December 1 Writer Birthdays

1083 – Anna Komnene (also spelled Comnena), a Greek princess, scholar, doctor, hospital administrator, and the daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos of Byzantium; she wrote the Alexiad, a historical account of her father’s reign.

1722 – Anna Louisa Karsch, German writer and poet who was known in her day as “the German Sappho” and who became the first German woman to support herself through her writing.

1726 – Eggert Ólafsson, Icelandic explorer, writer, and naturalist; a conservator of the Icelandic language, he worked to revive the Icelandic culture and economy.

1785 – Gábor Döbrentei, Hungarian writer, poet, linguist, philologist, translator, and antiquary.

1861 – Maria Stona (also known as Marie Scholz, born Stonawski), Silesian German writer, poet, and salonnière; her daughter was the sculptor Helen Zelezny-Scholz.

1875 – Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, South African writer, poet, playwright, essayist, critic, biographer, translator, and historian whose works were instrumental in standardizing the grammar of the Xhosa language and preserving the language in the 20th century.

1886 – Rex Stout, U.S. writer of detective fiction, known for the character Nero Wolfe.

1895 – Henry Williamson, English author known for his natural and social history novels.

1897 – Helen de Guerry Simpson, Australian novelist, screenwriter, writer, poet, playwright, musician, and British Liberal Party politician.

1918 – Ivan Elagin, Russian émigré poet, writer, and translator, best remembered for writing about the Holocaust; His “Kirillovskie iary” (another name for Babi Yar), was one of the first-ever literary works on the subject of the 1941 massacre of Ukrainian Jews in Kiev.

1926 – Fernanda Botelho, Portuguese writer, novelist, and poet whose fiction was influence by the French nouveau roman.

1932 – Salvador Elizondo, innovative Mexican writer, poet, novelist, playwright, translator, university teacher, journalist, literary critic, and linguist who was part of the 60s Generation of Mexican writers and was regarded as one of the creators of the most influential cult noirè, experimental, intelligent literature in Latin America.

1932 – Amélia Veiga (also known as Amélia Maria Ramos Veiga Silva), award-winning Portuguese-born Angolan poet and teacher; her poem “Angola,” figuring her country as a surrogate mother, has frequently been anthologized.

1934 – Florenţa Albu, Romanian poet, writer, nonfiction author, journalist, and university instructor.

1941 – Riaz-Ur-Rehman Saghar, award-winning Pakistani poet and a film song lyricist who was credited with having written more than 25,000 songs in his lifetime.

1942 – John Crowley, U.S. author of fantasy and science fiction.

1944 – Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan writer who writes in French, though his first language is Arabic; he is best known for his novel L’Enfant de Sable (The Sand Child), and was short-listed for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1944 – Sally Purcell, British poet, writer, and translator whose work is notable for her old-fashioned style of diction, which never used contractions, and for the influence of folklore and the classics.

1946 – Moysey (Moses) Fishbeyn, influential Ukrainian Jewish poet, writer, linguist, translator, and artist.

1948 – Nellickal Muraleedharan, award-winning Indian writer and poet who wrote in Malayalam.

1948 – Azar Nafisi (Persian: آذر نفیسی), Iranian-born U.S. writer and professor of English literature, best known for her book Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, which was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 117 weeks.

1949 – Jan Brett, U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books, focused mainly on Scandinavian cultures.

1951 – William Seymour Sewell, Greek-born New Zealand poet, editor, and literary critic whose poems focus on political themes and are influenced by modern German poetry.

1956 – Claire Chazal, French romance writer, journalist, and television news director.

1958 – Candace Bushnell, U.S. author of the international best-selling book, Sex and the City.

1960 – Sergio F. Bambaren, Peruvian writer, noted for his love of the ocean and unknown horizons, and for his books related to surfing.

1964 – Jo Walton, Hugo Award-winning Welsh-Canadian science-fiction and fantasy author, best known for her novel, Among Others.

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