June 18 Writer Birthdays

1812 – Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov, Russian novelist and travel writer whose greatest work is Oblomov, a satire on Old World Russia.

1827 – Alexander Balloch Grosart, British author and editor.

1838 – Auberon Herbert, English writer, theorist, and philosopher.

1877 – Abraham Yahuda, Jewish Palestinian writer, linguist, and teacher who translated and interpreted many ancient Arabic documents, including works of pre-Islamic poetry and medieval Judeo-Arabic texts. His book The Accuracy of the Bible sparked a significant amount of international discussion.

1886 – Tsuruko Haraguchi, Japanese psychologist and translator who was the first Japanese woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy.

1896 – Philip Barry, American dramatist who wrote the play The Philadelphia Story, which was adapted into the movie starring Katharine Hepburn.

1913 – Sylvia Porter, American writer, columnist, economist, and financial expert who wrote a wildly popular financial advice column; she was considered a leading force in making it possible for women to enter the field of business and financial journalism.

1919 – Shmuel Safrai, Polish-born Israeli writer, historian, and professor of Jewish history.

1923 – Elizabeth Weber (pen-name of Elizabeth Marais, née Elizabeth Olivier), South African writer and translator.

1937 – Gail Godwin, bestselling American novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, and librettist; many of her books are realistic fiction novels that follow a character’s psychological and intellectual development, often based on themes taken from Godwin’s own life. Three of her books were finalists for the National Book Award.

1941 – Úrsula Heinze, German and Spanish writer, poet, children’s author, short-story writer, translator, and broadcaster.

1946 – Russell Ash, British author of art, humor, and reference titles such as “The Top 10 of Everything” series.

1946 – Lidia Jorge, Portuguese novelist of the Post Revolution Generation.

1949 – Chris Van Allsburg, American author and illustrator of children’s books; he is a two-time Caldecott Medal winner for The Polar Express and Jumanji.

1951 – Vivian Vande Velde, award-winning American author of children’s and young-adult fiction.

1957 – Richard Powers, National Book Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-finalist American novelist of literary fiction dealing with science and technology.

1961 – Angela Johnson, American poet and children’s book author; her stories explore the African-American experience.

1963 – Lidia Yuknavitch, American writer, teacher, and editor who is the author of the memoir The Chronology of Water and the novels The Small Backs of Children and Dora: A Headcase.

1964 – Ogunbayo Ayanlola Ohu (known as Bayo Ohu), Nigerian journalist and editor who was shot and killed at his home in Lagos in 2009; at the time the killing was deemed part of a robbery, but it is now believed to have been related to his job covering Nigerian politics.

1967 – Kim Dae-seung, South Korean screenwriter and film director.

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