October 31 Writer Birthdays

1748 – José Iglesias de la Casa, Spanish poet, satirist, and poet.

1750 – Leonor de Almeida Portugal (4th Marquies of Alorna; but commonly known by her nickname, Alcipe), Portuguese writer, poet, author, translator, painter, and salonnière who was a key figure in the Portuguese Neoclassical and proto-Romantic literary scene.

1758 – Jean Glover (or Jennifer Glover), Scottish poet and singer who may have had an affair with poet Robert Burns.

1765 – Anne Bannerman, Scottish poet, writer, and novelist whose work “remains significant for her Gothic ballads, as well as for her innovative sonnet series and her bold original odes.”

1767 – Amalie Münster, Danish poet, writer, linguist, translator, and lady-in-waiting.

1795 – John Keats, English Romantic poet who is considered one of the greats of English literature, though he started out as a medical student; he spent the last year of his life in Italy and died there in 1821 at the age of 25.

1808 – Osip Bodyansky, Russian and Ukrainian writer, poet, historian, literary historian, translator, and university instructor.

1825 – Catherine Helen Spence, Scottish-born Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician, and suffragist; called the “Greatest Australian Woman” and given the nomenclature of “Grand Old Woman of Australia” on her eightieth birthday, Spence has been commemorated on an Australian five-dollar note.

1852 – Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, prominent U.S. writer, poet, novelist, and children’s writer.

1858 – Hilda Ram (pen name of Maria Mathilda Ramboux), award-winning Belgian writer and poet who was active in the Flemish Movement and the Catholic feminist movement.

1862 – Mary Angela Dickens, English writer, novelist, and short-story writer who was the granddaughter of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens.

1871 – Anni Helmi Krohn (also called Helmi Setälä), Finnish writer, biographer, children’s author, fiction writer, translator, editor, publisher, and literary critic.

1876 – Natalie Clifford Barney, U.S. playwright, poet, and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris; her Left Bank salon brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation.

1879 – Karel Hašler, Czech playwright, theater manager, film director, actor, composer, guitarist, screenwriter, and singer who was killed in 1941 in a Nazi concentration camp, after being arrested for the political content of his songs.

1880 – Julia Peterkin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist and short-story writer who wrote several books about the plantation South, especially the Gullah people of the Lowcountry.

1889 – Ahmed Hassanein, Egyptian writer, photographer, politician, explorer, and Olympic fencer who was one of the most influential figures in Egyptian politics.

1895 – Basil Henry Liddell Hart (better known as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart), French-born English soldier and military historian.

1902 – Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian poet considered the most influential of the 20th century and one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time.

1903 – María Teresa León, Spanish writer, screenwriter, playwright, translator, publisher, children’s author, politician, and activist.

1903 – Joan Violet Robinson (née Maurice), British economist, author, and essayist well known for her wide-ranging contributions to economic theory; she was a central figure in what became known as post-Keynesian economics.

1911 – Ousmane Diop Socé, Senegalese writer and politician who was one of the first Senegalese novelists.

1920 – Dick Francis, British jockey and crime writer whose works focus on horse racing in England.

1925 – Lawrence A. Cremin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian and author.

1925 – Juan Luis Segundo, Uruguayan Jesuit writer, physician, theologian, and priest who was an important figure in the movement known as liberation theology; he wrote numerous books on theology, ideology, faith, hermeneutics, and social justice, and was an outspoken critic of what he perceived as Church callousness toward oppression and suffering.

1932 – Katherine Paterson, award-winning U.S. author of fiction for children and teens, best known for such works as Bridge to Terebithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins.

1932 – Ruth Rasnic, award-winning Israeli writer, translator, and social and political activist in the struggle against domestic violence.

1933 – Ileana Espinel Cedeño, Ecuadorian journalist, poet, and writer.

1934 – Kenjiro Haitani, bestselling Japanese author of children’s literature.

1937 – Yoshiharu Tsuge, Japanese cartoonist and essayist whose works range from tales of ordinary life to dreamlike surrealism, and often show his interest in traveling through Japan.

1944 – Holly Hobbie (born Denise Holly Ulinskas; Hobbie was her actual married name), U.S. author and illustrator of the “Toot & Puddle” books, and creator of the beloved character named after herself.

1948 – Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Ethiopian-born bestselling author, political analyst, and consultant for African and Middle-Eastern affairs; a member of the Ethiopian royalty, he is the great-nephew of the last Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I.

1951 – Ziauddin Sardar, Pakistani-born, London-based scholar, writer, and cultural critic who specializes in Muslim thought, the future of Islam, futures studies, and science and cultural relations; he has been named one of Britain’s top 100 intellectuals.

1951 – Li Yuan (better known by his pen name Hsiao Yeh), Taiwanese novelist, screenwriter, and anti-nuclear activist.

1954 – Sara Shagufta, Pakistani poet and writer who wrote in Urdu and Punjabi.

1955 – Susan Orlean, U.S. author and journalist who is best known for her novel The Orchid Thief and her nonfiction book, The Library Book.

1958 – Imanol Ordorika Sacristán, Mexican writer, professor, social activist, and political leader.

1959 – Neal Stephenson, U.S. author of speculative fiction, known for such works as Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon.

1962 – Mari Jungstedt, Swedish journalist and crime-fiction author; her first five novels are set on the island of Gotland and feature Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas and journalist Johan Berg, and two of her novels have been adapted for television.

1964 – Frank Bruni, U.S. journalist and New York Times restaurant critic.

1981 – Irina Denezhkina, Russian writer whose writing has been criticized for its vulgarity, but praised by others as a reflection of modern reality; some of her works were written under the pseudonym Niger’s Sister.

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