July 21 Writer Birthdays

1522 – Lucrezia Gonzaga di Gazzuolo, Italian author and scholar; at the age of 14 she married Paolo Manfrone, and she is sometimes known as Lucrezia Gonzaga Manfrona.

1751 – Luigi Romanelli, Italian author, poet, professor, and opera librettist.

1811 – Dimitrios Dimitriou (sometimes spelled Dimitrija Demeter or Dimitrije Demeter), Greek Croatian poet, dramatist, short-story writer, literary critic, pamphlet writer, and political activist who played a key role in the nationalist movement for the awakening of the Croatian nation (then under Austro-Hungarian rule).

1822 – Mary Elizabeth Herbert (Baroness Herbert of Lea; née Ashe à Court-Repington, but known simply as Elizabeth Herbert and nicknamed “Lady Lightning” for her quickness in bringing about change), influential English Roman Catholic author, biographer, travel writer, short-story writer, translator, philanthropist, and ally of Florence Nightingale.

1841 – Minna Kleeberg, German-born poet and writer who was first published at the age of 14 and emigrated to the United States as a young woman; her work shows an interest in public and patriotic questions (the Franco-Prussian War, the Fifteenth Amendment, women’s rights, and democracy) as well as inspiration from her Jewish background and from everyday domestic life.

1841 – Salvador de Menezes Drummond Furtado de Mendonça (known as Salvador de Mendonça), Brazilian writer, journalist, lawyer, and diplomat who was one of the founders of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and consul general of the Brazilian Empire in the United States.

1847 – Blanche Willis Howard (aka Blanche Willis Howard von Teuffel), bestselling American-born novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, editor, and travel writer who spent much of her career Germany; she was also an accomplished pianist whose playing was praised by Franz Liszt.

1853 – Anna Adams Gordon, American author, biographer, lecturer, songwriter, children’s author, and social reformer who was a strong and effective force in the American temperance movement.

1856 – Emilio Prud’Homme, Dominican Republic writer, composer, lyricist, lawyer, and politician, best known for writing the lyrics to the Dominican national anthem.

1862 – Camerina Pavón y Oviedo (born Camerina Luisa Pavón y Oviedo), Mexican poet.

1870 – Florence Jaffray “Daisy” Harriman (born Florence Jaffray Hurst), American author, memoirist, diplomat, social reformer, labor activist, suffragist, political organizer, voting rights activist, and salonnière who was often in the midst of historic events, including on the front lines of the Mexican Revolution and both world wars; as U.S. ambassador to Norway she organized the evacuation of Americans, members of the Norwegian royal family, and other refugees while hiding out in a forest from the Nazi invasion. President Kennedy honored her with the first Citation of Merit for Distinguished Service.

1879 – Carlos Pezoa Véliz, Chilean writer, poet, author, journalist, and educator whose literary work remained largely unpublished at the time of his death at the age of 28; he was posthumously recognized as a major figure in the history of Chilean poetry.

1885 – Frances Parkinson Keyes, American author who wrote novels set in New England, Louisiana, and Europe, as well as books about her life as the wife of a U.S. Senator; her later works frequently featured Roman Catholic themes and beliefs. Her last name rhymes with “skies,” not “keys.”

1899 – Hart Crane, influential American modernist poet who was known for his difficult, highly stylized, and ambitious work and is considered one of the key literary figures of his generation.

1899 – Ernest Hemingway, Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist whose work is known for his sparse prose and gripping narratives; many of his novels, including The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell To Arms, are considered literary classics.

1903 – Yrjö Jylhä, Finnish poet and translator whose poems reflected the horrors he witnessed as an officer on the front lines of the Winter War (1939-40). His work, Kiirastuli, is generally considered the best lyrical poetry from this period in Finnish history.

1906 – Olena Ivanivna Teliha, Moscow-born Ukrainian and Belarusian poet, writer, literary critic, and activist for Ukrainian nationalism, in defiance of Nazi authorities; she was arrested by the Gestapo and executed at age 35.

1907 – Alec Derwent Hope, Australian poet, essayist, critic, and teacher known for his satirical slant; he was once called, “the 20th century’s greatest 18th-century poet.”

1911 – Umashankar Jethalal Joshi, Indian poet, scholar, writer, and politician known for his contributions to Gujarati literature.

1911 – Marshall McLuhan, Canadian founder of the study of media theory; he is especially ja,meremembered for his expressions “the global village” and “the media is the message.”

1913 – Mari Gwendoline Ellis (born Mary Gwendoline Headley), Welsh writer and women’s rights activist.

1914 – Suso Cecchi d’Amico, influential, award-winning Italian screenwriter and librettist.

1917 – Margarita Michelena, Mexican poet, literary critic, translator, and journalist.

1920 – Mohammed Dib, Algerian novelist and poet.

1921 – James Cooke Brown, American sociologist, science-fiction author, civil-rights activist, and board-game creator; he also invented the artificial language Loglan.

1921 – Erik Egeland, Norwegian writer, illustration, journalist, and art critic.

1921 – Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, South African Zulu sangoma (traditional healer) and author whose books draw upon African mythology, traditional Zulu folklore, stories of extraterrestrial encounters, and his personal experiences; his most recent work is a graphic novel called the Tree of Life Trilogy, based on his most famous book, Indaba My Children.

1924 – Alojz Rebula, Italian-born Slovenian writer, poet, playwright, translator, essayist, philologist, linguist, and biblical scholar.

1925 – Vida Brest (real name Majda Peterlin), award-winning Yugoslav Slovene-language poet, writer, journalist, children’s writer, teacher, and resistance fighter; she is best known for her juvenile fiction, which was often based on her experiences as a young Partisan during World War II.

1930 – Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere, prolific, award-winning Indian Marathi writer, poet, translator, and playwright who is best known for scholarly books on Marathi literature, culture, folklore, and religion.

1933 – John Gardner, American novelist, essayist, literary critic, and professor, known for his nurturing of beginning writers and for his book Grendel, a retelling of Beowulf from the monster’s point of view. (Not to be confused with the British John Gardner, author of spy and mystery stories.)

1943 – Tess Gallagher, American poet, essayist, and short-story writer.

1944 – Buchi Emecheta, pioneering Nigerian novelist, playwright, children’s author, and sociologist who divorced her husband after he read and burned her first novel; her work often drew on her own life to champion the rights of girls and women.

1945 – Wendy Cope, English poet and editor; her debut poetry collection, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, has sold over 180,000 copies.

1947 – Thierno Saïdou Diallo (better known as Tierno Monénembo), award-winning Guinean novelist and biochemist.

1955 – Véronique Tadjo, Ivory Coast poet, novelist, children’s author, and artist whose work reflects a pan-African outlook.

1956 – Michael Connelly, American author of detective novels and crime fiction.

1957 – Yū Asagiri, award-winning Japanese novelist, manga writer, and artist; her real name was Takano Yuriko.

1958 – Liliana Bodoc, Argentinian writer of fantasy and children’s books.

1959 – Kazumi Saeki, award-winning Japanese novelist, essayist, and travel writer who adopted the pen Kazumi (meaning one wheat), because of his fondness for Van Gogh’s paintings of wheat fields; he is best known in the U.S. for an op-ed piece in the New York Times recounting his experiences in the 2011 Great Tohoku Kanto earthquake.

1965 – Ahmad Zeidabadi , Iranian journalist, academic, writer, and political analyst who is one of the notable figures of the Iranian reform movement

1966 – Sarah Waters, Welsh novelist whose Victorian novels usually feature lesbian protagonists.

1966 – Tsering Woeser, Tibetan-Chinese writer, blogger, poet, essayist, and activist.

1975 – Ðorde Bajic, Serbian writer, literary and film critic; his novels are in the genres of horror, crime writing, and mysteries.

1975 – Christopher Barzak, American novelist and short-story writer whose novel The Love We Share Without Knowing was a 2009 Nebula nominee.

1976 – Isobel Veronica Marie Hadley-Kamptz, Swedish journalist, columnist, novelist, essayist, and television personality.

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