January 18 Writer Birthdays

1779 – Peter Mark Roget, British thesaurus developer and physician.

1867 – Rubén Darío, born Félix Rubén Garcia-Sarmiento, Nicaraguan poet and short-story writer.

1882 – A.A. Milne, British playwright, screenwriter, humor writer, and children’s author, best known for his Winnie the Pooh books and other children’s poetry.

1884 – Elena Arizmendi Mejía, Mexican feminist leader, journalist, nurse, magazine founder, autobiographer, and music teacher who established the Neutral White Cross to care for casualties of the Mexican Revolution that the Red Cross would not aid; she also established two international women’s rights organizations: the “Mujeres de la Raza” (Women of the [Hispanic] Race) and the International League of Iberian and Latin American Women.

1886 – Clara Nordström, pseudonym and birth name of Clara Elisabet von Vegesack, Swedish-born German writer and translator.

1891 – Clare Winger Harris, U.S. science-fiction writer whose short stories were published during the 1920s; she is credited as the first woman to publish stories under her own name in science-fiction magazines. Many of her stories dealt with characters on the “borders of humanity,” such as cyborgs.

1893 – Jorge Guillén y Álvarez, Spanish poet, scholar, and literary critic.

1893 – Roziya Boimatovna Ghafurova (better known as Roziya Ozod), Tajikistani poet of the Soviet era; much of her poetry focuses on the lot of women, in verse that stylistically has a simplicity reminiscent of folk poetry, although it reflects classical models as well.

1901 – Tomoyoshi Murayama, Japanese artist, playwright, and drama producer.

1911 – José María Arguedas Altamirano, Peruvian novelist, poet, short-story writer, and anthropologist; though of Spanish descent, he was fluent in the native Quechua language and wrote in both Spanish and Quechua. He is considered one of the key figures in 20th-century Peruvian literature.

1912 – William Sansom, British writer of novels, short stories, and travel books.

1914 – Vitomil Zupan, Slovenian writer, poet, playwright, essayist and screenwriter who was one of the most important authors in the Slovene language of the second half of the 20th century; he also wrote under the pseudonym Langus.

1932 – Samuel Asare Konadu, Ghanaian journalist, novelist, and publisher who also wrote under the pseudonym Kwabena Asare Bediako.

1932 – Robert Anton Wilson, U.S. novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, and self-described agnostic mystic, whose most well known work is his Illuminatus trilogy.

1934 – Raymond Briggs, English children’s author and illustrator whose wordless book The Snowman is a Christmas classic.

1951 – Sally Morgan, Australian aboriginal artist and author.

1971 – Carolyn Parkhurst, bestselling U.S. author of novels and children’s books.

1971 – Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, award-winning Kenyan author and journalist whom Time magazine called one of the most influential people in the world.

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