February 8 Writer Birthdays

1819 – John Ruskin, English art critic of the Victorian Era, best remembered for his five-volume work, Modern Painters.

1819 – Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Russian writer, essayist, journalist, biographer, and composer who is best known for her 40-year relationship with composer and pianist Franz Liszt and may have written some publications credited to Liszt, especially his Life of Chopin. Her prolific correspondence with Liszt, Berlioz, and other luminaries of the day is of vital historical interest. Some sources give her birthday as February 7.

1828 – Jules Verne, French novelist, poet, playwright, and pioneer in the science-fiction genre, known for such classics as Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

1850 – Kate Chopin, American novelist and short-story writer, most known for her novel The Awakening.

1911 – Elizabeth Bishop, American poet and writer who was a Pulitzer and National Book Award winner and the U.S. Poet Laureate.

1924 – Lisel Mueller, German-born National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and translator.

1926 – Neal Cassady, American writer and poet who was a major figure of the Beat Generation and the model for the Dean Moriarty character in Kerouac’s On The Road.

1940 – Zahid Hussain, better known by the pen name Wasim Barelvi, leading Indian poet in the Urdu language.

1951 – Ashok Chakradhar, Indian writer, poet, literary critic, and university professor who works towards the propagation of the Hindustani language.

1955 – John Grisham, American author and attorney, lauded for his bestselling legal thrillers.

1955 – Nancy Oliver, American screenwriter, best known for Lars and the Real Girl.

1962 – Malorie Blackman, British screenwriter, children’s book author, novelist, and science-fiction writer.

1969 – Mary Robinette Kowal, award-winning American science-fiction and fantasy novelist and short-story writer who is also a professional voice actor and puppeteer.

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