1304 – Ibn Battuta, Moroccan-born Muslim Berber writer, scholar, geographer, cartographer, merchant, and explorer who widely traveled the medieval world; his account of his journeys was called, A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling.
1786 – Wilhelm Carl Grimm, German author, folklorist, librarian, and literary historian who was the younger of the Brothers Grimm.
1848 – Grant Allen, Canadian novelist, essayist, and science-fiction writer.
1852 – George More, Irish author best known for his early work in Paris and London as a struggling artist.
1885 – Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski, Polish novelist and journalist.
1887 – Mary Ellen Chase, Maine-based American educator, teacher, scholar, and novelist who is one of the most important regional literary figures of the early 20th century.
1903 – Irène Némirovsky, Ukrainian novelist of Jewish origin who lived most of her life in France but was denied French citizenship; despite her conversion to Roman Catholicism, she was arrested as a Jew and died at Auschwitz in 1942.
1909 – August William Derleth, American writer and anthologist who was the first book publisher of H.P. Lovecraft, and who contributed himself to the Cthulhu Mythos and the Cosmic Horror genre, as well as founding of the groundbreaking supernatural fiction publisher Arkham House. He was also a leading American regional writer of his day, writing fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and nonfiction about Wisconsin, and was prolific in other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction, and biography.
1942 – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Indian writer, translator, professor, literary theorist, and feminist critic who is best known for her essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” and for her translation of and introduction to Jacques Derrida’s De la Grammatologie; she is a founding members of Columbia University’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and is considered one of the most influential postcolonial intellectuals.
1943 – Kent Haruf, American novelist who wrote literary fiction set in the fictional eastern Colorado town of Holt.
1952 – Judith Ortiz Cofer, Puerto Rican poet, novelist, essayist, autobiographer, and children’s writer.
1956 – Judith Butler, American writer, professor, journalist, sociologist, literary critic, philosopher, feminist, and gender theorist.
1959 – Kasi (Karen) Lemmons, American filmmaker, screenwriter, and actress.
1966 – Alain Mabanckou, Congolese-born French novelist, journalist, poet, and professor who is best known for novels and nonfiction depicting the experience of contemporary Africa and the African diaspora in France.
1971 – Gillian Flynn, American screenwriter, writer, journalist, film critic, novelist, television critic
1973 – Rainbow Rowell, American journalist and novelist best known for her young-adult books.
1976 – Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and author of popular-science bestsellers.