October 18 Writer Birthdays

1569 – Giambattista Marino, influential Italian poet who founded the school of Marinism, characterized by the use of extravagant conceits.

1638 – Lars (Lasse) Johnstown, Swedish baroque poet, usually referred to by his pseudonym, Lucidor.

1681 – Yi Ik, Korean philosopher, writer, poet, author, and politician; his most famous work was Record of Concern for the Underprivileged, which lays down the principles of his reform ideas.

1701 – Charles le Beau, French historian, writer, and educator.

1741 – Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos, French general and controversial author, best known for his epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), which was considered scandalous in his day and has been adapted into a variety of films, television shows, operas, and ballets; he also invented the modern artillery shell.

1777 – Heinrich von Kleist, German dramatist, poet, and novelist.

1785 – Thomas Love Peacock, English author, poet, and essayist who was also an official of the East India Company. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley and they influenced each other’s work; Peacock’s satirical novels all had the same basic setup: characters at a table discussing and criticizing the philosophical opinions of the day.

1797 – Petrona Rosende, Argentine poet, educator, and editor who was also the first female journalist in Argentina.

1865 – Logan Pearsall Smith, American-born essayist and critic who became a British citizen; he was especially known for his aphorisms and epigrams.

1867 – Eugénio de Paula Tavares, Cape Verdean poet, writer, journalist, and composer.

1871 – Don Carmelo Psaila (better known as Dun Karm), Maltese priest, writer, and poet, who is widely recognized as the Maltese national poet; he is sometimes called the Bard of Malta.

1889 – Fannie Hurst, American novelist and short-story writer who frequently wrote about women as the subject of economic and social discrimination.

1894 – H.L. Davis, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, poet, and short-story writer; in his novels, he combined regional settings of the American West with universal themes, creating realistic stories in prose that is wry, ironic, and cryptic, without the romantic stereotypes expected of “Western” fiction.

1895 – Raymond Brulez, Flemish author and broadcaster, known for his skepticism.

1897 – Isabel Briggs Myers, American psychological theorist and author, best known for the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a personality assessment she created with her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs.

1897 – Shigeji Tsuboi, influential Japanese poet of the modern era of Japanese literature.

1899 – Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer, poet, biographer, autobiographer, and educator. After her husband, the poet Osip Mandelstam, died in 1938 in a transit camp on the way to exile in Siberia, she wrote two memoirs about their lives together and the repressive Stalinist regime; the first, Hope Against Hope, has been called “A masterpiece of prose as well as a model of biographical narrative and social analysis.”

1912 – Mirta Aguirre Carreras, Cuban poet, novelist, journalist, and political activist who has been called “the most important female academic and woman of letters in post-revolutionary Cuba.”

1919 – Eunice Odio (pseudonym, Catalina Mariel), notable and prolific Costa Rican poet, essayist, journalist, children’s writer, short-story writer, translator, and teacher.

1921 – Beatrice “Trixie” Helen Worsley, computer scientist, mathematician, physicist, writer, and professor who was Canada’s first female computer scientist and the world’s first person of either sex to receive a Ph.D. in computer science.

1929 – Ans (Anna Maria) Wortel, award-winning Dutch painter, poet, writer, sculptor, and printmaker; she was one of the leading artists of postwar Dutch Modernism.

1931 – Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje, award-winning Nigerian geographer, author, and academic who was the first African president of the International Geographical Union.

1935 – Viola Fischerová, award-winning Czech poet, editor, teacher, broadcaster, and translator.

1939 – Kong Bunchhoeun, Cambodian writer, novelist, songwriter, filmmaker, painter, and poet; most of his work touched upon his hometown of Battambang, earning him the nickname, “Master Poet of Sangkae River.”

1948 – Ntozake Shange, African-American poet and playwright whose work explores issues of race and feminism; she is best known for her Obie Award-winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

1949 – Lech Dymarski, Polish poet, politician, and political activist.

1950 – Wendy Wasserstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning American playwright, professor, screenwriter, lyricist, and children’s writer; her plays explore topics including feminism, family, ethnicity, and pop culture, and she has been described as an author of women’s identity crises.

1951 – Terry McMillan, bestselling African-American novelist who is well known especially for her books Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got her Groove Back, both of which were made into films; her novels have contributed to a shift in Black popular cultural consciousness and the visibility of a female Black middle-class identity in popular culture.

1955 – Udayan Thakkar, award-winning Indian Gujarati-language poet, writer, editor, children’s author, and translator.

1956 – Mahbod Seraji, Iranian-born novelist and short-story writer.

1959 – Khady Koita, award-winning Senegalese author who is an activist against violence against women and female genital mutilation.

1961 – Irit Linur, Israeli author, essayist, satirical columnist, and radio host; her bestselling novel The Siren’s Song, a romantic comedy set against the background of the Scud missile attacks on Tel Aviv during the Gulf War, was made into a film.

1964 – Charles David George “Charlie” Stross, British writer of science fiction, Lovecraftian horror, fantasy, and computer-related articles and columns; he is best known for his novels classified as hard science fiction and space opera.

1966 – Adonia Ayebare, Ugandan journalist and diplomat who is Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

1980 – Ren Haiyan, Chinese contemporary romance novelist and screenwriter who uses the pen names Tong Hua and Zhang Xiao San.

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