1570 – Fulgenzio Micanzio, Lombardic (present-day Italian) writer, biographer, friar, and theologian who sometimes used the pseudonym Iteneu Ichanom Itnegluf (derived from Fulgenti Monachi Veneti, or “Fulgentius the Monk of Venice”); he was also a supporter of Galileo and helped him get his works into print.
1800 – Rezā Qoli Khān Hedāyat, Persian writer, poet, Minister of Education, and educator.
1814 – Charles Reade, English dramatist and novelist who was popular, though not critically acclaimed, in his own time but who fell out of fashion by the turn of the century; George Orwell said of him, “it is unusual to meet anyone who has voluntarily read him.”
1859 – Mary Cholmondeley, English novelist whose bestseller, Red Pottage, which satirized religious hypocrisy and the narrowness of country life, was adapted as a silent film.
1867 – Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska, Norwegian writer, famous for her liaisons with various prominent artists, and for the dramatic circumstances of her death; she was the model for some of Edvard Munch’s paintings and had relationships with Munch and briefly with Swedish playwright and painter August Strindberg. She was shot in a hotel room in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1901, three days before her thirty-fourth birthday
1873 – José Augusto Trinidad Martínez Ruiz (better known by his pseudonym Azorín), Spanish novelist, essayist, and literary critic; in his work, he used a simple, compact style and is remembered especially for his impressionistic descriptions of Castilian towns and landscape.
1874 – Clara Clemens, American author, biographer, and opera singer who was the daughter of Mark Twain and who wrote his biography.
1885 – Der Ling, Chinese historian, writer, memoirist, politician, princess, lady-in-waiting, and Hanjun bannerwoman who was educated in the West and studied dance in Paris with Isadora Duncan; her memoir, Two Years in the Forbidden City, provides unique insights into life at the Manchu court.
1895 – Saeed Nafisi (also Naficy), prolific Iranian scholar, fiction writer, researcher, and poet who wrote in Persian.
1898 – Medardo Ángel Silva Deleg, Ecuadorian poet who was a member of the Generación decapitada or “Decapitated Generation,” a group of four young Ecuadorian poets in the first decades of the 20th century; he was greatly influenced by the modernist movement and by 19th-century French romantic poetry.
1903 – Yukie Chiri (知里 幸恵), Japanese writer, transcriber, and translator of Yukar (Ainu epic tales); she devoted her career to preserving Ainu folklore and traditions.
1903 – Marguerite Yourcenar, award-winning Brussels-born French novelist and essayist who was the first woman elected to the Académie Française.
1904 – Alice Phillipot (Alice Rahon), French/Mexican poet and artist whose work contributed to the beginning of abstract expression in Mexico; she began as a surrealist poet in Europe and began painting in Mexico.
1910 – María Luisa Bombal Anthes, acclaimed Chilean author whose works incorporated themes of eroticism, surrealism and feminism.
1915 – Ruth Stone, National Book Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-finalist American poet, author, and teacher whose work has been described as, “often reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s double-edged verse, only in a more conversational style.” She was also Poet Laureate of Vermont.
1918 – Lillian Ross, American journalist and author who was a staff writer at The New Yorker; her novelistic reporting and writing style, especially shown in early stories about Ernest Hemingway and John Huston, were a primary influence on what would later be called “literary journalism” or “new journalism.”
1920 – Gwen Harwood (née Gwendoline Nessie Foster), prolific, award-winning Australian writer, poet, and librettist who is regarded as one of Australia’s finest poets; she has also written under a variety of pseudonyms, including Walter Lehmann, W.W. Hagendoor (an anagram of her name), Francis Geyer, Timothy (T.F.) Kline, Miriam Stone, and Alan Carvosso. Her writing touches on themes including motherhood and the limitations placed on women, the Tasmanian landscape and Aboriginal dispossession of that landscape, and music.
1921 – Ivan Francis Southall, Australian writer best known for young-adult fiction; he also wrote history, biography, other nonfiction, and adult books.
1927 – George Lamming, Barbadian novelist, essayist, and poet who is the author of In The Castle Of My Skin.
1928 – Kate Wilhelm, Hugo Award-winning American writer, literary critic, novelist, mystery writer, and science-fiction writer; she is also known for co-founding the Clarion Writers’ Workshop.
1933 – Joan Rivers, stage name of Joan Molinsky, American comedian, writer, actress, and television host.
1937 – Gillian Clarke, Welsh poet, playwright, editor, educator, broadcaster, lecturer, and translator who co-founded a writers’ center in North Wales.
1942 – Andrew Weil, American celebrity doctor, teacher, and writer on holistic health, who advocates for alternative medicine.
1947 – Sara Paretsky, American author of detective fiction who is best known for creating the character V.I. Warshawski.
1949 – Sherryl Jordan, award-winning New Zealand writer for children and young adults; she specializes in fantasy and historical fiction and is best known for her books The Juniper Game and The Raging Quiet.
1951 – Alison Weir, British historian, writer, and biographer who has written nonfiction and historical fiction about British royalty.
1954 – Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning American scholar, writer, book reviewer, and biographer who specializes in uncovering and exploring the lives of women who have been forgotten by traditional historians and biographers.
1957 – Scott Adams, American cartoonist and writer who created the Dilbert comic strip.
1959 – Victoria Hislop (née Hamson), bestselling British and Greek novelist and short-story writer who was granted honorary Greek citizenship for promoting modern Greek history and culture.
1963 – Karen Kingsbury, American nonfiction author and writer of bestselling Christian-themed novels.
1965 – Karin Alvtegen, bestselling Swedish author of crime fiction and psychological thrillers.
1968 – Megumu Sagisawa, pen name of award-winning Japanese novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and translator Megumi Matsuo; her fiction focused on such topics as complex interpersonal relationships and the anxieties of the youth.
1973 – Shaparak “Shappi” Khorsandi, Iranian-born comedian, humor writer, and novelist; she is the daughter of the Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi, but her family left Iran when she was a child, following the Islamic Revolution. She is now based in the U.K.
1983 – Nino Haratischwili, award-winning Georgian novelist, playwright, and theater director, now based in Germany and writing in German.