults.
1955 – Katherine Weber, American novelist, nonfiction author, memoirist, and Yale professor.
1962 – Neal Shusterman, American author of popular young-adult literature.
1962 – Naomi Wolf, author, social critic, and political activist.
1815 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, writer and activist for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery; she was the primary author of the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage and The Woman’s Bible, a critical examination of the Bible based on the premise that its attitude toward women reflects prejudice from a less civilized age.
1865 – Herbert Trench, Irish poet and theater director.
1906 – George Dillon, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and editor who is best remembered today for a romantic relationship with poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay; Dillon was the inspiration for her epic 52-sonnet sequence Fatal Interview and they later collaborated on translations from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal in 1936.
1915 – Roland Barthes, French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician who influenced the development structuralism, semiotics, social theory, anthropology, and post-structuralism.
1927 – David Butler, Emmy Award-winning Scottish screenwriter who was also nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
1928 – Marjorie Sharmat, American author of children’s books, including her popular Nate the Great series.
1929 – Michael Ende, German author of bestselling fantasy, children’s literature, and books for adults; he is best known for The Neverending Story. Many of his works have been adapted as motion pictures, stage plays, operas, and audio books.
1941 – Madeleine St John, Australian novelist who was the first Australian woman to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
1943 – Wallace Shawn, American playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and actor.
1945 – Hanan al-Shaykh, acclaimed Lebanese author of contemporary literature; her work provides social commentary on the status of women in the Muslim world, challenging notions of sexuality, obedience, and modesty.
1963 – Damon Galgut, award-winning South African playwright and novelist who is best known for writing The Good Doctor and In a Strange Room.
1976 – Richelle Mead, author of fantasy and young-adult novels, including the “Vampire Academy” series.
1981 – Vasay Chaudhry, Pakistani screenwriter, actor, director, producer, television host, and comedian who is best known for writing sitcoms and comedy-dramas for Pakistani television.