November 15 Writer Birthdays

0241 – Cao Mao, Chinese poet who was the fourth emperor of the state of Cao Wei during the Three Kingdoms period of China; he was a grandson of Cao Pi, the first emperor of Wei.

1494 – Yahya Efendi (also called Molla Shaykhzadeh), Turkish Ottoman Islamic scholar, sufi, and poet who served as a teacher of religious sciences during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.

1607 – Madeleine de Scudéry (often known simply as Mademoiselle de Scudéry), French writer who is known for her comprehensive knowledge of ancient history. Because women writers were not well accepted at the time, she often used her older brother’s name, George de Scudéry, to publish her works, though she also wrote under her own name and under the pseudonym Sapho. Her lengthy novels — including one that contains about 2.1 million words, one of the longer novels ever written — were the delight of Europe, and gave readers a gave a glimpse into the life of thinly disguised public figures.

1758 – Joseph Aurèle Charles de Bossi, Italian and French poet, playwright, politician, and diplomat who published some of his poetry under the name Albo Crisso.

1776 – José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, Mexican writer, poet, and political journalist who is best known as the author of El Periquillo Sarniento, (The Mangy Parrot), reputed to be the first novel written in Latin America.

1860 – Simon Frug, award-winning Ukrainian-born Russian poet, lyricist, and author who wrote in Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew and was considered Russia’s national Jewish poet; his work used folk themes and light verses to express the suffering of people and the tragedy of Jewish homelessness.

1862 – Gerhardt Hauptmann, Nobel Prize-winning German dramatist and novelist.

1866 – Cornelia Sorabji, Indian lawyer, social reformer, author, autobiographer, and short-story writer; she was the first female graduate from Bombay University, and the first woman to study law at Oxford University.

1869 – Charlotte Mary Mew, English poet and short-story writer whose work spans the eras of Victorian poetry and Modernism; she gained the patronage of several literary figures, notably Thomas Hardy, who called her the best woman poet of her day, and Virginia Woolf, who said she was “very good and interesting and quite unlike anyone else.”

1876 – Anna Elisabeth Bibesco-Bassaraba de Brancovan, (also known as Anna, Comtesse Mathieu de Noailles), Romanian-French writer, novelist, poet, autobiographer, salonnière, and socialist feminist.

1881 – Franklin Pierce Adams, U.S. columnist, poet, and radio personality who was known for his wit; he often went by his initials F.P.A.

1881 – Masamune Atsuo, Japanese poet, professor, book collector, and literary researcher who was the younger brother of novelist and literary critic Masamune Hakucho.

1887 – Marianne Moore, U.S. Modernist poet noted for her irony and wit; she won both a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1895 – Ljubomir Micic, Serbian poet, writer, critic, editor, and actor who was the founder of the avant-garde movement Zenitism and its magazine Zenit; both he and his brother, Branko Ve Poljanski, became prominent avant-garde artists.

1895 – Antoni Slonimski, Polish writer, poet, journalist, literary critic, science-fiction writer, artist, and playwright; he was known for his devotion to social justice.

1897 – Sacheverell Sitwell, English biographer, art critic, and music critic who often wrote about architecture.

1890 – Richmal Crompton, English writer who was best known for her humorous children’s books but who also wrote for adults.

1903 – Tatsuko Hoshino, Japanese writer, haiku poet, and travel writer who founded a haiku magazine exclusively for women called Tamamo; the daughter of poet and novelist Takahama Kyoshi, she remained faithful to her father’s insistence on traditional forms and symbolism, but her work was tempered by her love of nature.

1903 – Kiyoshi Jinzai, Japanese novelist, poet, playwright, translator, and literary critic.

1905 – Tamiki Hara, Japanese poet, novelist, and university teacher; a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, he was known for his works of literature relating to the atomic bomb.

1910 – Beryl Epstein, U.S. author of children’s nonfiction and fiction books who collaborated with her husband, Samuel Epstein; their books often focused on how things work and why things happen.

1911 – Salvador Tió y Montes de Oca, Puerto Rican poet, writer, and promoter of Puerto Rican culture, best known for coining the term “Spanglish.”

1912 – Fosco Maraini, Italian writer, poet, photographer, anthropologist, ethnologist, academic, and mountaineer.

1915 – Elliott Chaze, U.S. war veteran, journalist, and pulp novelist.

1920 – Gesualdo Bufalino, award-winning Italian writer, poet, educator, and translator.

1923 – Van Cao, Vietnamese composer, poet, and painter; his works include “Tiến Quân Ca,” which became the national anthem of Vietnam.

1926 – Thomas Williams, National Book Award-winning U.S. novelist who was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

1930 – J.G. Ballard, English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer associated early in his career with the New Wave of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic science-fiction novels; he also wrote war stories and postmodernist fiction.

1939 – Ravji Patel, Indian Gujarati modernist poet, novelist, and short-story writer.

1941 – Bijan Najdi, Iranian writer and poet who is most famous for his short-story collection The Leopards Who Have Run With Me.

1941 – Daniel Pinkwater, U.S. children’s and young-adult author whose books tend toward the humorous and absurd.

1946 – Bergtóra Hanusardóttir, Faroese writer, novelist, poet, and orthodontist who has worked for women’s equality.

1949 – Maira Kalman, Israeli/U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books, columnist for the New Yorker and The New York Times, and artist.

1951 – Elie Rajaonarison, Madagascarian poet, artist, professor, and civil servant who is considered the standard-bearer for modern Malagasy poetry; his published poetry anthologies earned him international recognition.

1951 – Ehsan Sehgal, Pakistani poet, author, journalist, magazine editor, and activist.

1952 – Rick Atkinson, U.S. author and military historian who has won Pulitzer Prizes in both History and Journalism.

1956 – Tim Pears, award-winning British novelist and screenwriter whose books explore social issues through the dynamics of family relationships.

1959 – Tibor Fischer, British novelist and short-story writer whose work is darkly comic. His parents were Hungarian professional basketball players who fled Hungary in 1956, a background he explored in his first novel, Under the Frog, about a Hungarian basketball team in the first years of Communism in Hungary; the title comes from a Hungarian saying, that the worst possible place to be is “under a frog’s arse down a coal mine.”

1962 – Albert Nyathi, Zimbabwean poet and artist who is particularly famous for the poem and song “Senzeni na?” which he composed following the assassination of Chris Hani, leader of the South African Communist Party.

1963 – Leopoldo Minaya, Dominican poet who is part of the Dominican Republic’s Generation of 1980 literary movement.

1966 – Liane Moriarty, bestselling Australian novelist who is best known for her book Big Little Lies, which was made into a popular television series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

1977 – Jonathan Benjamin Hurwitz, U.S. screenwriter, director, and producer, best known for the “Harold and Kumar” movies.

1741 – Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss poet, theologian, mysticist, and physiognomist.

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