July 5 Writer Birthdays

1803 – George Henry Borrow, English writer of novels and travel books based on his personal experiences in Europe; during his travels, he had developed a close affinity with the Romani people of Europe, and he featured them prominently in his work.

1857 – Clara Zetkin, German Marxist writer, theorist, communist activist, and advocate for women’s rights who was an organizer of the first International Women’s Day.

1879 – Wanda Aleksandra Landowska, Polish and French harpsichordist and pianist whose writings, teaching, performances, and recordings played a large role in reviving the popularity of the harpsichord in the early 20th century; she was also the first person to record Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord.

1885 – Rose Lindsay (née Rosa Soady), Australian author, printmaker, and artist’s model.

1888 – Louise Freeland Jenkins, American astronomer, researcher, writer, and educator who compiled a catalogue of stars within 10 parsecs of the sun, as well as editing the 3rd edition of the Yale Bright Star Catalogue and co-editing the Astronomical Journal; the crater Jenkins on the Moon is named after her.

1889 – Jean Cocteau, French poet, novelist, and playwright, best known for his films; Les Enfant terribles is his most famous novel.

1894 – Margarita Nelken, Spanish writer, art critic, and politician who was a well-known intellectual and a central figure in the earliest Spanish women’s movement of the 1930s.

1899 – Anna Arnold Hedgeman, African-American writer, civil rights leader, politician, and educator who was executive director of Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign; she was a major advocate for minorities and the poor in New York City.

1901 – Kaijin Akashi (pen name of Shotaro Noda), Japanese poet whose writing was inspired by his diagnosis of leprosy and confinement to a leper colony.

1901 – Len Lye, New Zealand writer, poet, artist, film maker, and film producer, best known for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture.

1920 – Hwang Hye-seong, award-winning Korean food writer, professor, and researcher of Korean royal court cuisine.

1921 – Ioannis (Nanos) Valaoritis, bestselling Greek poet, novelist, and playwright.

1923 – Naomi Long Madgett, African-American poet, educator, and publisher who was a longtime Detroit poet laureate and played a key role in introducing African American literature into school classrooms; she also wrote under the names Naomi Cornelia Long and Naomi Long Witherspoon.

1927 – Malek Haddad, Algerian poet and writer who wrote in French.

1933 – Carmen Alardín, award-winning Mexican poet and magazine editor.

1935 – John Gilmore, American author, journalist, and actor, best known for his true-crime work and detective mysteries. His big break came with a book about the unsolved Black Dahlia murders.

1935 – John Schoenherr, American illustrator whose collaboration with Jane Yolen on the book Owl Moon won a Caldecott Medal.

1941 – Barbara Frischmuth, Austrian writer, screenwriter, poet, translator, children’s writer, and science-fiction author.

1946 – Balakumaran, prolific Indian Tamil novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter.

1946 – Daniela Hodrová, Czech writer, editor, and academic whose novels typically incorporate topics from her work as a literary scholar.

1946 – John J. Nance, American pilot and author of thrillers, often involving flying and airplanes.

1947 – Sony Lab’ou Tansi (born Marcel Ntsoni), Congolese novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and poet.

1948 – Liliana Abud, Mexican screenwriter, writer, and actress.

1948 – Nancy Springer, prolific, award-winning American author of fantasy, young-adult literature, mystery, and science fiction.

1949 – Jill Murphy, British writer and illustrator of children’s books, best known for the Worst Witch novels and the “Large Family” picture books; she has been called “one of the most engaging writers and illustrators for children in the land.”

1952 – Moisés Naím, Venezuelan columnist and author who has been ranked among the top 100 influential global thought leaders.

1955 – Mia Couto (born António Emílio Leite Couto), award-winning Mozambican novelist, short-story writer, journalist, poet, and environmental activist; his novel Terra sonâmbula (Sleepwalking Land), about the Mozambican Civil War, is considered one of the best 20th-century African novels.

1957 – Jody Lynn Nye, American fantasy and science-fiction novelist and short-story writer, nonfiction writer, game writer, and screenwriter.

1958 – Veronica Guerin, Irish investigative journalist

1958 – Bill Watterson, American cartoonist best known as the author of Calvin & Hobbes.

1964 – Bärbel Mohr, bestselling German children’s author, short-story writer, and author of self-help books.

1964 – Ronald D. Moore, American screenwriter, actor, television director, television producer, and blogger; some of his best known programs include Star Trek, the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and Outlander.

1969 – Armin Kõomägi, Estonian novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter.

1970 – Tanja Börzel, German writer, author, and professor, and political scientist whose work focuses on the fields of European integration, governance, and diffusion.

1970 – Sara Margrethe Oskal, Norwegian writer, poet, film director, and actress.

1971 – Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Pakistani writer, columnist, television presenter, and politician.

1972 – Scarlett Thomas, British novelist, children’s author, and professor who writes contemporary postmodern fiction.

1977 – Ndalu de Almeida (pen name Ondjaki), Angolan poet, children’s author, short-story writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter.

1977 – Clare Azzopardi, Maltese author who writes books, short stories, plays, and poetry for both adults and younger readers; she is also a professor and translator.

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