December 5 Writer Birthdays

1545 – Ana de Jesús, Spanish nun and writer who was a close companion of St.
Teresa of Avila and who was known as a mystic and for her writings on prayer.

1556 – Anne Cecil (Countess of Oxford), English writer, poet, and courtier nobility who served as a Maid of Honor to Queen Elizabeth I; she is best known for writing six elegiac poems memorializing her infant son after his death.

1751 – Catharine Stolberg, German countess who was a poet, novelist, playwright, and biographer.

1804 – Cesare Cantù, Italian historian, writer, essayist, poet, teacher, and politician. His prodigious literary activity led to his falling under the suspicions of the Austrian police, who thought he was a member of Young Italy, and he was arrested; while in prison he had no access to writing materials, but still managed to write the novel Margherita Pusterla, writing on rags with a toothpick and candle smoke.

1822 – Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, U.S. author, science writer, educator, naturalist, explorer, biographer, and philosopher who co-founded and served as the first president of Radcliffe College; a researcher of natural history, she was an author and illustrator of natural history texts and accompanied her husband, biologist Louis Agassi, on his journey to Brazil in 1865-66 and on the Hassler expedition in 1871-72.

1825 – E. Marlitt (pseudonym for Eugenie John), popular German novelist and children’s writer; in her fiction she used her experiences at court and as a travelling companion to the Princess of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen; her work was primarily directed against social prejudice.

1829 – Mikalojus Akelaitis, prominent Lithuanian writer, publicist, and linguist who was one of the early figures of the Lithuanian National Revival and was also a participant in the Uprising of 1863.

1830 – Christina Rossetti, English writer of romantic and children’s poems, best known for her long poem Goblin Market.

1849 – Kazimierz Zalewski (pseudonym Jerzy Myriel), Polish dramatist, literary critic, theatre critic, and magazine editor and publisher who was one of the leading authors of middle-class positivistic drama.

1859 – Víctor Manuel Rendón, Ecuadorian writer, poet, doctor, diplomat, composer,, and pianist.

1861 – Joséphine Marchand-Dandurand, Canadian journalist, writer, editor, and feminist activist.

1862 – Federico Degetau, Puerto Rican author, lawyer, and politician.

1864 – Aimée Crocker, U.S. writer, poet, mystic, autobiographer, art collector, heiress, and Bohemian known for her cultural exploration of the Far East; her extravagant parties in San Francisco, New York and Paris; and for her collections of husbands, lovers, adopted children, Buddhas, pearls, tattoos, and snakes. Her autobiography, And I’d Do It Again, chronicles her adventures touring the Far East, including an escape from headhunters in Borneo, a poisoning in Hong Kong, a murder attempt by knife-throwing servants in Shanghai, and three weeks in the harem of Bhurlana (she claimed to be the first English speaking woman who had ever seen the inside of a harem).

1866 – Susan Langstaff Mitchell, Irish writer and poet who was known for her satirical verse.

1872 – Vir Singh (Punjabi: ਭਾਈ ਵੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ), Indian poet, scholar, and theologian who was a key figure in the movement for the revival of Punjabi literary tradition.

1874 – Nikolay Burenin, Russian pianist, writer, revolutionary, concert pianist and music collector who worked as an organizer for Bolshevik illegal operations.

1876 – Flora Thompson, English author, poet, novelist, essayist, and postmaster, best known for her semi-autobiographical trilogy about the English countryside, Lark Rise to Candleford, which has been adapted for television.

1882 – Natalia Negru, Romanian poet and prose writer who is best remembered not for her own work, but also for being at the center of a love triangle involving her first husband and her second.

1885 – Louise Bryant (born Anna Louise Mohan), U.S. journalist, writer, editor, suffragist, and political activist who was best known for her sympathetic coverage of Russia and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution; she married fellow journalist John Reed. The film Reds depicted her and Reed’s time in Russia, Bryant was played by Diane Keaton, alongside Warren Beatty as Reed.

1886 – Rose Wilder Lane, U.S. journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist who was the daughter of writer Laura Ingalls Wilder; Along with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson, Lane is considered one of the founders of the American libertarian movement.

1891 – Kazuo Hirotsu, Japanese novelist, literary critic, screenwriter, linguist, short-story writer, and translator.

1896 – Ann Nolan Clark, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. children’s author.

1896 – Henry Poulaille, French writer and publisher who devoted his energy to the promotion of proletarian literature.

1897 – Gershom Scholem (born Gerhard Scholem), German-born Israeli writer, lecturer, essayist, librarian, historian, pedagogue, university teacher, philosopher, and bibliographer who is widely regarded as the founder of the modern, academic study of Kabbalah; he was the first Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

1911 – Waldemar Christofer Brøgger, Norwegian writer, novelist, journalist, translator, editor, and philosopher.

1911 – Carlos Marighella, Brazilian writer, politician, and Marxist-Leninist guerrilla fighter of Marxist-Leninist orientation; his most famous contribution to revolutionary terrorism literature was the Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla, consisting of advice on how to disrupt and overthrow a military regime. His theories have greatly influenced contemporary ideological activism.

1918 – Jagan Nath Azad, prolific Indian Urdu poet, writer, biographer, travel writer, and academician.

1918 – Pauline Neura Reilly, Australian ornithologist, writer, author of children’s books, and Air Force gunner; as an ornithologist, she is best known for her field studies of penguins and for her scientifically accurate children’s books on Australian birds and other animals.

1920 – Jana Milcinski (born Jana Podkrajšek), award-winning Slovene writer, poet, journalist, translator, linguist, and children’s author; many of her books are about World War II in Yugoslavia.

1921 – Eeva-Liisa Manner, Finnish writer, poet, playwright, linguist, and translator who was one of the most influential modernists in post-war Finland.

1929 – Madis Kõiv, award-winning Estonian writer, playwright, short-story author, philosopher, and physicist.

1931 – Hryhir Mykhaylovych Tiutiunnyk, Ukrainian writer, screenwriter, and journalist.

1932 – Fazu Aliyeva, Avar-speaking Soviet-born Russian poet, novelist, journalist, and human-rights activist; she played a significant role in the development of the Dagestani languages in Russian literature.

1934 – Joan Didion, U.S. author of novels, essays, and literary journalism, known for her lucid prose and incisive depictions of social unrest and psychological fragmentation.

1935 – Jean Bolinder, Swedish crime novelist whose most famous crime-solving characters are Jöran and Marianne Bundin.

1935 – Calvin Marshall Trillin, U.S. journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoir writer, and novelist.

1936 – James Lee Burke, Edgar Award-winning U.S. author of mysteries, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series.

1936 – Anke de Vries, prolific, award-winning Dutch writer of books for children and young adults.

1938 – Raghuveer Chaudhari, Indian novelist, poet, critic, newspaper columnist, and university teacher; his most significant contributions have been written in the Gujarati language, but he also writes in Hindi.

1940 – Rose Kerketta, Indian writer, poet, thinker, and tribal rights activist who has written books about tribal language and culture.

1954 – Hanif Kureishi, English author, screenwriter, and playwright; The Times has named him one of Britain’s 50 Greatest Writers Since 1945.

1956 – Kwaku Sintim-Misa, Ghanaian writer, comedian, satirist, actor, and television and radio host.

1957 – Haviva Pedaya, award-winning Israeli poet, author, cultural researcher, activist, and professor of Jewish history; she is known as a fierce critic of the ways society continues to oppress women.

1965 – Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh (Persian شهربانو تاجبخش), Iranian-born researcher, author, professor, and United Nations consultant in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, counter-terrorism, and radicalization.

1968 – Lydia Millet, Pulitzer Prize-finalist U.S. novelist who writes literary fiction with a hint of dark humor; one critic said of her work, “The writing is always flawlessly beautiful, reaching for an experience that precedes language itself.”

1969 – Catherine Tate, award-winning English comedian, actress, writer, and screenwriter; she is best known for playing the role of Donna Noble, a companion to Doctor Who on the BBC series.

1976 – Miloš Đukelić, Serbian screenwriter, film director, and producer.

1988 – Aminder Dhaliwal, Canadian writer, cartoonist, comic artist, and animator; she is best known for her graphic novel Woman World.

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