February 21 Writer Birthdays

1755 – Anne Grant (often called Mrs. Anne Grant of Laggan), Scottish poet and author best known for her collection of mostly biographical poems Memoirs of an American Lady as well as her earlier work Letters from the Mountains.

1817 – José Zorrilla y Moral, Spanish poet and dramatist whose work was part of the Romantic movement.

1820 – Apollo Korzeniowski, Polish poet, playwright, translator, clandestine political activist, and father of Polish-English novelist Joseph Conrad.

1821 – Charles Scribner, U.S. founder of the company, Charles Scribner’s Sons, a major publisher of books and magazines.

1888 – Clemence Dane (pseudonym of Winifred Ashton), English novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, science-fiction writer, painter, and sculptor.

1903 – Anaïs Nin, French-born Cuban-U.S. novelist, diarist, critic, essayist, and writer of short stories and erotica; she is best known for the journals she wrote for 60 years, many of which have been published, and which feature intimate details of her relationships with friends and lovers who included some of the best-known literary figures of the day.

1903 – Raymond Queneau, French author who produced some of the most important prose and poetry of the mid-20th century.

1907 – W.H. Auden (Wystan Hugh Auden), Pulitzer Prize-winning English-born U.S. poet and anti-war socialist whose work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievement; its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion; and its variety in tone, form and content.

1915 – Claudia Jones, Trinidadian journalist, writer, communist, feminist, black-rights campaigner, revolutionary, and gifted orator who was a key figure in the early struggle for racial equality.

1927- Erma Bombeck, U.S. humorist, columnist, and author whose writing found the humor in suburban home life and gained her an enormous following.

1931 – Betty Jane Wylie, award-winning Canadian nonfiction writer, biographer, playwright, screenwriter, children’s writer, poet, journalist, and culinary writer.

1934 – David Avidan, Israeli poet, writer, playwright, actor, and painter who is remembered especially as a prolific writer of Hebrew poetry.

1936 – Barbara Jordan, groundbreaking U.S. African-American lawyer, politician, professor, speechwriter, and autobiographer; she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was President Bill Clinton’s choice for Supreme Court Justice but was not nominated because of her poor health.

1937 – Jilly Cooper, British author, journalist, nonfiction writer, children’s book author, and bestselling romance novelist.

1943 – Lyudmila Evgenyevna Ulitskaya, internationally acclaimed modern Russian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, children’s writer, translator, and human-rights activist.

1944 – Angelamaría Dávila (also spelled Ánjelamaria or Angela María Dávila), Puerto Rican poet and writer who explored themes of love, relationships, and womanhood; she was an Afro-feminist and Afro-Caribbean voice who identified her black Puerto Ricanness as a defining characteristic of her work and identity.

1946 – Raúl Argemí, award-winning Argentinean crime writer, journalist, and children’s author.

1946 – Monica Johnson, award-winning U.S. screenwriter and producer for television and movies; she often collaborated with Albert Brooks and sometimes wrote under the name Monica McGowan.

1947 – Lidia Bastianich (Lidia Giuliana Matticchio Bastianich), Croatian-born Italian-U.S. celebrity chef, television host, author, and restaurateur who specializes in Italian cuisine.

1948 – Elizabeth Edmondson (who also wrote under the names Elizabeth Aston and Elizabeth Pewsey), Chilean-born English author who wrote primarily in the mystery, historical, and contemporary fiction genres; many of her published stories were adaptations and sequels of Jane Austen’s works.

1950 – Håkan Nesser, Swedish author best known for his crime fiction.

1952 – Jia Pingwa, one of China’s most popular authors of novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction; one of his best-known novels, Ruined City, was banned for more than 17 years for explicit sexual content.

1952 – Jeff Shaara, U.S. author of historical fiction; he is the son of Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Shaara.

1956 – Ha Jin, Chinese-born poet, novelist, short-story writer, and university teacher whose work is associated with the Misty Poetry movement.

1959 – Lee Seung-u, award-winning South Korean novelist, short-story writer, and professor who is one of the outstanding writers to have emerged in South Korea since the 1980s.

1959 – Hanne-Vibeke Holst, award-winning Danish writer, author, and journalist; she is the daughter of authors Knud Holst Andersen and Kirsten Johanne Høybye.

1961 – David D. Levine, Hugo Award-winning U.S. novelist, science-fiction writer, short-story writer, and magazine editor; in 2010, he spent two weeks in a simulated Mars habitat of the Mars Society, in Utah.

1962 – Charles Michael Palahniuk, U.S. novelist and journalist who describes his work as “transgressional fiction”; he is best known for the novel Fight Club.

1962 – David Foster Wallace, influential U.S. novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and professor who is best known for his novel Infinite Jest; Time magazine cited as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.

1963 – Karl Lauterbach, German writer, physician, politician, university teacher, and epidemiologist.

1968 – Gabriella Håkansson, Swedish novelist whose books are renowned for their psychological originality, complex plots, gothic sense of humor, and claustrophobic mapping of the human mind.

1969 – Gabeba Baderoon, award-winning South African poet and professor.

1972 – Audrey Pulvar, award-winning French writer, journalist, editor, television and radio host, and politician; in 2020, she became Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sustainable food, agriculture and supply chains.

1973 – Bowie Tsang, Taiwanese author, actress, television host, and singer.

1975 – Osvalds Zebris, award-winning Latvian novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and public-relations professional.

1977 – Jonathan Safran Foer, U.S. modernist author of fiction and nonfiction, best known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

1980 – Shaiju Mathew, Indian author, screenwriter, movie reviewer, and film director, best known for his 2010 book Knocked Up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: