September 4 Writer Birthdays

1768 – François-René (vicomte de Chateaubriand), French writer, politician, diplomat and historian who initiated the Romantic movement in France and had a notable influence on 19th century French literature.

1848 – Fanny Parnell (born Frances Isabelle Parnell), Irish poet, pamphleteer, and Irish Nationalist who sometimes wrote under the pen name Aleria and was known as the Patriot Poet.

1860 – Abdul Halim Sharar, prolific Indian novelist, playwright, essayist, and historian who often wrote about the Islamic past and extolled virtues like courage, bravery, magnanimity, and religious fervor.

1865 – Alice Milligan, Irish nationalist poet and writer who was active in the Gaelic League

1896 – Antonin Artaud, French playwright, poet, and theater director.

1901 – Paul Osborn, Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated American playwright and screenwriter whose work includes the scripts for East of Eden, South Pacific, and The Yearling.

1905 – Mary Renault, English-born South African novelist and nonfiction author who is best known for historical novels set in Ancient Greece and for a biography of Alexander the Great.

1907 – Abdulla Qahhor (sometimes spelled Abdulla Kahhar in English), award-winning Uzbeki novelist, short-story writer, poet, playwright, and translator.

1908 – Richard Wright, African-American author of novels, short stories, poems, and nonfiction, much of it about the hardships faced by African-Americans; he is best known for his novel Native Son.

1912 – Syd Hoff, Jewish-American cartoonist and children’s book author, whose early reader Danny and the Dinosaur is a perennial favorite.

1920 – Craig Claiborne, American restaurant critic, food journalist, and cookbook author.

1924 – Joan Aiken, prolific, award-winning English writer of supernatural fiction, fantasy, poetry, and children’s alternate history novels; her father was Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Conrad Aiken.

1927 – Bernardino Zapponi, Italian novelist and screenwriter, best known for his films written in collaboration with director Federico Fellini.

1954 – Carmen Boullosa, Mexican poet, novelist, and playwright whose work focuses on feminism and gender roles in Latin America.

1962 – David Lagercrantz, Swedish journalist, biographer, and bestselling author who continued Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” series of crime novels (the series beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) after Larsson’s death.

1963 – Louise Doughty, English fiction and nonfiction writer, playwright, journalist, and columnist.

1966 – Yanka Dyagileva, Russian poet and singer-songwriter whose work explores themes of desperation and punk-style nihilism.

1975 – Yoani Sánchez, award-winning Cuban blogger, journalist, writer, magazine founder, politician, and human rights activist who has achieved international fame for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government; despite being censored in Cuba, she was able to publish her blog by emailing entries to friends overseas who then posted them online; Time magazine has listed her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and U.S. President Barack Obama wrote that her blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba.”

1979 – Mahtob Mahmoody, American author whose memoir, My Name is Mahtob, recounts the 18 months during which she and her mother were held captive by her father in his native Iran during the mid-1980s; her mother wrote her own version of their story in her 1987 biography Not Without My Daughter, which was adapted into a 1991 feature film.

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