May 11 Writer Birthdays

1763 – János Batsányi, Hungarian poet, writer, translator, and editor.

1771 – José Mamerto Gómez Hermosilla, Spanish writer, journalist, and literary critic.

1817 – Isabella Letitia Woulfe, British writer known for a popular and acclaimed debut novel, Guy Vernon, which included gypsies, scandals and two cases of bigamy; she died before she could complete a second book.

1888 – Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke (nee Gerhardt), German memoir writer whose work focused on her marriage to the expressionist painter August Macke.

1889 – Burhan Felek, Turkish journalist, columnist, sportsperson, writer, teacher, and lawyer.

1894 – Ōmi Komaki, Japanese writer, translator, and university teacher.

1901 – Rose Ausländer, Jewish German poet who spent part of World War II in the Czernowitz ghetto; she wrote in English and German and eventually became an American citizen.

1905 – Mikhail Sholokhov, Nobel Prize-winning Russian Soviet writer, screenwriter, poet, politician, journalist, and novelist; he is known for writing about the lives of Cossacks during the Russian Revolution, the civil war and the period of collectivization, primarily in his most famous novel, And Quiet Flows the Don.

1916 – Camilo José Cela, Nobel Prize-winning Spanish novelist, renowned for “rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man’s vulnerability.”

1918 – Sheila Burnford, British-Canadian novelist who was best known for her book The Incredible Journey, which was not originally intended as a children’s book, but was later adapted into the popular animated Disney move, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

1918 – Richard Feynman, American theoretical physicist, lecturer, and semi-autobiographical writer.

1920 – Fatma Nezihe Araz, bestselling Turkish author, poet, playwright, biographer, screenwriter, and journalist.

1925 – Rubem Fonseca, Brazilian novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and scriptwriter.

1926 – Mark Sergeev, prolific Ukrainian-born Russian poet and children’s writer.

1927 – Gene Savoy, American explorer and author who is especially associated with discoveries in Peru.

1927 – Zilpha Keatley Snyder, three-time Newbery Honor-winning American children’s author.

1930 – Kamau Brathwaite (born Lawson Edward Brathwaite), Barbadian poet, historian, and essayist.

1934 – Ofelia Giudicissi Curci, Italian poet, writer, and archeologist

1934 – Wakako Hironaka, Japanese writer, translator, and politician; she served four terms in the Japanese House of Councillors.

1942 – Clive Algar, South African novelist and short-story writer.

1942 – Rachel Billington, British author of works for both adults and children.

1949 – Peter Sís, Czech-born American children’s author and illustrator.

1952 – Mike Lupica, American sports columnist, children’s author, and mystery writer whose stories tend to revolve around sports.

1952 – Reza de Wet, award-winning South African dramatist who is considered one of South Africa’s greatest playwrights; in addition to chipping away at the societal mores of Apartheid and racism, stylistically, her stories masterfully weaved Biblical myths, tribal and Afrikaner folktales, magical realism, and stream-of-consciousness storytelling in a poignant and original way, to completely reinvent the psychological-thriller format.

1953 – David Garrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, author, and biographer.

1955 – Fang Fang (pen name of Wang Fang), award-winning Chinese novelist and poet.

1965 – Marie Koizumi, Japanese novelist and manga writer.

1965 – Dante Lam, Hong Kong Chinese screenwriter, film director, and actor.

1979 – Mohammad Tolouei, Iranian poet, writer, screenwriter, playwright, translator, and novelist.

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