August 23 Writer Birthdays

1733 – Jean-François Ducis, French writer, poet, playwright, and adapter of the works of Shakespeare.

1849 – William Ernest Henley, English, poet, critic, and editor.

1867 – Marcel Schwob, French writer, poet, novelist, essayist, biographer, playwright, translator, short-story writer, and literary critic who is considered a precursor to Surrealism.

1868 – Edgar Lee Masters, American poet, biographer, and dramatist, best known for his poetry collection Spoon River Anthology.

1884 – Will Cuppy, American humorist and literary critic who wrote satirical books about nature and historical figures.

1896 – Geert Pijnenburg (pseudonym Geert Grub) Belgian poet, writer, sex educator, and Flemish activist.

1897 – Henry F. Pringle, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian, journalist, and Theodore Roosevelt biographer.

1898 – Nurullah Ataç, Turkish writer, poet, essayist, translator, and literary critic.

1898 – Sigrid Maren Boo, Norwegian author and screenwriter whose works deal with love, tuberculosis, and service.

1900 – Tatsuji Miyoshi, Japanese poet, literary critic, and editor who is known for his lengthy free-verse poetry, which often portray loneliness and isolation as part of contemporary life; his poems are written in a complex, highly literary style reminiscent of classical Japanese poetry.

1906 – Haydée Tamzali, Tunisian actress, screenwriter, journalist, writer, film editor, and film colorist who is believed to have been the first woman screenwriter in Africa.

1908 – Greta Molander, Swedish/Norwegian author, travel writer and race-car driver.

1909 – Lisa Fittko (born Elizabeth Eckstein), Hungarian memoirist and resistance fighter who helped many people escape from Nazi-occupied France during World War II; she wrote two memoirs about her experiences in wartime Europe.

1911 – James Vincent Cunningham, American poet, literary critic, and teacher.

1922 – Nazik al-Mala’ika, Iraqi poet and essayist who is one of the most influential contemporary poets; she is credited with being the first Arabic poet to use free verse.

1923 – Zofia Posmysz-Piasecka (née Posmysz), Polish journalist, novelist, author, autobiographer, World War II resistance fighter, and Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps; her autobiographical radio drama about the Holocaust in occupied Poland, Passenger from Cabin 45, became the basis for her 1962 novel Passenger, and was adapted into an award-winning feature film.

1924 – Ephraim Kishon, Israeli humorist, screenwriter, playwright, and columnist.

1924 – Madeleine Riffaud, French poet, journalist, and war correspondent who was a member of the French Resistance during World War II.

1926 – Trần Dần, Vietnamese poet and novelist noted for his radical works.

1926 – Gyula Hernádi, prolific Hungarian writer, screenwriter, novelist; most of his books were surrealistic science-fiction or horror stories with unique twists.

1935 – Norbert Blei, American writer of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry who established Cross+Roads Press, dedicated to the publication of first chapbooks by poets, short-story writers, novelists, and artists.

1936 – Alfredo Bosi, Brazilian historian, literary critic, and professor who is best known for his book História Concisa da Literatura Brasileira (Brief History of Brazilian Literature), which is widely used in Brazilian universities in literature courses; he also wrote studies of Italian literature and about major Brazilian writers, as well as essays on the field of hermeneutics.

1943 – Nelson DeMille, American author of suspense novels, some of them written under pseudonyms including Jack Cannon, Kurt Ladner, Ellen Kay, and Brad Matthews.

1943 – Patrizia Vicinelli, Italian poet, writer, screenwriter, film director, artist, and actress.

1944 – Kim Young-moo, South Korean poet, literary critic, professor, and translator; before he died of cancer at age 57, he wrote one final poem, which translates: “In this land one poet blossomed—a wild flower, played in the wind, then went away. / He enjoyed the songs of crickets and birds, enjoyed even more the sturdy fin-strokes of minnows, neighborly, kin-like. / The world of wild greenery where cool drops of dew hang, many-hued jewels—it’s so full of tenderness.”

1946 – Robert Irwin, British novelist, historian, and writer on Arabic literature; he is best known for the comic novel The Limits of Vision, in which a London housewife holds imaginary conversations with Da Vinci, Dickens, and Darwin on the subject of dust balls and dirt.

1946 – Tarik Carson da Silva, Uruguayan-born Argentine novelist, short-story writer and painter.

1947 – Willy Russell, English playwright who wrote Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita, among others.

1957 – Saksiri Meesomsueb, Thai poet and writer; he is also known by the pen name Kittisak Meesomsueb.

1957 – Melaine Rae Thon, American novelist and short-story writer.

1958 – Wang Shuo, celebrated Chinese author, screenwriter, director, actor, and cultural icon.

1959 – Christina Yngvesdotter Herrström Schildt, Swedish author, screenwriter, and children’s author.

1964 – Nematollah Fazeli, Iranian anthropologist, author, professor, and translator; his work focuses mainly on modernization in Iran.

1966 – Charley Boorman, English travel writer, adventurer, and television presenter, known for his motorcycle journeys with his friend, actor Ewan McGregor.

1967 – Cedella Marley, Jamaican singer, book author, dancer, fashion designer, actress, and entrepreneur; she is the daughter of reggae singers Bob Marley and Rita Marley.

1974 – Serhiy Zhadan, Ukrainian poet, novelist, translator, essayist, linguist, and science-fiction author.

1975 – Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling American novelist and short-story writer whose work includes fantasy, alternate history; The New York Times named her novel Prep one of the top five works of fiction for 2005.

1978 – Ashok Chavda (pen name Bedil), award-winning Indian Gujarati poet, writer, essayist, one-act playwright, literary critic, self-help book author, lyricist, and translator.

1983 – Athena Farrokhzad, Iranian-born Swedish poet, playwright, translator, and literary critic.

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