March 9 Writer Birthdays

1763 – William Cobbett, English writer, reformer, and publisher who, under the pen name Peter Porcupine, wrote political pamphlets and gazettes with strong radical viewpoints in both America and England.

1814 – Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian national poet, writer, painter, and politician whose writing is regarded as the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and language.

1865 – Margaret Murray Washington, U.S. African-American educator, author, orator, social reformer, and anti-lynching activist who was the principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, which later became Tuskegee University; she was the third wife of educator and orator Booker T. Washington. There is some doubt about the year of her birth; some records give it as 1861.

1892 – David “Bunny” Garnett, English novelist and editor whose lifelong nickname came from the rabbit-fur cloak he wore as a child.

1892 – Vita Sackville-West (full name Victoria Mary Sackville-West), prolific British novelist, nonfiction author, newspaper columnist, letter-writer, diarist, and poet who published her first book at the age of 17; she was the inspiration for the androgynous protagonist of Orlando: A Biography, by her famous friend and lover, author Virginia Woolf.

1899 – Francisca Reyes-Aquino, award-winning Filipina folk dancer, author, educator, and academic noted for her research and writing on folk dances of the Philippines.

1905 – Peter Quennell, English biographer, literary historian, editor, essayist, poet, and critic who wrote extensively on social history and was well known as a Byron scholar.

1913 – Gerda Brautigam, Dutch political journalist and politician who was a member of her country’s legislature.

1918 – Mickey Spillane (real name Frank Morrison Spillane), U.S. comic book writer and pulp detective novelist who created the character Mike Hammer; he was also an actor who once played Hammer in a movie, and also worked as a trampoline artist for the circus.

1928 – Lore Segal, Austrian-born U.S. novelist, translator, linguist, professor, and children’s author who was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

1944 – Virgilio Senadrin Almario (better known by pen name Rio Alma), Filipino poet, author, critic, translator, editor, teacher, artist, and cultural manager.

1947 – Keri Hulme, Man Booker Prize-winning New Zealand novelist, poet, and short-story writer whose work explores themes of isolation; postcolonial and multicultural identity; and Maori, Celtic, and Norse mythology; she has also written under the pen name Kai Tainui.

1953 – Yusuf Hassan Abdi, Kenyan journalist, social activist, diplomat, and politician of Somali descent.

1955 – Patrice Ann “Pat” Murphy, U.S. science writer and columnist, educator, martial-arts specialist, and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels.

1958 – Elinor Sisulu, Zimbabwe-born South African writer, biographer, economist, and human-rights activist.

1960 – Elsa Cayat, Tunisian-born French journalist, columnist, nonfiction writer, and psychoanalyst who was killed in 2015 when terrorists broke into the offices of a Parisian satirical weekly newspaper and murdered 12 people.

1982 – Lindy West, U.S. writer, editor, essayist, comedian, activist, and opinion writer for the New York Times; best known for the author of an essay collection, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, she often writes about feminism, popular culture, and the fat acceptance movement.

1985 – Gloria Álvarez, Guatemalan journalist, author, political scientist, radio host, and political commentator.

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