April 20 Writer Birthdays

0660 – Empress Genmei (元明天皇, Genmei-tennō, also known as Empress Genmyō), poet who was the 43rd monarch of Japan and the fourth of eight women to take on the role of empress in her own right.

1826 – Dinah Craik (born Dinah Maria Mulock, and often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik), English writer, poet, children’s writer, novelist, and essayist, best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the ideals of English middle-class life.

1851 – Eduardo Acevedo Díaz, Uruguayan writer, politician, diplomat, and journalist.

1901 – Julian Michael Leiris, French surrealist writer, anthropologist, and autobiographer.

1914 – K.M. George (Karimpumannil Mathai George), Indian writer, literary critic, children’s writer, and educator.

1918 – Edward L. Beach Jr., American Navy submarine officer and bestselling author of novels and nonfiction books on naval history; he is best known for his novel Run Silent, Run Deep.

1939 – Peter S. Beagle, American fantasy novelist and screenwriter, whose best known work is The Last Unicorn, which he adapted into an animated film and which Locus subscribers voted the fifth all-time best fantasy novel. He has won various awards including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and was named a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science-Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

1940 – Erna Brodber, Jamaican novelist, cultural historian, and social activist.

1942 – Margaret Dianne Clark, Australian novelist and children’s author, who used M.D. Clark and Lee Striker as pseudonyms; some of her most famous works are the Aussie Angels series and the young-adult novel Fat Chance.

1942 – Khadijah Hashim, award-winning Malaysian poet, novelist, short-story writer, journalist, teacher, radio scriptwriter, and children’s writer; she is best known for her novels, many of which have been made into movies and television programs.

1943 – Ian Watson, Spain-based British science-fiction writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, best known for novels set in the Warhammer gaming universe.

1944 – Philip Margolin, bestselling American author of legal thrillers.

1945 – Mary Lassiter Hoffman, bestselling British writer, children’s book author, and critic who wrote the teen fiction series “Stravaganza.”

1953 – Robert Crais, American screenwriter and author of detective fiction, notably the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series.

1953 – Sebastien Faulks, British novelist, journalist, and broadcaster known for historical novels set in France, as well as a recent James Bond novel.

1964 – Dea Loher, award-winning German playwright and author who is considered one of the most important German playwrights of her generation.

1984 – Asia Alfasi, Libyan and British Manga-influenced comic writer and artist whose works synthesize Islamic, Libyan, British, and Japanese influences; she first gained wide recognition when she became the first female to participate in and win the Hi8us Midlands Stripsearch competition, with a portfolio based on her character Monir.

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