1198 – Hojo Shigetoki, Japanese writer, politician, and samurai whose writings influenced later samurai philosophy.
1558 – Robert Greene, English dramatist, pamphleteer, and critic now best known for a pamphlet attributed to him, Greene’s Groats-Worth of Witte, Bought with a Million of Repentance, widely believed to contain an attack on William Shakespeare.
1561 – Luis de Góngora y Argote, Spanish Baroque lyric poet who is considered one of the most prominent Spanish poets of all time; his style is characterized by what was called culteranismo, a movement aimed at using as many words as possible to convey little meaning or to conceal meaning.
1746 – Frederika Charlotte Riedesel, German writer who was married to General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel of Brunswick; when she accompanied him during the Saratoga Campaign in the American Revolutionary War, she kept a journal of the campaign which provides an important record of the campaign.
1754 – Thomas Bowdler, English physician best known for publishing expurgated editions of contemporary works, including Shakespeare; the term bowdlerize has come to be associated with censorship of literature.
1760 – François-Benoît Hoffman, French playwright, poet, writer, journalist, critic, and librettist.
1819 – Susan Bogert Warner (pen name Elizabeth Wetherell), prolific and popular novelist who was the first American author to sell a million copies of one book (The Wide, Wide World).
1840 – Alexandra Nikitichna Annenskaya (née Tkachyova), Russian translator and writer who wrote feminist novels for young girls.
1840 – Marie Régnier (also known by her birth name Marie de Heredia or her pen names Gérard d’Houville and Daniel Darc), French writer, novelist, and poet who was a friend of novelist Gustave Flaubert and exchanged many letters with him.
1861 – Gertrude Minnie Robins, prolific English novelist and short-story writer who wrote crime fiction, mystery, and gothic literature.
1862 – Liz Lehmann, British operatic soprano, composer, professor, autobiographer, and author of a textbook on singing.
1874 – Jeanne de Flandreysy, French writer, poet, translator, journalist, and literary critic; she was the author of many books about Provence, and she promoted Franco-Italian cultural exchanges.
1894 – Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, Ecuadorian writer, poet, literary critic, and university professor.
1895 – Dorothy Ierne Wilde (known as Dolly Wilde), British socialite, writer, translator, and famous wit; she was the niece of poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.
1899 – E.B. White (Elwyn Brooks White), American author and essayist who co-wrote the popular writing resource The Elements of Style with William Strunck, Jr.; he also wrote the classic children’s novels Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
1902 – Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, Brazilian writer, journalist, historian, sociologist, and literary critic.
1904 – Daphne Winifred Louise Fielding (née Vivian, formerly Thynne), popular British author and poet who was part of the world of the “Bright Young Things” of the 1920s and produced a series of popular books about high society.
1910 – Johanna Schouten-Elsenhout, Surinamese poet and community leader who fought for acknowledgement of Sranan and Afro-Surinamese culture.
1913 – Cordwainer Smith (pen name of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger), influential American novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, and professor who was best known for his science-fiction novels, though he also wrote other kinds of fiction and poetry under other pseudonyms; he was also a U.S. Army officer, a noted East Asia scholar, and an expert in psychological warfare.
1920 – Suzanne Prou, award-winning French novelist and children’s writer.
1921 – Gretel Beer (born Margaret Weidenfeld), Austrian-born English writer, journalist, and author of cooking books and travel reports.
1926 – Ana Rosa Núñez, Cuban writer, poet, translator, and librarian.
1926 – Frederick Buechner, American writer and theologian who wrote in many genres; his semi-fictionalized biography of the medieval Saint Godric of Finchale was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
1928 – Jane Mary Gardam, award-winning English writer, literary critic, radio scriptwriter, novelist, children’s author, and nonfiction author.
1930 – Harold Bloom, American nonfiction author, editor, literary critic, novelist, and professor who has been called, “probably the most famous literary critic in the English-speaking world.
1935- Titie Said (pen name of Sitti Raya Kusumowardani); Indonesian writer, author, editor, and journalist; several of her books have been made into films.
1936 – Al Mahmud (full name Mir Abdus Shukur), Bangladeshi poet, novelist, and short-story writer; he is considered one of the greatest Bengali poets of the 20th century.
1937 – Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai (白先勇), Chinese novelist, essayist, and short-story writer; his most famous work of fiction, Taipei People, is a seminal work of modernism that mixes a literary Chinese approach with experimental modernist techniques.
1937 – Adin Steinsaltz, writer, Rabbi, translator, teacher, philosopher, and social critic who has been hailed by Time magazine as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar” and who has devoted his life to making the Talmud accessible to all Jews.
1938 – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, historian, women’s history expert, and professor whose work has been described as a tribute to “the silent work of ordinary people”—an approach that, in her words, aims to “show the interconnection between public events and private experience.” She is also the originator of the often-quoted line, “well-behaved women seldom make history.”
1944 – Patricia Polacco, prolific, award-winning American author and illustrator of children’s books, many of which books reflect her Russian and Ukrainian heritage.
1947 – Madhan (real name Maadapoosi Krishnaswamy Govinda IyengarIyengar), Indian Tamil cartoonist, journalist, writer, and film critic.
1950 – Rifat Rastoder, Montenegrin politician, writer, and journalist who is the deputy speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro and the Vice-President of the Social Democratic Party of Montenegro.
1952 – Robert McCammon, American author of horror novels.
1956 – Amitav Ghosh, award-winning Indian novelist, nonfiction author, and professor who is best known for his English-language writing; his ambitious novels use complex narrative strategies to probe the nature of national and personal identity.
1958 – Dulce María González, award-winning Mexican novelist, poet, short-story writer, literary critic, and educator.
1967 – Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize-winning London-born Indian-American novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction writer, screenwriter, and translator who is best known for her short-story collection, The Interpreter of Maladies. She writes in both English and Italian.
1967 – Oka Rusmini (full name Ida Ayu Oka Rusmini), award-winning Indonesian poet and novelist.
1971 – Shoji Gatoh, Japanese author and anime screenwriter who is best known for the creation of the Full Metal Panic! franchise, which includes light novels, manga, and anime.
1980 – Jenny Hval, Norwegian novelist, songwriter, composer, and singer.
1980 – Kevin Powers, American author whose novel The Yellow Birds drew on his experiences in the Iraq War.
1981 – Xin Xiaojuan (pen name Bu Feiyan), Chinese writer of wuxia (martial arts) novels, known for her pioneering feminist Wuxia novels.
1984 – Marie Lu (born Xiwei Lu), Chinese-born American author of young-adult novels, including the Legend trilogy of books set in a dystopian and militarized future.