1547 – Faizi (pen name for Shaikh Abu al-Faiz ibn Mubarak), Indian poet, writer, scholar, scientist, translator, diplomat, and calligrapher.
1550 – Tang Xianzu, Chinese writer, poet, and playwright who is known mostly for his plays and operas; Mudan Ting (The Peony Pavilion) is generally considered to be his masterpiece.
1717 – Horace Walpole, English author, art historian, and politician who is now best known for his Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto and for and his 8-volume Letters, which are of significant social and political interest.
1780 – Henricus Franciscus Caroluszoon Tollens (often known as Hendrik Tollens), Dutch poet best known for Wien Neêrlands Bloed, the national anthem of the Netherlands between 1815 and 1932.
1817 – Ramón de Campoamor (full name Ramón María de las Mercedes de Campoamor y Campoosorio), Spanish realist poet, writer, philosopher, and politician.
1821 – Cyprian Norwid, Polish writer, poet, playwright, painter, and sculptor; because his original and nonconformist style was not appreciated in his lifetime, he was excluded from high society, but his work was rediscovered and appreciated by the Young Poland art movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He is now considered one of the four most important Polish Romantic poets.
1825 – Frances E. Watkins Harper, American poet, author, and lecturer; not only was she the first African-American woman to publish a short story, but she was also an influential abolitionist, suffragist, and reformer who cofounded the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.
1840 – Rosa Nouchette Carey, prolific, bestselling English children’s writer and popular novelist, whose works reflected the values of her time and were thought of as wholesome for girls, while also being said to be, “not entirely bereft of grit and realism.” Some sources give her birthdate as September 27, 1840.
1841 – Kate Brownlee Sherwood, American poet, short-story writer, journalist, translator, philanthropist, and patron of art and literature; the founder of the Woman’s Relief Corps, she is best known as the author of army lyrics and poems written for military occasions.
1856 – Pratap Narayan Mishra, Indian Hindi essayist who is famous for exhorting all Indians to chant and believe in “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.”
1862 – Júlia Valentina de Silveira Lopes de Almeida, influential Brazilian novelist who was one of the first Brazilian women to earn acclaim and social acceptance as a writer; she is best known for her novels, which were influenced by naturalists Émile Zola and Guy de Maupassant, and is also remembered as an early advocate of women’s rights, modernized gender roles, and the abolition of slavery.
1870 – Ruth Sofia Almén, Swedish author, poet, composer, pianist, and teacher.
1896 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, influential American author of Jazz Age novels, essays, screenplays, and short stories who was a member of the Lost Generation of writers and is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.
1896 – Park In-deok (pen name Eunbong), South Korean writer, poet, educator, independence activist, and social reformer who belonged to the first generation of Korean female writers, all of whom were born around 1900.
1900 – Alexander Davidovich Meiselman, Russian writer, poet, essayist, translator, and orientalist who specialized in Asian theater studies.
1906 – Zhao Shuli, Chinese novelist who was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature.
1910 – Cao Yu, Chinese playwright and screenwriter who is considered China’s most important playwright of the 20th century.
1912 – Robert Lewis Taylor, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, biographer, and journalist.
1913 – Woodrow Wilson Rawls, American novelist, children’s writer, and carpenter best known for his books Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys, but was perhaps the most influential as a motivational speaker; he wrote under the name Wilson Rawls.
1919 – Konstantin Dmitrievich Vorobyov, Russian Soviet novelist, short-story writer, and war hero who was a major exponent of the “lieutenant prose” movement in Soviet war literature; much of his writing was either unpublished in his lifetime or suffered greatly from massive censorial cuts. Vorobyov has been described as, “the most American of all Russian writers, a strange mix of Hemingway and Capote.”
1925 – Kunio Tsuji, award-winning Japanese author, novelist, screenwriter, professor, and scholar of French literature; his works, including many historical novels in which characters search for meaning in times of social change, were on the whole idealistic and spiritual.
1930 – Ingrid Bachér (pen name for Ingrid Erben, born Ingrid Schwarze), award-winning German writer, screenwriter, journalist, travel writer, and children’s writer.
1931 – Fransiskus “Frans” Harjawiyata, Indonesian Roman Catholic monastic abbot, author, writer, theologian, and translator who helped develop Christianity in Indonesia by translating Catholic scriptures and chants into Indonesian.
1933 – Geneviève Dormann, award-winning French journalist and novelist who often wrote about strong-willed modern women.
1934 – John Brunner, Hugo Award-winning British science-fiction author.
1934 – Yasutaka Tsutsui, Japanese novelist, science-fiction author, screenwriter, playwright, and actor.
1940 – Rogelio Lunasco Ordoñez (also known as Ka Roger), award-winning Filipino fiction writer, poet, activist, journalist, and educator.
1941 – Gaby Vallejo Canedo, Bolivian writer, novelist, and children’s author.
1941 – Janet Quin-Harkin, British writer of children’s picture books, young-adult novels, and (as Rhys Bowen) mystery novels.
1943 – Dina Porat, Argentine-born Israeli writer, historian, and professor.
1945 – Larisa Alexeyevna Rubalskaya, Russian writer, poet, lyricist, and translator,
1950 – John Kessel, American literary critic, playwright, and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
1952 – Joke van Leeuwen (full name Johanna Rutgera van Leeuwen), Dutch writer, poet, author, illustrator, children’s writer, and cabaret artist.
1962 – Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Icelandic author, poet, playwright, and visual artist.
1969 – Zainab Salbi, Iraqi book author, activist for women’s rights, television host, and founder of Women for Women International.
1985 – Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize-winning New Zealand novelist and screenwriter.