February 26 Writer Birthdays

1722 – Mary Leapor, English poet of the working class.

1802 – Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist, and playwright of the Romantic movement, best known internationally for his novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

1808 – Elise Averdieck, German writer, nurse, social activist, and deaconess.

1818 – Katharina Prato, (Katharina Pratobevera, née Polt), Austrian cookbook writer and educator whose work was in print for more than a hundred years.

1832 – John George Nicolay, German-born U.S. biographer of President Abraham Lincoln who was also Lincoln’s private secretary.

1832 – Modesta Sanginés Uriarte, Bolivian journalist, author, poet, translator, music composer, pianist, vocalist, and philanthropist who was one of the principal composers of 19th century Bolivia.

1869 – Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary, memoirist, educator, reformer, and politician who played a key role in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and also worked to reform the country’s library system. She married revolutionary and political theorist Vladimir Lenin; her memoir of her life with Lenin gives the most detailed account available of Lenin’s life before his coming to power. After his death she joined the opposition against Soviet leader Joseph Stalin; he threatened to retaliate by removing her status as Lenin’s widow and assigning another woman to fill that role. During her seventieth birthday party in 1939, Stalin had Krupskaya poisoned; she died the following day.

1880 – Karin Smirnov (or Smirnoff), Finnish and Swedish author, playwright, and biographer who was born Karin Strindberg.

1884 – Dina Appeldoorn (full name Christina Adriana Arendina Koudijs-Appeldoorn), Dutch composer, lyricist, poet, and pianist whose works were written in the Romantic style.

1900 – Halina Konopacka, Polish poet, writer, artist, and fashion designer whose written works were praised for their feminist approach to analyzing the relationship between a man and a woman, for their reminiscences of youth, and for their treatment of the topic of jealousy; she was also an Olympic gold medalist discus thrower and Poland’s first Olympic champion.

1902 – Jean Marcel Bruller, French novelist and artist-engraver who wrote under the pseudonym Vercors.

1908 – Leela Majumdar, award-winning Indian Bengali writer, detective novelist, short-story writer, children’s author, editor, fantasy writer, humor writer, translator, biographer, autobiographer, and cookbook writer.

1909 – Fanny Craddock (pseudonym of Phillis Nan Sortain Pechey) English food writer, television cook, and restaurant critic.

1918 – Theodore Sturgeon, prolific U.S. writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and literary criticism author who wrote 11 novels, more than 120 short stories, approximately 400 reviews, and several Star Trek scripts.

1936 – Adem Demaçi, Albanian human-rights activist, novelist, and politician.

1937 – Sharon Bell Mathis, Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning U.S. librarian and author of books for children and young adults.

1944 – Christopher Hope, South African novelist, poet, and satirical writer who is known for his controversial works dealing with racism and politics in South Africa.

1946 – Gabrielle Lord, Australian writer who has been a journalist, novelist, children’s writer, nonfiction author, short-story writer, essayist, and critic; best known for her psychological thrillers, she has been called “Australia’s First Lady of Crime.”

1948 – Sharyn McCrumb, award-winning bestselling U.S. writer whose books and short stories tend to center around Appalachia.

1948 – Roberta Alexandra Mary Taylor (née Roberts), English actress and author who is best known for her role in EastEnders.

1949 – Elizabeth George, U.S. author of mysteries set in Great Britain; she is best known as creator of the Inspector Lynley character.

1953 – Lin Ching-hsuan, award-winning Taiwanese writer, journalist, and essayist.

1956 – Michel Houellebecq, French author, poet, essayist, film director, and singer.

1962 – Atiq Rahimi, French-Afghan writer and filmmaker.

1967 – Nelson Saúte, Mozambican writer, journalist, and professor.

1971 – Ivana Šojat, Croatian writer, novelist, essayist, and short story writer whose most famous work is the award-winning novel Unterstadt, which was also adapted and put onstage as a theatrical play.

1974 – Lola Shoneyin (born Titilola Atinuke Alexandrah Shoneyin), award-winning Nigerian poet and author who has forged a reputation as an adventurous, humorous, and outspoken feminist poet. In 2014 she was named on the Hay Festival’s “Africa39” list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers under 40 with the potential and talent to define trends in African literature; in 2017, she was named African Literary Person of the Year.

1979 – Jela Krečič, Slovenian novelist and journalist.

1982 – Rose Berryl, award-winning Belgian fantasy writer and novelist.

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