1696 – Alphonsus Liguori, Italian Catholic bishop, spiritual writer, composer, musician, artist, poet, lawyer, scholastic philosopher, and theologian; one of the most widely read Catholic authors, he is the patron saint of confessors.
1719 – Abraham Gotthelf Kästner, German mathematician and epigrammatist who was well known for writing textbooks and compiling encyclopedias, but even better known for his epigrammatic poems; the crater Kästner on the Moon is named after him.
1729 – Michael Denis (full name Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael Denis, and also known as Sined the Bard), Austrian writer, poet, librarian, bibliographer, translator, zoologist, lepidopterist, curator, entomologist, and Catholic priest.
1772 – Sándor Kisfaludy, Hungarian lyric poet, writer, and playwright; he is considered the first romantic poet from Hungary.
1776 – Maria Johanna Elselina Versfelt (also known as Ida Saint-Elme, Elzelina av Aylde Jonghe, and by her pseudonym La Contemporaine), Dutch writer and stage actress who was known for her adventurous life and for her memoirs, Mémoires d’une Contemporaine.
1808 – Lucretia Maria Davidson, American poet and writer who wrote nearly 300 surviving poems, though she died at age 16; her work was praised by such luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe.
1821 – Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer, poet, philosopher, translator, diarist, university teacher, and literary critic.
1829 – Fanny Duberly (Frances Isabella Duberly), English writer who is best known for publishing a journal of her experiences on campaign in the Crimean War and the Indian Rebellion of 1857, in which her husband was a soldier.
1831 – Ana Plácido, Portuguese novelist and author; she is best known for her novel Herança de Lágrimas (A Legacy of Tears) and for an autobiographical book Luz Coada por Ferros (Light Filtered Through Bars).
1857 – Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids, British writer and translator who wrote extensively on economics before becoming widely known as an influential editor, translator, and interpreter of Buddhist texts in the Pali language; she was also an activist for poverty relief, children’s rights, and women’s suffrage.
1858 – Þorsteinn Erlingsson, Icelandic poet whose work often attacked the ruling classes and the church, though he also composed popular ditties and romantic poems about nature.
1861 – Corinne Roosevelt, American poet, writer, and lecturer; she was the younger sister of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the aunt of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
1871 – Grazia Deledda (full name Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda), Nobel Prize-winning Italian writer praised “for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general.”
1874 – Myrtle Reed, bestselling American novelist, poet, and journalist who also published a series of cookbooks under the psuedonym Olive Green.
1887 – Cynthia Mary Evelyn Asquith (née Charteris), English writer, biographer, novelist, anthologist, children’s writer, and diarist who is best known for her ghost stories, diaries, and works about the British Royal family.
1889 – Pilar de Valderrama Alday, Spanish poet and playwright who is identified with postmodernism; she was also known by the pen name Guiomar.
1890 – Constance Wiel Nygaard Schram, Norwegian writer, biographer, children’s author, and translator.
1894 – Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetayeva, Russian writer, poet, novelist, short-story writer, fairytale writer, and memoirist whose work was praised by writer Boris Pasternak; she was arrested more than once and spent time in prison and in Siberian labor camps. Her acclaimed Vospominaniya (Memoirs) made her famous and remains her best-known work.
1896 – María Adelaida Gurrea Monasterio, Filipina writer, journalist, poet, and playwright who wrote in Spanish and was the Filipino Literature Ambassador in Spain.
1898 – Suzanne Caubet (also known as Suzanne Caubaye), French actress, singer, and playwright; one of the plays she wrote, Our Sarah, was about her godmother, renowned actress Sarah Bernhardt.
1904 – Dimiter Angelov, Bulgarian author best known for the novel Life or Death, which was made into a film.
1906 – Satinath Bhaduri, Indian Bengali novelist and politician who was known by his literary pseudonym, Chitra Gupta.
1906 – James Myers Thompson, American author and screenwriter who was known for hard-boiled crime fiction.
1911 – Nicholas Mordvinoff, Caldecott Medal-winning Russian-born American artist who was best known for illustrating the book Finders Keepers, by William Lipkind; the collaborators together used the pseudonym Nicolas and Will.
1914 – Teófilo Cid, award-winning Chilean poet who was a member of the Chilean Generación del 38 and of the Surrealist group known as La Mandrágora.
1917 – Louis Auchincloss, American lawyer, historian, novelist, and essayist who wrote about the East Coast upper class; some of his work was written under the name Andrew Lee, the name of an ancestor who cursed any descendant who drank or smoked.
1918 – Faith Bandler (born Ida Lessing Faith Mussing), Australian writer, novelist, and activist for the civil rights of indigenous Australians and South Sea islanders.
1920 – Tô Hoài (born Nguyễn Sen), Vietnamese writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist. and correspondent.
1924 – Ernest Becker, Pulitzer Prize-winning American cultural anthropologist, professor, and author.
1924 – Josef Škvorecký, award-winning Czech-born Canadian novelist whose work deals with the horrors of totalitarianism and repression, the expatriate experience, and the miracle of jazz.
1924 – Bernard Waber, American children’s author and illustrator best known for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and its sequels, about a city-dwelling crocodile named Lyle who lives in a bathtub.
1927 – Te Uruhina McGarvey-Tiakiwai, award-winning New Zealand writer who was a prominent elder in two Maori groups, the Ngāi Tūhoe (or simply Tuhoe) and the Te Arawa; in her work, she advocated for education and the retention of Maori language and customs, and has been called, “the voice that guided Tuhoe in hard times.”
1927 – Romano Scarpa, Italian animator and Disney comic-book story creator.
1932 – Friedrich Neznansky, popular Belarusian-born Russian crime novelist and lawyer; although his novels are light fiction, they also touch on the political and social currents of the day, as well as everyday Russian realities.
1933 – Paul Goble, Caldecott Medal-winning British-born American author and illustrator of children’s books, many with Native American themes; he is best known for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.
1939 – Guðrún Kristín Magnúsdóttir, award-winning Icelandic writer, artist, and children’s book author who often writes about nature.
1949 – Amir Hosein Fardi, Iranian Azerbaijani writer of Persian literature.
1952 – Katie Fforde (born Catherine Rose Gordon-Cumming), British romance novelist who was chairman and then president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a patron of the UK’s first National Short Story Week; novelist Jasper Fforde is her husband’s cousin.
1954 – Slobodan Škerović, Serbian author, editor, poet, science-fiction novelist, essayist, comics writer, painter, and philosopher who is a member of the international neo-avantgarde movement Signalism; his work is characterized by an intensive synthesis of traditional spirituality and advanced technology.
1955 – Do Jong-hwan, South Korean poet, writer, and politician who was his country’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
1958 – Aminta Buenaño Rugel, award-winning Ecuadorian short-story writer, journalist, politician, and diplomat.
1958 – Irvine Welsh, Scottish novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who is best known for his novel Trainspotting, which was made into a film; his work is characterized by a raw Scots dialect and brutal depiction of Edinburgh life.
1962 – Khaled Al Khamissi, Egyptian novelist, nonfiction author, columnist, lecturer, writer, and cultural activist whose fiction provides both Arabic and non-Arabic readers with insight into contemporary Egyptian society.
1963 – Flavia Company, prolific Argentine novelist, writer, screenwriter, poet, children’s writer, short-story writer, travel writer, translator, television presenter, and journalist who writes in both Spanish and Catalan.
1964 – Lleucu Roberts, award-winning Welsh-language writer, children’s author, and screenwriter.
1974 – Justine-Juliette Lévy, award-winning French book editor and author whose autobiographical novel Rien de Grave (published in English as Nothing Serious) knocked The Da Vinci Code from Europe’s bestseller lists.
1986 – Olga Sofia Ravn, Danish poet, novelist, editor, translator, literary critic, and blogger whose poetry has been described as “rhythmic, playful, sensual, and image-rich.”
1988 – Mohammed Alfazari, Omani novelist, nonfiction author, journalist, editor, and political activist who is known for his reformist political activities and his opposition to the Omani government.