1819 – George Eliot (pseudonym for Mary Anne Evans) English novelist who was one of the leading writers of the Victorian era; she used her real name for her work as a journalist, editor, and critic. Her book Middlemarch has been called the greatest novel in the English language.
1869 – André Gide, Nobel Prize-winning French author of fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, criticism, plays, short stories, and poetry.
1883 – Martin Flavin, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist and playwright.
1896 – David J. Mays, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. biographer, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, nonfiction author, and lawyer.
1904 – Fumio Niwa, Japanese novelist, essayist, and biographer.
1907 – Dora Maar (born Henriette Theodora Marković) Argentinian-raised poet, painter, and photographer of French and Croatian descent; she is most widely known as Pablo Picasso’s muse.
1917 – Jon Cleary, Australian writer of detective fiction and other novels; many of his works have been adapted for film and television.
1938 – Waris Mir, Pakistani journalist, writer, and academic known for his struggle to uphold democracy, freedom of the press, and the basic human rights of freedom of thought and expression.
1938 – John du Pont, U.S. millionaire athlete, natural history museum founder, writer of books on birds, and convicted murderer.
1940 – Terry Gilliam, U.S.-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor, comedian, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe.
1940 – Harish Hansraj Vaswani, award-winning Sindhi writer, poet, professor, and critic who was an influential writer of Sindhi literature; he was known as a pioneer of new Sindhi poetry.
1942 – Françoise Lefèvre, award-winning French writer whose books tell about different episodes of her life.
1943 – William Kotzwinkle, U.S. novelist, screenwriter, and children’s book author, best known for his children’s series about Walter the Farting Dog, as well as for writing the novelization of the movie E.T.
1943 – Roger L. Simon, U.S. novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter.
1945 – Marta Aponte Alsina, Puerto Rican storyteller, novelist. and literary critic.
1946 – Sriraj Ginne, Indian screenwriter who has written blockbuster films for “Tollywood,” the cinema of Andhra Prades, as well as television scripts; he also writes plays, short stories, and translations.
1947 – Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Puerto Rican educator, biographer, and author of notable and award winning books for children and young adults; most of her books are written in verse and reflect her Puerto Rican heritage, and she has also written picture book biographies about prominent Latin Americans.
1947 – Valerie Wilson Wesley, U.S. author of mysteries, adult-theme novels, magazine articles, and children’s books; she was also executive editor of Essence magazine.
1951 – Adamou Idé, award-winning Nigerien poet and novelist who writes in both French and Zarma.
1953 – Marit Nicolaysen, bestselling Norwegian novelist, short-story writer, young-adult writer, and children’s writer; she made her literary debut in 1985 with the novel I Frøyas tegn, where the protagonist “Sol” is a traveler who asks how Freyja in Norse mythology could be a goddess for both war and love; the film Svein and the Rat is based on one of her books.
1962 – Victor Olegovich Pelevin, award-winning Russian novelist whose books are multi-layered postmodernist texts fusing elements of pop culture and esoteric philosophies while carrying conventions of the science-fiction genre.
1965 – Arwa Othman, Yemeni writer, journalist, human-rights activist, women’s rights activist, and former Minister of Culture; Human Rights Watch has called her one of the “most outspoken activists calling for human rights and gender equality” during the 2011 Yemeni Revolution.
1966 – Akiko Itoyama, award-winning Japanese novelist and short-story writer who has been praise for her ability to describe provincial scenery and depict regional accents and dialects, even though she was brought up in Tokyo; some of her work has been adapted for film.
1969 – Marjane Satrapi, Iranian-born French graphic novelist, illustrator, film director, and children’s book author.
1970 – Lisa Genova, U.S. neuroscientist and author; her debut novel Still Alice, is about a Harvard University professor who suffers early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
1974 – Gilbert Tuhabonye, Burundian long-distance runner, coach, author, and motivational speaker who is best known for his memoir about surviving a massacre during the Burundian Civil War, This Voice in My Heart: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Escape, Faith, and Forgiveness; he currently lives in the U.S.
1977 – Ana Stojanoska, Macedonian writer, poet, theatre researcher, essayist, editor, and theater critic.
1985 – Simon Ssenkaayi, Ugandan author and motivational speaker who has been selected as one of Africa’s top 30 inspirational young people.
1985 – Muhammad Jailani Abu Talib, award-winning Singaporean poet, short-story author, and writer.