1776 – E.T.A. Hoffmann, German Romantic author whose novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was adapted into the ballet The Nutcracker.
1804 – Delphine de Girardin, German-born French writer, poet, journalist, and salonnière; she wrote under the pen name Vicomte Delaunay.
1862 – Edith Wharton, American novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and designer who drew upon her insider’s knowledge of the upper class New York “aristocracy” to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age; she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.
1864 – Marguerite Durand, French writer, journalist, editor, and actress who founded the first feminist newspaper, La Fronde (The Slingshot), organized the Congress For the Rights of Women, and owned a pet lion she named “Tiger”; the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand is named for her.
1870 – Muddana, Indian poet who wrote in the Kannada language; the name Muddana was a nickname that means “cute” in Kannada; he was also known as Mahakavi (“Great Poet”) or Mahakavi Muddana, but his real name was Lakshmi Naranappa. Despite all of those names, he chose to publish some of his works anonymously.
1872 – Ethel Turner, award-winning English-born Australian writer, poet, novelist, editor, columnist, and children’s author; she is best known for her novel, Seven Little Australians, which is a classic of Australian children’s literature.
1888 – Hedwig “Vicki” Baum, Austrian writer who is best known for her novel Menschen im Hotel (People at a Hotel, published in English as Grand Hotel), an international success that was made into a 1932 film and a 1989 broadway musical.
1889 – Charles Hawes, American author of sea stories and the first American-born winner of the Newbery Medal.
1898 – Milada Součková, Czech writer, poet, author, journalist, literary historian, and literary theorist, and diplomat; she is known mainly for introducing to Czech literature Modernist techniques employed by English-language writers such as Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf.
1899 – Maxime Moses Alexander, French Surrealist poet and journalist.
1899 – Mitsuhashi Takajo, Japanese haiku poet who was involved in a progressive magazine of avant-garde poets who wrote experimental haiku; she is one of the “4 Ts” of Japanese female haiku poets (along with Tatsuko Hoshino, Nakamura Teijo, and Hashimoto Takako).
1924 – Paruyr Sevak, Armenian writer, poet, translator, literary critic, and politician; he is considered one of the greatest Armenian poets of the 20th century.
1927 – Priyakant Premachand Maniyar, award-winning Indian Gujarati poet and writer known for his symbolic and imagist poetry.
1931 – Leonard Baker, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, journalist, and biographer.
1944 – David Gerrold, American science-fiction author and screenwriter best known for his Star Trek episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
1953 – Katarzyna Krenz, Polish writer, poet, translator, and painter.
1967 – Rooma Mehra, Indian poet, author, painter, sculptor, journalist, travel writer, and columnist.