February 22 Writer Birthdays

1804 – William Whipper, American anti-slavery activist and essayist.

1819 – James Russell Lowell, American poet, social critic, journalist, essayist, and abolitionist.

1864 – Pierre-Jules Renard, French novelist, playwright, and nonfiction author, most famous for the works Poil de carotte (Carrot Top) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Nature Stories).

1871 – John Langalibalele Dube, South African essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist and poet who was the founding president of the South African Native National Congress, which became the African National Congress.

1876 – Zitkála-Šá (Lakota: Red Bird, or Cardinal, and also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, her missionary-given and later married name), Yankton Dakota Sioux writer, editor, translator, violinist, educator, and political activist; she wrote several works chronicling her struggles with cultural identity and the pull between the majority culture she was educated within and her Dakota Sioux culture into which she was born.

1879 – Norman Lindsay, Australian journalist, artist, and author the children’s classic The Magic Pudding.

1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, writer, translator, playwright, and librettist; the poet Richard Wilbur asserted, “She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century.” She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

1898 – Lázaro Francisco y Angeles, award-winning Filipino novelist, essayist, and playwright.

1900 – Seán Ó Faoláin, Irish short-story writer also known as John Francis Whelan.

1900 – Giorgios Seferis, Nobel Prize-winning Greek poet.

1903 – Morley Callaghan, Canadian novelist and short-story writer whose works are marked by undertones of Roman Catholicism, often focusing on individuals whose essential characteristic is a weakened sense of self.

1917- Jane Auer Bowles, American novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who has been called “one of the finest modern writers of fiction in any language.”

1923 – François Cavanna, French author and satirical newspaper editor.

1925 – Edward Gorey, American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books; his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings.

1935 – Danilo Kis, Serbo-Hungarian novelist and essayist.

1938 – Ishmael Reed, American poet, novelist, and essayist.

1945 – Fleur Una Maude Beale (née Corney), New Zealand author of books for children and teens, including the bestselling novel I Am Not Esther.

1947 – Pirjo Honkasalo, Finnish screenwriter, film director, and cinematographer.

1950 – Julie Walters (Dame Julia Mary Walters), award-winning English actress and autobiographer; she is a mulitple BAFTA Award winner, has won a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards; she is best known internationally for playing Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

1956 – Sükrü Altin, Turkish historian, novelist, educator, and painter.

1956 – Philip Ballantyne Kerr, Scottish-born crime novelist and children’s fantasy novelist, known for his crime series featuring Nazi-era detective Bernie Gunther.

1968 – Abdel-Rahman Ayas, Lebanese writer, journalist, translator, and researcher.

1971 – Elisha Cooper, American writer and illustrator of children’s books.

1976 – Isla Fisher, Omani-born Australian novelist and actress who is best known for her work in soap operas and movies but who has also written several novels for children and teens.

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