April 16 Writer Birthdays

1844 – Anatole France, Nobel Prize-winning French poet, journalist, and novelist praised for “his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound sense of sympathy, grace, and true Gallic temperament.”

1871 – John Millington Synge, Irish playwright who wrote Playboy of the Western World.

1890 – Gertrude Chandler Warner, American children’s book author and teacher who is best known as the creator of the Boxcar Children, a series of books about the adventures of a family of orphaned children who live in a railroad boxcar.

1891 – Dorothy P. Lathrop, Newbery Medal-winning American children’s book author and illustrator, best known for her book Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, the memoir of a doll.

1892 – Howard Mumford Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer, journalist, poet, literary critic, editor, intellectual historian, and professor.

1896 – Tristan Tzara, Romanian and French avant-garde poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, critic, editor, and performance artist.

1910 – Berton Roueché, American writer and author who wrote for The New Yorker magazine for almost 50 years; his medical mysteries inspired many story lines of the television show House.

1912 – Edmond Jabès, Egyptian Jewish writer, poet, and playwright who was active in Cairo’s artistic and literary avant-garde culture and was one of the best known literary figures to write in French after World War II, until he was forced to flee to France in 1957 when Egypt expelled most of its Jewish population; his work after exile from Egypt reflects a consciousness deeply troubled by the brutality of the Holocaust.

1912 – Garth Williams, American illustrator of children’s books including many that have become classics, including Charlotte’s Web, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books, and a dozen Little Golden Books.

1916 – Behçet Necatigil, important Turkish author, poet, translator, and teacher who was also known for his radio dramas.

1922 – Kingsley Amis, English writer known for his comic novels; he also wrote a James Bond novel under the pseudonym Robert Markham.

1930 – Carol Bly, award-winning American author of short stories, essays, and nonfiction works about writing; she was also a teacher.

1939 – Diane Middlebrook, award-winning American biographer, poet, and professor who wrote critically acclaimed biographies of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

1945 – Sebastian Smart Barker, British poet whose work has been compared to that of William Blake in its use of the long, ecstatic line and his “ability to write lyric poetry which used simple words to encapsulate profound meanings.” He was the son of Canadian poet Elizabeth Smart and English poet George Barker.

1961 – Margaret Kudirat Ladipo, Nigerian author, researcher, chemist, and academic.

1961 – Izuru Narushima, award-winning Japanese scriptwriter and film director.

1969 – Daphna Hacker, award-winning Israeli writer, jurist, sociologist, academic, and legal scholar.

1970 – Makoto Nakamura (中村 誠), Japanese screenwriter and producer of anime.

1972 – Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American poet, memoirist, and radio host; she is best known for her poetry book Life on Mars and for being named U.S. Poet Laureate.

1980 – Khaya Dlanga, award-winning South African author of In My Arrogant Opinion and To Quote Myself: A Memoir.

1982 – Dareen Tatour, Palestinian Israeli poet, photographer, and social media activist who writes in Arabic.

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