November 18 Writer Birthdays

1836 – Sir W.S. Gilbert (William Schwenck Gilbert), British humorist and dramatist who was the lyrical half of the Gilbert & Sullivan team.

1847 – Eliška Krásnohorská, Czech feminist author, children’s writer, poet, translator, literary critic, librettist, and founder of a school for girls.

1872 – Alejandro Guanes, Paraguayan poet, prose-writer, teacher, and journalist.

1874 – Clarence Day, American author, short-story writer, cartoonist, and women’s suffragist, best known for his autobiographical book Life with Father and its sequels; he sometimes wrote under the pseudonym B.H. Arkwright

1882 – Wyndham Lewis, English novelist, autobiographer, critic, editor, and painter.

1888 – Frances Marion (born Marion Benson Owens), American screenwriter, journalist, author, and film director who is one of the most renowned screenwriters of the 20th century.

1906 – Klaus Mann, German writer, screenwriter, poet, translator, author, journalist, literary critic, novelist, and autobiographer.

1906 – Yōko Ōta, Japanese novelist who wrote several books based on her experiences as a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima.

1909 – Johnny Mercer, Academy Award-winning American lyricist and composer who wrote the lyrics for some of the most popular songs of his day, including Moon River, Come Rain or Come Shine, Hooray for Hollywood, and Days of Wine and Roses; he also founded Capitol Records

1912 – Hilda Nickson, Prolific British author of romance novels, many of them set in Italy or Spain; she also wrote under her maiden name, Hilda Pressley.

1913 – Aisha Abd al-Rahman, Egyptian author, poet, and professor of literature who published under the pen name Bint al-Shaṭi (“Daughter of the Riverbank”).

1917 – Mathias E. Mnyampala, Tanzanian writer, poet, autobiographer, and lawyer who wrote in Swahili; as national chairman of the association of Kiswahili poets called Usanifu wa Kiswahili na Ushairi Tanzania (UKUTA) he promoted the diffusion of Kiswahili, the official language of the new Tanzanian Nation, by teaching to the Tanzanian masses the classical forms of Kiswahili poetry and their conservative transformations.

1918 – İlhan Berk, influential Turkish writer, poet, translator, and author who was a dominant figure in postmodern Turkish poetry.

1919 – Jenaro Gajardo Vera, Chilean writer, poet, lawyer, artist, and painter who became famous for his 1953 claim of ownership of the Moon.

1924 – Iordan Chimet, Romanian writer, poet, translator, biographer, film critic, literary critic, children’s writer, essayist, memoirist, literary historian, critic, and linguist whose work was inspired by surrealism and onirism.

1931 – Shrikant Verma, award-winning Indian poet and member of Parliament.

1936 – Suzette Haden Elgin, American novelist, poet, science-fiction writer, short-story writer, nonfiction author, and linguist who was a key figure in the field of science-fiction constructed languages.

1936 – Zia Haider, award-winning Bangladeshi writer, poet, playwright, translator, and professor; his full name Sheikh Faisal Abdur Rouf Mohammad Ziauddin Haider.

1939 – Margaret Atwood, bestselling, award-winning Canadian novelist, poet, nonfiction author, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor, best known for her speculative fiction, especially The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been adapted into a film and an award-winning television series.

1940 – James Welch, award-winning Native American novelist and poet, known as a founding author of the Native American Renaissance.

1941 – Jennifer Rankin (born Jennifer Mary Haynes), award-winning Australian poet and playwright.

1943 – Freydoon Rassouli, Iranian-born American author and abstract surrealist artist.

1944 – Suzanne Brøgger, Danish author, screenwriter, poet, essayist, journalist, naturalist, actor, and singer.

1945 – Wilma Pearl Mankiller American Cherokee tribal leader, author, autobiographer, social worker, community developer, and activist who was the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

1946 – Alan Dean Foster, American science-fiction and fantasy author, known for movie novelizations as well as multiple book series of his own.

1948 – Frances Fyfield (pseudonym of Frances Hegarty), award-winning English lawyer, crime writer, and screenwriter whose Helen West book series has twice been adapted for television.

1950 – Michael Swanwick, award-winning American science-fiction novelist, short-story writer, and essayist.

1953 – Alan Moore, award-winning English comic-book author known for his works Watchmen and V is for Vendetta; many consider him to be the best comics writer in the English language.

1963 – Joost Zwagerman, Dutch writer, poet, essayist, television presenter, columnist, and nonfiction author.

1971 – Terrance Hayes, National Book Award-winning American poet, nonfiction author, and educator about whose it has been said, “First you’ll marvel at his skill, his near-perfect pitch, his disarming humor, his brilliant turns of phrase. Then you’ll notice the grace, the tenderness, the unblinking truth-telling just beneath his lines, the open and generous way he takes in our world.”

1981 – Maggie Stiefvater, bestselling American author of young-adult and urban fantasy novels.

1982 – Qais Akbar Omar, Afghan-American writer known for the bestselling autobiography, A Fort of Nine Towers, which describes his childhood in Afghanistan during the years of the civil war and the Taliban from 1992–2001.

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