1145 – Baha ad-Din ibn Shaddad, Iraqi poet, writer, biographer, theologian, jurist, and professor.
1749 – Friederike von Alvensleben, German playwright, librettist, theater director, and actress.
1775 – Charlotte Richardson (also known as Charlotte Smith), British poet and writer; her poetry explores such topics as the French invasion, the slave trade, and her reading of works by abolitionist Thomas Clarkson and writer and historian Walter Scott.
1811 – Pier Angelo Fiorentino, Italian playwright, journalist and poet, novelist, writer, translator, and music critic who wrote in both Italian and French.
1840 – Constance Fenimore Woolson, U.S. poet, novelist, and short-story writer whose great uncle was novelist James Fenimore Cooper; her fiction focused on the Great Lakes region, the American South, and American expatriates in Europe.
1845 – Erna Emilie Louise Juel-Hansen (née Drachmann), Danish novelist, educational reformer, and women’s rights activist; she is credited with introducing gymnastics into her country’s educational curriculum and cofounding Denmark’s first kindergarten.
1853 – Howard Pyle, U.S. author and illustrator of books for young people, and founder of a school for aspiring illustrators.
1858 – Ludwig Julius Eisenberg, Austrian writer, encyclopedist, and lexicographer.
1866 – Alikhan Nurmukhamedovich Bukeikhanov, Kazakh writer, publicist, statesman, politician, teacher, newspaper founder, journalist, and environmental scientist.
1870 – Frank Norris, U.S. novelist, journalist, and naturalist of the Progressive Era.
1871 – Rosa Luxemburg, Polish, German, and Jewish writer, revolutionary Socialist, Marxist philosopher, political scientist, economist, lawyer, educator, and peace activist; she wrote books, speeches, articles, and pamphlets, sometimes under the pseudonym Junius. For her revolutionary activities, she was captured by the German army, tortured, and executed in 1919.
1873 – Teotig (pen name for Teotoros Labdjindjian), Turkish-born Armenian writer and publisher best known for his Armenian language almanac, Amenun Daretsuytsi (Everyone’s Almanac).
1882 – Dora Marsden, English writer, suffragist, founder and editor of literary journals, and philosopher of language.
1893 – Lucy Larcom, U.S. teacher, poet, author, teacher, editor, and literary magazine founder who wrote one of the best accounts of a New England childhood of her time, A New England Girlhood, commonly used as a reference in studying antebellum American childhood.
1896 – Lotte H. Eisner, German historian, writer, poet, archivist, and film critic.
1901 – Yocheved Bat-Miriam (pen name of Yocheved Zhlezniak), Belarus-born Israeli poet whose work expressed nostalgia for the landscapes of her birthland; after the death of her son Nahum (Zuzik) Hazaz during the Palestine war, she never wrote another poem.
1902 – Edith Dagmar Emilia Morris (born Edita Toll), Swedish novelist, short-story writer, and political activist. She is mostly known for her novel The Flowers of Hiroshima, which was partly based on her son’s visit to Hiroshima shortly after the dropping of the atomic bomb on this city; he was a noted Japanologist and U.S. Naval Intelligence officer.
1905 – Kalutara Koralalage Edward Winifred Brito Adikaram, Sri Lankan, writer, social activist, and philosopher.
1905 – Hadiya Davletshina (real name Hadiya Lutfulovna Davletshina), Russian Bashkir poet, novelist, essayist, children’s writer, short-story writer, and playwright.
1907 – Martti Erik Hjalmar Löfberg, bestselling Finnish author of adventure stories, science-fiction books, and mystery novels; he wrote under a long list of pseudonyms, including M. Levä, but he was best known for writing under the name Marton Taiga.
1908 – Elizabeth Basset (née Legge), English author, anthologist, and courtier who was Lady-in-Waiting and Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother; she wrote and edited books on religious and inspirational topics.
1909 – Patativa do Assaré (real name Antônio Gonçalves da Silva), popular, award-winning Brazilian poet, improviser of oral verse, composer, singer, and guitar player who is considered one of the key figures in Brazilian oral poetry of the 20th century; his nickname Patativa is the name of a local bird of plain appearance but with a powerful singing voice.
1910 – Moh Youn Sook (Korean: 모윤숙), well known South Korean poet, writer, journalist, diplomat, and politician; though her work is admired by readers, critics, and academics in the Korean-speaking world, she and her poetry are little known abroad.
1918 – Shin’ichirō Nakamura, prolific and award-winning Japanese writer, poet, novelist, and screenwriter.
1920 – Kathrine Sorley Walker, British writer, editor, biographer, and critic with a particular focus on ballet, writing many books on dance and reviewing dance performances; in addition to her writings on dance, she served as coeditor for the literary estate of the American novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler and, along with Dorothy Gardiner, compiled Chandler’s letters, essays, and unfinished novel into a book, Raymond Chandler Speaking.
1922 – Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italian poet, playwright, screenwriter, film director, poet, writer, translator, journalist, film critic, novelist, and intellectual.
1926 – Shimon Tzabar, Israeli writer, poet, politician, illustrator, biologist, painter, journalist, children’s writer, opinion journalist, and peace activist.
1931 – Eva Dave (born Praful Nandshankar Dave), Indian Gujarati novelist, Modernist short-story writer, and teacher; his stories explore relationships, family life, and the life in the West.
1934 – Jacques Sadoul, French novelist, book editor, and non-fiction author whose Histoire de la science fiction moderne was key in encouraging the serious, academic study of science-fiction writing.
1939 – Charles Henry Fuller, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. African-American playwright whose drama A Soldier’s Play was made into the film A Soldier’s Story.
1939 – Dibyendu Palit, Indian writer of Bengali poems, novels, and short stories.
1939 – Chögyam Trungpa, Tibetan Buddhist monk, meditation master, abbot, poet, scholar, artist, translator, university founder, and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision.
1940 – Olivera Katarina (who has also used the surnames Petrovic, Vuco, and Šakic), Serbian poet, writer, and singer who was one of the leading stars of Yugoslav cinema.
1941 – Chalkdust (real name Hollis Urban Lester Liverpool), award-winning Trinidadian and Tobagonian musician, writer, music historian, ethnomusicologist, and professor, known for his calypso singing, his lectures on the history and culture of calypso music, and his books on the cultural history of calypso, as well as his title as World Calypso King.
1942 – Mike Resnick, U.S. author and editor of science fiction and fantasy who won five Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award; he also wrote more than 200 erotic novels under pseudonyms, edited three men’s magazines and seven tabloid newspapers, and wrote a weekly column about horse racing and a monthly column about purebred collies.
1944 – Elisabeth Badinter, French historian, philosopher, feminist, and essayist who is best known for her treatises on feminism and women’s role in society and as an advocate for liberal feminism and for the rights of women migrant workers in France.
1945 – Selina Hastings, award-winning British writer, biographer, journalist, literary historian.
1946 – Silvia Bovenschen, German feminist literary scholar, author, editor, and essayist.
1946 – Mem Fox, Australian children’s book author, professor, editor, and educational specialist whose focus is literacy.
1947 – Julia Dykins Baird, British author, teacher, and tour company leader who wrote a biography of her older half-brother, musician John Lennon.
1947 – Harumi Kurihara, Japanese cookbook author, magazine editor, celebrity homemaker, and television show host; she has often been called the “Martha Stewart of Japan.” Her homemaking empire also includes retail stores and a line of cookware and is named Yutori no Kukan, which means “a space to relax.” Her cuisine is known for combining traditional Japanese cooking with newer Western influences, while accounting for modern time constraints.
1948 – Leslie Marmon Silko, award-winning U.S. Native American novelist, poet, and essayist who identifies most strongly with her Laguna Pueblo heritage but is also Mexican and Anglo-American; she is one of the key figures in the First Wave of the Native American Renaissance.
1952 – Robin Hobb (pen name for Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden), bestselling U.S. science-fiction author who also writes under the name Megan Lindholm.
1953 – Alma Katarina Frostenson Arnault, Swedish poet and writer who was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in recognition of her services to literature; she is one of Sweden’s foremost poets, writing in a style that is both experimental and archaic.
1953 – Gardi Hutter, Swiss writer, children’s author, comedian, actress, and clown.
1956 – Mario Teguh, Indonesian writer, philosopher, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, television presenter, and consultant.
1960 – Giedra Radvilaviciute, award-winning Lithuanian writer, journalist, editor, teacher, and short-story writer.
1965 – Xu Kun, award-winning Chinese postmodern fiction writer; she is currently the deputy chair of the Beijing Writers Association.
1966 – Mark Z. Danielewski, U.S. author whose novels experiment with form; his work is characterized by an intricate, multilayered typographical variation, or page layout, sometimes known as visual writing.
1973 – Nelly Arcan (born Isabelle Fortier), award-winning and critically acclaimed Canadian novelist, opinion journalist, columnist, and short-story writer.
1986 – Sarah J. Maas, U.S. fantasy author and children’s novelist.
1986 – Vera Nikolayevna Polozkova, award-winning Russian poet, writer, actress, musician, and singer.