December 3 Writer Birthdays

1560 – Jan Gruter (also spelled Gruytère, and Latinized as Janus Gruterus), Flemish-born Belgian writer, poet, philologist, professor, and librarian.

1714 – Anica Boškovic, Ragusan writer, songwriter, and translator whose work, The Dialogue, was the first known literary work written by a female author in the literature of Ragusa, former republic that is now a city in southeast Sicily.

1764 – Mary Ann Lamb, English writer, poet, and journalist who is best known for the collaboration with her brother Charles on the collection Tales from Shakespeare. She and Charles presided over a literary circle in London that included the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, among others, until, suffering from a mental breakdown, she stabbed her mother to death and spent much of the rest of her life confined to mental institutions.

1765 – Adélaïde Dufrénoy, award-winning French writer, novelist, poet, erotic poet, translator, painter, children’s author, and salonnière.

1807 – Gamaliel Bailey, U.S. physician who left that career to become an abolitionist journalist, editor, and publisher.

1857 – Joseph Conrad, Polish author who wrote in English after moving to Britain and became one of the best-known authors in the English language; he is famous for such classic novels as Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim.

1864 – Ethna Carbery (born Anna Johnston), Irish journalist, writer, and poet who co-published two Irish nationalist magazines, but is best known for the ballad “Roddy McCorley” and the “Song of Ciabhán”; the latter was set to music by Ivor Gurney.

1870 – Nino Martoglio, Sicilian Italian screenwriter, writer, poet, playwright, journalist, film producer, film editor, and magazine publisher; through his magazine, he became an important figure in the establishment of Sicilian as an acceptable literary language.

1872 – Berto Barbarani (full name Roberto Tiberio Barbarani), Italian poet and journalist who wrote in the Veronese dialect of Northern Italy.

1879 – Mohammadjaafar Khan Gerashi (known as Moghtader ol-Mamalek, and by his pen-name Sheyda), Persian poet and lyricist.

1882 – Taneda Santoka (pen name of Taneda Shoichi), Japanese author and haiku poet who is notable for his free-verse haiku — a style that does not conform to the formal rules of traditional haiku.

1897 – Kate O’Brien, award-winning Irish novelist, playwright, screenwriter, travel writer, and short-story writer; many of her works dealt with issues of female agency and sexuality in ways that were new and radical at the time, leading to some of them being banned at times. Several of her books even include positive gay or lesbian characters, make her a pioneer in queer literary representation.

1902 – Olga Scheinpflugová, Czech writer, poet, playwright, and actress; her father was writer, journalist, and playwright Karel Scheinpflug, and her husband was novelist and playwright Karel Capek, who coined the word “robot.”

1905 – Shi Zhecun, Chinese essayist, poet, short-story writer, and translator who is most known for his Modernist short stories that explored the psychological conditions of Shanghai urbanites; later in his career, he translated western novels into Chinese and worked as a scholar of classical Chinese literature.

1914 – Alaíde Foppa de Solórzano, Guatemalan and Argentinian poet, writer, art critic, translator, feminist, and human-rights activist; she created a radio show that discussed inequalities within Mexican society, violence, and how violence should be treated as a public rather than a private concern. Her activism against governmental human-rights violations led to her being labeled as a subversive; she disappeared in 1980 and is thought to have been abducted and killed.

1920 – Cho Chi-hun, South Korean poet, critic, essayist, and activist.

1923  – Malcolm Franklin, Shanghai-born U.S. author who was the stepson of writer William Faulkner and wrote about his life with him.

1924 – Francisco Sionil José, Filipino novelist and short-story writer who is one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language.

1928 – Karin Bang, Norwegian poet, novelist, children’s writer, and crime-fiction writer.

1936 – Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal, Bangladeshi songwriter, singer, poet, essayist, critic, and professor.

1937 – Morgan Llywelyn, award-winning U.S.-born Irish author known for her historical and mythological fiction, as well as her historical nonfiction books.

1938 – Thea Doelwijt, award-winning Dutch-born Surinamese novelist, poet, playwright, journalist, literary critic, children’s writer, and Surinamist.

1940 – Mamman Jiya Vatsa, Nigerian writer, poet, and Army general who was executed by the government for treason for his role in an abortive coup.

1942 – David K. Shipler, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. nonfiction author and journalist; he is perhaps best known for his books Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land and The Working Poor: Invisible in America.

1944 – Craig Anthony Raine, English poet who is one of the best-known exponents of Martian poetry, a minor movement in British poetry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which everyday things and human behavior are described as if by a visiting Martian who does not understand them.

1944 – Telcine Turner-Rolle, Bahamian poet, playwright, children’s writer, and educator; she was best known for her award-winning play Woman Take Two.

1953 – Boris A. Novak, Slovenian poet, playwright, children’s writer, and translator.

1955 – Michael Musto, U.S. journalist, author, and Village Voice columnist.

1956 – Sergio Bizzio, award-winning Argentine screenwriter, writer, poet, author, short-story writer, and film director.

1962 – Francesca Lia Block, U.S. author of young-adult novels, short stories, screenplays, and poetry, best known for her “Weetzie Bat” series.

1963 – Aasne Linnestå, Norwegian poet, novelist, lyricist, educator, and literature critic who is interested in the history of ideas.

1963 – Selena Millares, Canarian-born Spanish writer, poet, novelist, essayist, philologist, and professor.

1963 – Ahmet Yalçinkaya, award-winning Turkish poet, author, essayist, and engineer.

1980 – Zlata Filipović, Bosnian writer, author of the bestselling journal Zlata’s Diary which she first wrote when she was between the ages of 11 and 13, during the war in Sarajevo.

1987 – Andriy Lyubka, Latvian-born Ukrainian poet, essayist, and translator.

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