March 8 Writer Birthdays

1321 – Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi al-Gharnati, Spanish-born Moorish scholar, writer of poetry, history, travel literature, and law.

1707 – Mary Jones, modest but critically acclaimed English poet and postmistress of Oxford who had many friends who were well known in the literary world; some of her poems were written in private letters and later published without her permission by friends who eventually convinced her to publish more of her work. Influential writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson was one of her friends; he called her The Chantress. Her poetry is witty and gently satirical, poking mild fun at courtly manners without ever being vicious.

1827 – Caroline Woolmer Leakey, English poet and novelist whose work was based on her experiences living in what is now Tasmania; her novel was published under the pen name Oliné Keese.

1859 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish bank secretary and writer of children’s literature, best known for the novel, The Wind in the Willows.

1877 – Šatrijos Ragana, pen name for Marija Peckauskaite, Lithuanian romantic and humanist novelist, short-story writer, and teacher; her pseudonym translates to “Witch of Šatrija.”

1879 – Methilde Lichnowsky (born Mechtilde Christiane Marie Gräfin von und zu Arco-Zinneberg, and later Mechtilde Peto), German novelist, essayist, poet, art collector, and princess.

1888 – Adelaide Mary Champneys, British novelist and poet who had all but one of her books published anonymously; her critically acclaimed novel Miss Tiverton Goes Out has been called “a charming and poignant idyll” and “a kind of masterpiece of oddness,” and her book Memorial to George, By Himself is about a squirrel, written in the animal’s voice with Champneys as “editor.”

1892 – Jatindra Nath Duwara, award-winning Indian poet who wrote in Assamese.

1892 – Juana Fernández Morales de Ibarbourou (also known as Juana de América), four-time Nobel Prize-nominated Uruguayan writer and poet who was one of the most popular poets of Spanish America; her poetry, the earliest of which is often erotic, is notable for her identification with nature.

1895 – Agatha Bacovia (born Agatha Grigorescu), Romanian writer, symbolist poet, and teacher who married poet George Bacovia; she sometimes wrote under the name Agata Grozea.

1895- Mercedes Negrón Muñoz (also known as Clara Lair), Puerto Rican poet and essayist who was considered one of the preeminent feminist and postmodernist Hispanic writers of the 20th century.

1899 – Eric Robert Russell Linklater, Welsh-born Scottish poet, novelist, short-story writer, military history author, and travel book author.

1902 – Lydia Pasternak Slater, Russian poet, translator, and research chemist; she was the daughter of impressionist painter Leonid Pasternak and concert pianist Rozalia Isodorovna Kofman, and the sister of acclaimed poet and novelist Boris Pasternak and architect Alexander Pasternak

1905 – Eva Dickson, Swedish writer, explorer, aircraft pilot, rally driver and adventurer who was the first woman to cross the Sahara desert by car.

1914 – Emma Barrandeguy, award-winning Argentine writer, journalist, novelist, poet, storyteller, playwright, newspaper editor, translator, and librarian.

1920 – Eva Dahlbeck, award-winning Swedish actress who retired from acting to become an author, poet, and translator.

1920 – Douglass Wallop, Tony Award-winning American playwright and author; his novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant was adapted into the musical Damn Yankees.

1925 – Warren Bennis, American writer, scholar, economist, and psychologist who is considered the founder of the contemporary field of leadership studies.

1931 – John McPhee, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer of creative nonfiction who wrote on many subjects but is best known for his work about geology and geography.

1937 – Richard Fariña, American folksinger, songwriter, poet, and novelist, best remembered for his autobiographical novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.

1943- Durnyam Mashurova, Kazakhstani writer, novelist, poet, and lyricist who writes in the Uyghur language and is best known for her controversial memoir, A Life Lived Not in Vain.

1950 – Mayumi Inaba, Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and poet

1960 – Jeffrey Eugenides, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and professor.

1961 – Maja Haderlap, Austrian writer, translator, and dramaturge, best known for her award-winning novel Angel of Oblivion about the Slovene ethnic minority’s transgenerational trauma of being treated as ‘homeland traitors’ by their German-speaking Austrian neighbors.

1967 – Aslı Erdoğan, award-winning Turkish writer, novelist, journalist, columnist, physicist, and human-rights activist

1970 – Hafid Bouazza, Moroccan-Dutch novelist and playwright whose sister is the noted journalist Hassnae Bouazza.

1980 – Devyani Saltzman, Canadian author, curator, and journalist; she is the granddaughter of weatherman Percy Saltzman and the daughter of film directors Paul Saltzman and Deepa Mehta.

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