December 28 Writer Birthdays

1470 – Aulo Giano Parrasio, Italian writer, historian, author, editor, humanist, philosopher, philologist, and opinion journalist.

1550 – Vicente Espinel, Spanish writer, composer, priest, poet, translator, musician, and guitarist; he is credited the creation of the modern poetic form, the décima, composed of ten octameters, named espinela in Spanish after him.

1731 – José de Viera y Clavijo, Spanish ecclesiastic, historian, botanist, anthropologist, ethnographer, and professor, best known for his exhaustive History of the Canary Islands.

1789 – Catharine Maria Sedgwick, U.S. novelist, short-story writer, and activist for religious freedom.

1796 – Édouard d’Anglemont, French writer, playwright, librettist, and Romantic poet.

1808 – Abraham Mapu, Lithuanian novelist who wrote in Hebrew as part of the Haskalah (enlightenment) movement; his novels, with lively stories of heroism, adventure, and romantic love in Biblical settings, contributed to the rise of the Zionist movement.

1809 – Sarah Windsor Tomlinson, British author, writer, and educator who often wrote about science, nature, history, and technology.

1824 – Stephen Born, Polish writer, journalist, philosopher, typesetter, politician, university teacher, revolutionary, and trade unionist.

1840 – Clarisse Bader, celebrated French writer, biographer, and author who wrote, among other things, several books about women in different time periods, such as Femme Grecque: Étude de la vie antique (Greek Woman: Study of Ancient Life) and La femme française dans les temps modernes (The French Woman in Modern Times); many of her books are still in print.

1855 – Juan Zorrilla de San Martín, Uruguayan epic poet, writer, journalist, judge, politician, and diplomat who is referred to as the National Poet of Uruguay.

1863 – Milena Theresia Preindlsberger von Preindlsperg (née Mrazovic), Austro-Hungarian journalist, writer, travel writer, and piano composer; while horseback riding through remote mountain villages, Mrazovic recorded Bosnian oral traditions and collected traditional costumes. She was the first journalist in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the author of the first classical compositions there, but is best known for the travel books she wrote during her long journeys.

1868 – Bucura Dumbravă, Romanian writer, essayist, biographer, travel writer, music critic, pianist, and mountaineer; her fiction, mainly written in German, covers romantic stories about the legendary feats of heroes and is largely forgotten, but her travel writing remains a standard in Romanian literature.

1872 – Pío Baroja y Nessi, Spanish Basque writer, one of the key novelists of the Generation of ’98.

1874 – María de la O Lejárraga García (usually known as Maria de la O, but sometimes called María Martínez Sierra), Spanish feminist writer, dramatist, translator, and politician.

1879 – Sayadaw U Ottama, Burmese author and Theravada Buddhist monk who was a leader of the Burmese independence movement during British colonial rule; he was imprisoned several times by the British colonial government for his anti-colonialist political activities.

1880 – C. Louis Leipoldt (full name Christian Frederik Louis Leipoldt), South African poet, dramatist, medical doctor, reporter, and food expert who was one of the leading figures in the poetry of the Second Afrikaans Movement.

1891 – Marguerite Grépon, French journalist and writer who founded the feminist literary magazine Ariane.

1895 – Carol Ryrie Brink, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. author of children’s and adult fiction, best known for her novel Caddie Woodlawn, which was based on events from her grandmother’s childhood.

1900 – Sakae Kubo, Japanese playwright, translator, and theatrical director.

1900 – Gajanan Tryambak Madkholkar, Indian Marathi novelist, editor, playwright, poet, short-story writer, and literary critic.

1902 – Mortimer Jerome Adler, U.S. philosopher, educator, and popular author.

1902 – Shen Congwen (also Ts’ung-wen), Miao Chinese writer from the May Fourth Movement, known for combining the vernacular style of writing with classical Chinese writing techniques and a strong influence from western literature.

1911 – Sam Levenson, U.S. humorist, writer, teacher, television host, and journalist.

1917 – Mouloud Mammeri, Algerian-born Berber writer, poet, anthropologist, and linguist who immigrated to Morocco.

1919 – Emily Cheney Neville, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. author of children’s books.

1922 – Stan Lee, U.S. comic-book author and editor who was president of Marvel Comics.

1925 – Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef, German actress, singer, writer, and memoirist.

1927 – Simon Arthur Noël Raven, controversial English novelist, essayist, and dramatist.

1931 – Guy Louis Debord, French Marxist theorist, writer, and filmmaker.

1932 – Manuel Puig, Argentine author known for such novels as Kiss of the Spider Woman.

1933 – Charles McColl Portis, American author best known for the classic Western novel True Grit, which has been made into two films.

1938 – Frank Kelly, Irish actor, singer, playwright, and screenwriter.

1945 – Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, British journalist, editor, historian, and author; his parents were Macdonald Hastings, a journalist and war correspondent, and Anne Scott-James, editor of Harper’s Bazaar.

1953 – Charlie Pierce, U.S. sportswriter, political blogger, and frequent contestant on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”

1955 – Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule and was incarcerated as a political prisoner.

1958 – Gilles Leroy, French novelist, playwright, and short-story writer; winner of the 2007 Prix Goncourt.

1961 – Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian philosopher, writer, and professor, now based in Canada.

1963 – Willow Bay, U.S. television correspondent, editor, and author.

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