August 8 Writer Birthdays

1640 – Amalia Katharina of Waldeck-Eisenberg (Countess of Erbach-Erbach), Dutch-born German poet and composer.

1746 – Hieronymus van Alphen, Dutch poet, writer, children’s author and poet, literary critic, art theorist, lawyer, and politician; his work for children was considered groundbreaking because of his belief that children should learn through play, which was a modern vision of children for his time.

1834 – Osyp Yuriy Fedkovych, Ukrainian writer, poet, folklorist, linguist, and translator.

1856 – Thomas Anstey Guthrie, English author, comic novelist, and pardist who was most known for his comic novel Vice Versa (written as F. Anstey), about a boarding-school boy and his father exchanging identities.

1863 – Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey, American ornithologist, naturalist, zoologist, and writer who wrote nature guides, including the first modern field guide to birds; she also organized early Audobon Society chapters and was an activist for bird protection.

1873 – Kiyoshi “Karl” Kawakami, Japanese journalist and author who was a correspondent for leading newspapers in Tokyo and a frequent contributor to American magazines and newspapers.

1879 – Jesús Castellanos y Villageliú, Cuban writer, journalist, critic, caricaturist. and lawyer.

1884 – Sara Teasdale, American lyric poet who won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize, which later became known as the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1896 – Marjorie Rawlings, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author whose best-known work was The Yearling, a young-adult novel written before works for young adults were considered a separate genre.

1902 – Margot Pardoe, British writer of popular children’s fiction; she is best known for the Bunkle adventure series. Her work has been praised for being “realistic as well as charming.”

1903 – Nagindas Narandas Parekh, Indian Gujarati language critic, editor, and translator; he was also known by his pen name, Granthkeet, which means “bookworm.”

1915 – Agnar Mykle, Norwegian novelist, short-story author, journalist, political scriptwriter, and puppeteer. His novel The Song of the Red Ruby ignited one of the most famous court cases in Norwegian history, when he and his publisher were accused of writing and publishing immoral and obscene material; both were acquitted, but the remaining copies of the book were ordered withdrawn from the market.

1915 – Bhisham Sahni, award-winning Indian Hindi writer, playwright, and actor, most famous for his novel and television screenplay Tamas (“Darkness, Ignorance”), a powerful and passionate account of the Partition of India.

1916 – Cristina Luca Boico, Romanian writer, editor, activist, and fighter in the French Resistance.

1921 – Ursula R. Holden, English novelist whose books were often inspired by her time spent in Ireland.

1922 – Gertrude Himmelfarb, Jewish American author, essayist, and conservative “historian of ideals” who wrote on the need for Victorian-era morals to invigorate contemporary social policies.

1923 – Latifa al-Zayyat, Egyptian activist, writer, and translator, most famous for her award-winning novel, The Open Door.

1927 – Maia Wojciechowska, Newbery Award-winning Polish-born American author of children’s and young adult books who also wrote under the name Maia Rodman. In addition to writing, she spent time as a matador, an undercover detective, and a motorcycle racer; by age 11 she had parachuted out of an airplane three times; at age 12 she fled the Nazis through Romania and Italy to reach France, where her father was chief of staff of the Polish air force.

1948 – Miranda Jane Seymour, English literary critic, novelist, biographer, and university teacher, best known for biographies of writers Robert Graves and Mary Shelley.

1950 – Lucia Annunziata, Italian journalist, author, politician, and television personality.

1952 – Robin Ophelia Quivers, American radio personality, author, and actress, best known as the long-running news anchor and co-host of The Howard Stern Show.

1952 – Valerie Sayers, American novelist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, and professor.

1953 – Cho Dharman (real name S. Dharmaraj), award-winning Indian Tamil writer, novelist, nonfiction author, and short-story writer; his novel Koogai, a stunning account of Dalit lives in post-independence India, was translated into English as The Owl.

1954 – Waciny Laredj (Arabic: واسيني الأعرج), award-winning Algerian novelist, short-story writer, translator, and academic whose novels often deal with the troubled history of Algeria.

1954 – Lin Mun-lee, Taiwanese writer, professor, and museum director.

1954 – Elizabeth Ann Tallent, Pushcart Prize-winning American short-story writer, professor, and critic, known for her poetic style, vivid settings, and complex themes.

1964 – Anastasia M. Ashman, American author who resides in Turkey and writes on ex-pat women’s issues.

1983 – Hitomi Kanehara, award-winning Japanese novelist, best known for her bestselling book Hebi ni piasu (Snakes and Earrings).

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