October 28 Writer Birthdays

1543 – Michele Ruggieri (born Pompilio Ruggieri), Italian Jesuit priest, missionary, author, translator, and sinologist (expert on China) who has been described as the first European sinologist; he was the co-author of the first European-Chinese dictionary and the first European translator of the Four Books of Confucianism. He was also known as Michael Ruggieri in Italy and Luo Mingjian in China.

1585 – Cornelius Otto Jansen, Dutch Catholic bishop and theologian who wrote biblical commentaries and anti-Protestant pamphlets.

1769 – Simón Rodríguez (also known as Samuel Robinson), Venezuelan writer, philosopher, educator, and Bolivian Cabinet Minister who was Simón Bolívar’s tutor and mentor.

1815 – Ľudovít Štúr, Slovakian writer, poet, philosopher, journalist, historian, linguist, philologist, publicist, politician, teacher and facial hair enthusiast; he is especially remembered for his role in standardizing the Slovak language.

1816 – Malwida von Meysenbug, German writer and autobiographer whose work includes Memories of an Idealist, the first volume of which she published anonymously; she was a friend of Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. In 1901, she became the first woman ever to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1829 – Zénaïde-Marie-Anne Fleuriot, prolific French novelist who wrote books for young women; her writings were initially published under the pseudonym Anna Edianez, but she also wrote under the names Anna Edianez de Saint-B. and Anna Edianez de L.

1842 – Charles Boissevain, Dutch journalist, editor, and newspaper owner.

1842 – Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, U.S. orator, lecturer, abolitionist, women’s suffragist, novelist, nonfiction writer, actress, playwright, and mountain climber; she was the first woman to give a political address before the U.S. Congress.

1848 – Jessie Catherine Couvreur (pseudonym Tasma), British-born Australian novelist, poet, journalist, and short-story writer.

1864 – Dominika Eristavi (pen name Gandegili), important Georgian writer, poet, editor, translator, short-story writer, and opinion journalist who was a strong proponent of women’s rights.

1866 – Elsa Bernstein (née Porges; pen name Ernst Rosmer), Austrian-German writer, celebrated playwright, and salonniere of Jewish descent who was blind due to a degenerative eye disease that also affected her sister Gabrielle. When the Nazis rose to power, Elsa secured a visa to escape to America, but chose to remain because Gabrielle could not leave. They were sent to a concentration camp, but were saved when Elsa was recognized as the author of the hit play Königskinder. Elsa survived the war (her sister did not) and wrote a detailed account of her confinement in the camp’s Prominentenhaus, or House of Notables; more than five decades after her death, it was discovered by accident and published in German.

1866 – Ramon M del Valle-Inclan, influential Spanish playwright and novelist who is considered the most noteworthy and radical dramatist working to subvert the traditional Spanish theatrical establishment in the early 20th century.

1867 – Sister Nivedita (born Margaret Elizabeth Noble), Irish author, art critic, essayist, travel writer, teacher, social activist, and school founder who was a disciple of Swami Vivekananda and one of the founders of the Sesame Club, a literary organization that attracted some of the most important English-language writers of the day; she wrote books on Indian culture, history, and folklore.

1879 – Luisa Capetillo, Puerto Rican writer, labor organizer, and women’s suffrage activist.

1890 – Herminia Naglerowa (pen name Jan Stycz), Polish novelist, poet, writer, young-adult author, teacher, historian, newspaper editor, and publicist whose fiction combined realism with expressionism.

1892 – Marthe Mathilde Cnockaert, Belgian spy for the United Kingdom and its allies during World War I; after the war she became a novelist and wrote more than a dozen spy novels, in addition to her memoirs and short stories.

1892 – Ludwig Strauss, German and Israeli writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator, and literary scholar who sometimes used the pseudonyms Franz Quentin, Strawotsch, and Arijeh ben Menachem.

1894 – Ye Shengtao, Chinese writer, children’s author, journalist, educator, and publisher who served as the Vice-Minister of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.

1901 – Eileen Shanahan, Irish poet and playwright whose poetic themes included birth and childhood, the trials of love, the contrast between passion and caution, and Ireland’s predicament, with most of her work conveying a powerful sense of place; her best-known poem is “The Three Children (Near Clonmel).”

1903 – Evelyn Waugh, (full name Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh), English novelist, biographer, journalist, book reviewer, and travel writer; he was considered the most brilliant satirical novelist of his day.

1904 – George Dangerfield, English-born U.S. writer known primarily for his book, The Strange Death of Liberal England.

1908 – Shmaryahu “Shmerke” Kaczerginski, Lithuanian-born, Yiddish-speaking Polish poet, musician, writer, editor, and cultural activist. In World War II, he was imprisoned in the Vilna Ghetto, where he helped hide Jewish cultural works as part of the Paper Brigade and joined the United Partisans Organization, participating in the failed Vilna Ghetto uprising and then escaping to the forest to fight with both the partisans and the Soviets. The author, editor, or publisher of most of the first post-Holocaust songbooks, he was responsible for preserving more than 250 Holocaust songs.

1909 – Claude Bourdet, French writer, journalist, politician, and human-rights activist who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 for his activities with the French Resistance in World War II and sent to various concentration camps, but survived the war and went on to take part in other social justice and anti-colonial causes.

1910 – Ella Orr Campbell, New Zealand writer, researcher, and botanist; an expert on bryophytes, she published 130 scientific papers on liverworts, hornworts, orchids, and wetlands, and became the first woman faculty member of the Massey Agricultural College (now Massey University).

1914 – Ria Wägner, Swedish writer, journalist, travel writer, cookbook author, translator, and television presenter.

1916 – Jessie Kesson (born Jessie Grant McDonald), Scottish-born novelist, playwright, and radio producer; her writing illustrates her abiding love of nature and immersion in the changing seasons.

1921 – Hernán Elizondo Arce, award-winning Costa Rican novelist and poet whose work attempts to capture rural life in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, with all its hardships and humanity.

1925 – Ian Hamilton Finlay, Scottish poet, writer, artist, and gardener.

1925 – Leonard Starr, U.S. cartoonist and comic-book artist, best known for reviving the “Little Orphan Annie” comic and for creating the comic series, “On Stage.”

1928 – Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, influential Egyptian scholar, writer, theologian, imam, and politician.

1932 – Margarita Pisano Fischer, Chilean architect, writer, theoretician, and feminist who was part of the Movimiento Rebelde del Afuera (Rebel Movement of the Outside).

1933 – Armando Uribe Arce, Chilean writer, poet, lawyer, and diplomat.

1935 – Kamala Hampana, Indian writer, poet, novelist, biographer, researcher, professor, short-story writer, and literary critic; she writes in the Kannada language.

1938 – Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme), bestselling Edgar Award-winning English historical novelist; as a teen in New Zealand she was convicted of participating in the murder of her friend’s mother, and after serving her sentence she changed her name and became a novelist.

1939 – Ayi Kwei Armah, Ghanaian writer, novelist, essayist, children’s author, publisher, translator, and university teacher; he is best known for several of his novels: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Two Thousand Seasons, and The Healers.

1943 – Carlos Noguera, award-winning Venezuelan writer, poet, essayist, editor, and psychologist; his novel Juegos Bajo la Luna was made into a movie.

1947 – Sissel Solbjørg Bjugn, award-winning Norwegian poet, writer, and children’s author.

1949 – Andrei Viktorovich Monastyrski (born Sumnin), Finnish-born Russian author, poet, artist, and art theorist who was one of the leaders of the Moscow Conceptualist movement.

1951 – Christiana “Chris” Anyanwu, Nigerian journalist, publisher, author, and politician; she was imprisoned for treason after reporting on a failed coup d’état against the government, and won several international journalism prizes during her confinement.

1951 – Joe R. Lansdale, U.S. author and martial-arts expert.

1960 – Fania Oz-Salzberger, Israeli writer, historian, and professor of history.

1969 – Karla Suárez, award-winning Cuban novelist, short-story writer, and travel writer.

1971 – Jessica Care Moore (stylized as jessica Care moore), award-winning African-U.S. poet, playwright, publisher, performance artist, and producer; some of her best known works includes The Words Don’t Fit in My Mouth, God is Not an American, and Sunlight Through Bullet Holes.

1976 – Dhwanil Parekh, Indian Gujarati-language poet, critic, playwright, and journalist.

1978 – Elena Milashina, award-winning Russian investigative journalist, writer, reporter, editor, and human-rights.

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