May 1 Writer Birthdays

1672 – Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician.

1751 – Judith Sargent Murray, American essay writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, and influential advocate for women’s rights.

1848 – James Ford Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning American industrialist, historian, and author whose work includes a seven-volume history of the United States.

1855 – Mary Mackay (also known by her pseudonym Marie Corelli), popular English novelist and poet whose novels sold more than those of her contemporaries Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wills, and Rudyard Kipling combined.

1856 – K. Langloh Parker (pen name of Catherine Eliza Somerville Stow), Australian writer who is best known for recording the stories of the Ualarai Aboriginal people.

1856 – Raphaël Rafiringa (born Firinga), Malagasy writer and missionary who has been beatified by the Roman Catholic church.

1864 – Anna Bøe, Norwegian journalist who cofounder the women’s magazine Urd and served as its editor for 37 years.

1867 – Mary Rice Phelps, African-American teacher and writer who began her teaching career at 13 years old.

1881 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French idealist philosopher, writer, Jesuit priest, paleontologist, and geologist.

1888 – Millicent Sylvia Armstrong, Australian playwright and farmer who wrote primarily about country life in early 20th-century Australia.

1900 – Ignazio Silone (pen name for Secondino Tranquilli), Italian novelist, essayist, and political activist.

1901 – Sterling A. Brown, African-American poet, folklorist, and critic.

1901 – Antal Szerb, Hungarian writer, poet, translator, university teacher, literary critic, and literary historian who is considered to be one of the major Hungarian writers of the 20th century.

1904 – M.P. Paul (Menacherry Poulose Paul) Indian Malayalam academic, educationist, scholar, and literary critic who was a key literary critic of Malayalam literature.

1905 – Maria José Dupré (also known as Sra. Leandro Dupré), award-winning novelist and short-story writers who was one of the most popular and prolific Brazilian writers of the 1940s and 1950s; her work has been adapted multiple times for telenovelas.

1905 – Edna May Hull van Vogt, Canadian author and science-fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull; she was married to science-fiction writer A.E. van Vogt.

1908 – Niccolo Tucci, Swiss and Italian author of autobiographical fiction.

1912 – Tugelbay Sydykbekov, award-winning Kyrgyzstani writer, poet, politician, and artist who was known as the “patriarch of Kyrgyz literature.”

1913 – Victor Stafford Reid, influential Jamaican author who is credited with writing the first West Indies novel to be written throughout in a dialect; his work is an attempt to break away from Victorianism and to embrace the Jamaican independence movement.

1915 – Khin Myo Chit (born Khin Mya), award-winning Burmese author, short-story writer, editor, poet, travel writer, autobiographer, and journalist.

1917 – Elizabeth Marie Pope, Newbery Honor-winning American author and young-adult writer who wrote both fiction and nonfiction, most of it based in the Elizabethan age.

1923 – Joseph Heller, American novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and playwright whose satirical novel Catch-22 is a classic of war fiction; its title has become synonymous with an absurd or contradictory choice.

1927 – Morio Kita, pen name of Sokichi Saito, Japanese novelist, essayist, screenwriter, children’s writer, and psychiatrist.

1927 – Akira Yoshimura, Japanese writer, screenwriter, and novelist.

1929 – Tamar Bornstein-Lazar, Israeli children’s writer who is best known for her book series featuring the monkeys Kofiko and Chipopo.

1931 – Jamshid Giunashvili, award-winning Iranian-born Georgian writer, academic, linguist, Iranologist, researcher, author, and diplomat who served as the first ambassador of Georgia to Iran.

1931 – Elsie Gunborg Johansson, Swedish writer and children’s author who is sometimes considered a proletarian writer.

1939 – María Victoria Moreno, Spanish writer and teacher who was a pioneer of literature for children and young people in Galician.

1940 – Bobbie Ann Mason, American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and literary critic whose memoir was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

1945 – Yoko Aki, Japanese novelist, essayist, lyricist, songwriter, and actress.

1947 – Marilar Aleixandre, Spanish Galician writer, translator, children’s author, and biologist.

1948 – Terry Goodkind, American writer known for the epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth as well as the contemporary suspense novel The Law of Nines.

1949 – Vishakha N. Desai, Indian-born American scholar of Asian studies whose work focuses on art, culture, policy, and women’s rights.

1950 – Werewere Liking, award-winning Cameroon-born writer, novelist, playwright, and performer based in Côte d’Ivoire; she established the Ki-Yi Mbock theatre troupe and founded the Ki-Yi village for the artistic education of young people.

1951 – Omar Abdul-Kafi, Egyptian islamic scholar, writer, and biologist.

1951 – Kerttu Maarit Kirsti Vuolab, Finnish Sámi author, illustrator, translator and songwriter, who has made it her life mission to ensure that the Sámi oral tradition, language, and culture are passed on to future generations of Sámi.

1956 – Aravind Malagatti, prominent, award-winning Indian Dalit poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, and folklorist who writes in Kannada.

1958 – Jelka Godec Schmidt, Slovenian writer, illustrator, and children’s author.

1959 – Yasmina Reza, French screenwriter, playwright, novelist, translator, linguist, and actress; many of her brief, satiric plays reflect on contemporary middle-class issues.

1962 – Yoon Dae-nyeong, award-winning South Korean novelist, short-story writer, and poet who captures the ethos and sensibilities of Korean people during the 1990s.

1963 – Laura Mary Catherine Beatty (née Keen), award-winning British writer, novelist, and biographer.

1970 – Cylin Busby, American author, journalist, screenwriter, memoirist, and children’s writer.

1970 – Priscilla Gilman, American writer, professor, and advocate for autistic people; she has written about about literature, parenting, education, and autism and is best known for her book, The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy, which was inspired by her autistic son Benjamin.

1973 – Susane Colasanti, bestselling American author of realistic, contemporary teen novels.

1989 – Khrystyna Koslovska, Ukrainian writer, poet, and journalist.

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