1830 – Sardar Ghulam Muhammad Khan Tarzi, Afghanistani Pashtun poet, scholar, soldier, politician, and military leader.
1864 – Juhan Liiv, Estonian writer, teacher, and journalist who was also one of Estonia’s greatest poets.
1877 – Alice B. Toklas, American-born member of the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde literary scene and lifelong companion of Gertrude Stein; Stein wrote the mock-memoir The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which became her bestselling book, and thirty years later Toklas wrote her own autobiography, What Is Remembered, which ends abruptly with the death of Stein. She also wrote articles and several cookbooks.
1883 – Jaroslav Hašek, Czech novelist, humorist, satirist, journalist, and bohemian; his best known work, the World War I novel The Fate of the Good Soldier Švejk — an unfinished collection of farcical incidents about a soldier, which satirizes the ineptitude of authority figures — has been translated into 60 languages, making it the most translated novel in Czech literature.
1888 – John Crowe Ransom, National Book Award-winning American poet, educator, scholar, literary critic, essayist, and editor who is considered a founder of the New Criticism school of literary criticism
1910 – Sri Sri, Indian poet, author, and lyricist in the Telugu language.
1911 – Clara Kathleen “Kay” Smith, award-winnning Canadian poet who published her first poem at the age of 14.
1919 – Åke Hodell, Swedish author, poet, book publisher, graphic artist, painter, composer, and fighter pilot.
1920 – Gerda Lerner, Austrian-born American women’s history scholar, writer, poet, screenwriter, playwright, professor, historian, and autobiographer who was one of the founders of the academic field of women’s history.
1926 – Alda Neves da Graça do Espírito Santo, poet, writer, and politician from São Tomé and Príncipe (an African island nation close to the equator); she wrote in Portuguese.
1933 – Karla Erbová (born Fremrová, but she also uses the pseudonym K. Papežová), Czech poet, prose writer, and journalist; many of her writings are historical or mythological in subject matter, often including works on Ancient Greece.
1938 – Larry Niven, American science-fiction and fantasy novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter, best known for his Ringworld novels, and — with Jerry Pournelle — The Mote in God’s Eye and Lucifer’s Hammer; his work features big science concepts, theoretical physics, and elements of detective fiction and adventure stories. He has been named a Damon Knight Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
1943 – Ly Seppel, Estonian writer, poet, author, and translator.
1945 – Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of novels, nonfiction, poetry, essays, prose, memoir, and literary criticism; she is best known for her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
1949 – Nadia Wheatley, Australian writer of novels, children’s books, picture books, biography, and history.
1955 – Jacqueline Winspear, English author of mystery novels.
1964 – Alexandra Gennadievna Petrova, award-winning Russian poet and writer.
1961 – Eva Illouz, Moroccan-born Israeli author, sociologist, and professor.
1971 – John Boyne, Irish author of novels for both adults and younger readers.
1973 – Naomi Novik, Nebula Award-winning American science-fiction and fantasy writer best known for her Temeraire series, an alternate history of the Napoleonic Wars in which dragons are used for aerial combat.
1976 – Aatish Kapadia, Indian television writer, producer, lyricist, and actor.