June 15 Writer Birthdays

1727 – Justine Favart, influential French writer, playwright, opera singer, ballet dancer, and actor who was a bold reformer in theater scripts and costumes.

1763 – Marie-Adélaïde Hadot (née Richard) was an early 19th-century French novelist and playwright; she wrote under the pen name Barthélemy-Hadot.

1763 – Kobayashi Issawas, Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest who is regarded as one of Japan’s four haiku masters (The Great Four); he is better known by his pen name Issa, which means Cup of Tea.

1835 – Adah Isaacs Menken, American poet, essayist, and painter who was also the highest-earning actress of her time.

1844 – Charlotte Despard (née French), Anglo-Irish suffragist, socialist, women’s rights advocate, pacifist, Sinn Féin activist, and novelist.

1856 – Edward Channing, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian who is best known for his six-volume History of the United States.

1884 – Isabelle Sandy, French poet, writer, and radio presenter, best known for her regionalism.

1888 – Ramón López Velarde, Mexican poet, writer, and journalist whose work was a reaction against modernism; he was considered Mexico’s national poet.

1898 – Galina Dyuragina, Russian author, diarist, and child psychologist; she is best known for her diaries, which were published under the pen name Alexandra or Alya Rakhmanova and which describe her childhood, studies, and marriage under the Russian revolution, and her life as a refugee in Vienna.

1902 – Erik Erikson, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning German-born American psychologist, author, and professor, known for his theory on the psychological development of human beings; he is most famous for coining the phrase, “identity crisis.”

1911 – Wilbert Awdry, English cleric and children’s author who was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine.

1927 – Ibn-e-Insha (pen name for Sher Muhammad Khan), influential Pakistani Urdu poet, humorist, travel writer, children’s author, and newspaper columnist.

1931 – Ellen Einan, Norwegian author, poet, and illustrator.

1932 – Gene Roberts, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, editor, author, and professor.

1933 – Sarojini Shankar Vaidya, Indian Marathi writer who specialized in the society and culture of India’s Maharashtra state in the 19th and 20th century; her work includes criticism, personal essays, short stories, biographies, and autobiography.

1937 – Lola Lemire Tostevin, Canadian writer, poet, translator, literary critic, novelist, and linguist who is one of Canada’s leading feminist writers and a key figure in Canadian literary analysis; she writes mostly in English, but has also published work in her native French.

1939 – José Gil, Mozambique-born Portuguese author, essayist, philosopher, and professor best known for his book Portugal, Today: Fear of Existing (Portugal, Hoje: O Medo de Existir, Lisboa: Relógio d’Água), which describes what is to be Portuguese and how Portuguese people perceive themselves, other people, and the world. In 2004 he was named one of the 25 Great Thinkers of the contemporary world.

1939 – Brian Jacques, English author and short-story writer, best known for his “Redwall” series of children’s fiction; his last name is pronounced “Jakes.”

1939 – Gadul Singh Lama (popularly known as Sanu Lama), award-winning Indian novelist, short-story writer, travel writer, poet, and translator of Nepali literature.

1941 – Gabriel Careaga Medina, Mexican writer, essayist, sociologist, and professor whose fields of interest were politics and society in Mexico.

1945 – Miriam Defensor Santiago, Filipina journalist, politician, and lawyer.

1945 – Naseer Turabi, Pakistani poet, lyricist, columnist, and educator.

1947 – Adrian Guelke, South African political scientist, author, and professor who specializes in the comparative study of ethnic conflict, particularly the cases of Northern Ireland, his native South Africa, and Kashmir. He currently teaches in Belfast, where he survived an assassination attempt in 1991 when political enemies in the South African government tried to have him killed by falsely reporting him to be an IRA member; he was saved when the gun jammed.

1953 – Ana Castillo, American Chicana novelist, poet, editor, short-story writer, essayist, playwright, and translator who is considered one of the leading voices of the Chicana experience; she is known for her experimental style and passionate sociopolitical commentary.

1956 – Taiwo Odukoya, Nigerian pastor and book author.

1964 – Bunjuro Nakayama, Japanese novelist and manga author.

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