1799 – Mary Howitt, English poet, author, linguist, and translator best known for writing the poem The Spider and the Fly and for translating the tales of Hans Christian Andersen.
1836 – Isabella Beeton, influential English journalist, bestselling author, publisher, cookbook writer, magazine writer, translator, and businessperson whose name is most associated today with her bestselling book, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management; the term “Mrs. Beeton” has become a generic name for domestic authority.
1860 – William Cabell Bruce, American Senator who wrote books on historical topics, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Benjamin Franklin.
1894 – Yoshiki Hayama, Japanese novelist of proletarian literature; he spent time in jail due to his involvement with the labor movement, but later turned away from Marxism and became an enthusiastic supporter of Japanese imperialism.
1920 – Françoise d’Eaubonne, French feminist writer, biographer, and science-fiction author who coined the term “ecofeminism.”
1922 – Jack Kerouac, American/French-Canadian novelist and poet who was one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation.
1925 – Harry Harrison, American science-fiction author whose novel Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the film Soylent Green.
1928 – Edward Albee, influential American playwright, screenwriter, author, university teacher, and theater director who won three Pulitzer Prizes and two Tony Awards; his works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd, and explore the psychology of maturing, marriage, and sexual relationships.
1936 – Virginia Hamilton, Newbery Award-winning African-American children’s book author, recognized for her contributions to multicultural literature for youth.
1948 – Sandra Brown, American bestselling author of romance and thrillers.
1952 – Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet, songwriter, and novelist.
1953 – Carl Hiaasen, American journalist and author of humorous crime fiction and young-adult novels; much of his fiction takes place in Florida and explores environmental themes and political corruption.
1955 – Gaspard Musabyimana, Rwandan nonfiction writer who currently lives in Belgium but whose work focuses on the history and culture of his native country.
1956 – Ruth Ozeki, Canadian-American novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.
1956 – Pia Pera, Italian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator, and professor, best known for her translations of Russian authors including Pushkin and Nabokov; later in her career, she specialized in writing novels connected to her passion for gardening.
1958 – Kathrin Schmidt, German writer, poet, science-fiction author, editor, journalist, social scientist, and psychotherapist.
1960 – Majda Koren, award-winning Slovenian writer, children’s author, web editor, and teacher.
1970 – Dave Eggers, American novelist, memoirist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, children’s author, editor, publisher, and philanthropist, best known for his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; Utne Reader has named him one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World.”
1973 – Léonora Miano, award-winning Cameroonian novelist and anthologist.
1984 – Elchin Safarli, Azerbaijani novelist and journalist who writes in Russian.
1991 – Kai Cheng Thom, award-winning Canadian novelist, poet, children’s author, memoirist, essayist, and social worker.