1190 – Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Iraqi poet, historian, theologian, and Muslim scholar.
1815 – Betty Paoli (born Barbara Elisabeth Glück), Austrian author, poet, art and theater critic, translator, and journalist who was a companion of Princess Maria Anna Schwarzenberg.
1865 – Rudyard Kipling, Nobel Prize-winning English author best known for his tales of India.
1876 – Mustafa Lutfi el-Manfaluti, Egyptian writer, poet, and translator who memorized the Quran before the age of twelve and grew up to write many well-known books, short stories, and articles.
1883 – Marie Gevers, award-winning Belgian writer, poet, translator, and children’s writer whose work extolled a love of family and heritage and an interest in the lives of ordinary people; she was the first woman elected to the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature in Belgium.
1897 – Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author, lyricist, and scriptwriter..
1910 – Paul Bowles, U.S. expatriate author, short-story writer, travel writer, and composer who spent much of his career in Morocco.
1912 – Pasha Angelina, Ukrainian Soviet writer, autobiographer, and agricultural worker who was one of the first female tractor operators in the USSR and who became a symbol of the technically educated female Soviet worker.
1917 – Yun Dong-ju, Chinese-born Korean poet known for his lyric poetry and his resistance poetry.
1922 – Jane Langton, U.S. author of mystery novels and children’s books; her novel The Fledgling was a Newbery Honor book.
1923 – Sara Lidman, one of the most important Swedish novelists of the 20th century; her works focused on political subjects, with socialist leanings.
1928 – Raisa Soltamuradovna Akhmatova, internationally recognized Soviet-born Chechen poet whose poems have been especially popular among ethnic Chechens and Ingush worldwide, although her entire archive was destroyed when Russian forces burned the Chechen National Archives during the First Chechen War.
1928 – Shabnam Romani, Indian-born Pakistani Urdu poet, columnist, and literary magazine editor whose real name was Mirza Azeem Baig Chughtai.
1929 – Lucien Xavier Michel-Andrianarahinjaka, Madagascar writer, poet, professor, and politician who made major contributions to Malagasy literature for his work in collecting and transcribing the oral literature of several Malagasy ethnic groups.
1939 – Glenda Adams, award-winning Australian novelist, playwright, essayist, short-story writer, and academic.
1942 – Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian Soviet writer, politician, human-rights activist, neurophysiologist, and dissident who spent a total of twelve years in psychiatric prison-hospitals, labor camps, and prisons within the Soviet Union.
1943 – Julia Briggs, British biographer, writer, and professor who is best known for her book Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life.
1943 – Mercer Mayer, prolific U.S. children’s author and illustrator best known for his Little Critter and Little Monster series of books.
1946 – Patti Smith, U.S. singer-songwriter and poet who was an influential member of the early New York punk scene.
1947 – James Kahn, U.S. writer best known for his novelizations of films.
1948 – Horace Engdahl, Swedish writer, translator, university teacher, literary critic, and literary historian.
1949 – Jean-Noël Alexandre Robert, French orientalist, author, translator, and professor who is a specialist in the history of Buddhism in Japan and of its Chinese predecessors; his work particularly focus on Tendai and the philology of Sino-Japanese Buddhist texts.
1950 – Sharon “Safiya” Henderson-Holmes, award-winning U.S. African-American poet and professor.
1950 – Timothy Mo, award-winning Hong Kong-born British writer, journalist, and novelist.
1950 – Lewis Shiner, U.S. writer of science fiction, cyberpunk, and fantasy.
1950 – Bjarne Stroustrup, Danish writer, computer scientist, programmer, engineer, and professor who created the C++ computer language.
1951 – Jörg Graser, German writer, screenwriter, and film director.
1952 – Jesús Ferrero, Spanish writer, poet, novelist, essayist, journalist, screenwriter, educator, and short-story writer who is one of a group of well-known Spanish novelists who have published fiction in the vein of “historical memory,” focusing on the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist State; his style has been compared to that of Cervantes and Kafka, and is characterized by the adoption of classical narrative patterns, modernized with new stylistic features.
1952 – Melissa Fay Greene, award-winning U.S. author of nonfiction books.
1952 – N. Prabhakaran, noted Indian novelist, poet, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, professor, editor, and columnist who writes in Malayalam.
1952 – S.P. Somtow (real name Somtow Papinian Sucharitkul), Thailand-born writer, screenwriter, novelist, science-fiction writer, fantasy writer, horror writer, composer, conductor, and film director who has both Thai and U.S. citizenship.
1953 – David Jaomanoro, Madagascar writer, poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher.
1954 – Shantanu Kaiser, award-winning Pakistani-born Bangladeshi poet, biographer, playwright, and essayist.
1954 – Lauro Zavala, Mexican author, researcher, literary theorist, and professor who is the author of a series of models for analyzing short stories, novels, feature films, documentaries, and other forms of narrative, as well as photographs and other cultural products; at the core of his work is a theory on the formal components of postmodern cultural products.
1957 – Mark A. Gabriel, Egyptian nonfiction writer, novelist, and lecturer whose subject matter includes Islam, terrorism, religion, and the Middle East.
1957 – Stein Versto, Norwegian novelist, poet, translator, editor, short-story writer, folk musician, and fiddler.
1959 – Ali Lmrabet, Moroccan writer, satirist, journalist, diplomat, and human-rights activist who founded a weekly satirical journal; his satirical writing has caused him to be arrested, fined, and sent to prison several times, charged with the crime of insulting the king.
1961 – Douglas Coupland, bestselling Canadian novelist, designer, and visual artist.
1962 – Kossi Efoui, Togolese playwright, novelist, philosopher, and short-story writer.
1963 – Xavier Mauméjean, French writer, playwright, science-fiction author, and educator.
1966 – Akosua Gyamama Busia, Ghanaian actress, screenwriter, novelist, film director, and songwriter; she is best known for playing the younger sister of Whoopi Goldberg’s character in the film, The Color Purple.
1976 – Celia Walden, French-born British writer, journalist, novelist, columnist, critic, and memoirist.
1989 – Madzitatiguru (pen name for Tendekai Philemon Tati, award-winning Zimbabwean poet, writer, spoken word artist, musician, and comedian.