March 17 Writer Birthdays

1078 – Abdul Qadir Gilani (known as Muḥyī l-Dīn Abū Muḥammad b. Abū Sāliḥ ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī al-Ḥasanī wa’l-Ḥusaynī), Iranian-born Persian poet, jurist, mystic, preacher, and theologian.

1520 – Thoinot Arbeau (anagrammatic pen name of Jehan Tabourot), French priest who was a choreographer, music composer, and author of dance manuals; he is most famous for his book Orchésographie, a study of French Renaissance social dance.

1709 – Molla Vali Vidadi, Azerbaijani poet and teacher; his poetry expressed positive views of life but criticized the ruling class.

1743 – Yekaterina Vorontsova-Dashkova, prolific Russian author, translator, linguist, woman of letters, politician, and lady-in-waiting who was the closest female friend of Empress Catherine the Great and a major figure of the Russian Enlightenment; she was the first woman in the world to head a national academy of sciences, and one of the founders of the Russian Academy.

1754 – Marie-Jeanne ‘Manon’ Roland de la Platière (born Marie-Jeanne Phlipon, and best known under the name Madame Roland), French writer, memoirist, revolutionary, and salonnière; her memoirs and letters are now a valuable source of information about the first years of the French Revolution.

1810 – Matsudaira Yoritaka, Japanese daimyō (feudal lord) and politician who became a Shinto priest and was famed as a prolific writer.

1819 – Sarah Carter Edgarton Mayo, U.S. author, editor, and poet.

1820 – Jean Ingelow, popular English poet, novelist, and children’s writer.

1826 – Oscar Ferdinand Peschel, German geographer and anthropologist, most remembered for his book The Races of Man and Their Geographical Distribution, which classifies humans into seven races.

1832 – Moncure Daniel Conway, U.S. clergyman, abolitionist, scholar, author, and Thomas Paine biographer, known for his outspoken opposition to slavery.

1840 – Henri Didon, French Dominican preacher, writer, educator, and promoter of youth sports.

1841 – Vladimír Šťastný, Czech priest, writer, poet, educator, and magazine founder.

1842 – Belle C. Green, U.S. author of short stories, articles, humorous novels, and a religious novel, A New England Conscience, which attracted wide comment and was denounced by some critics, but regarded by others as a masterpiece of condensed thought and realistic character drawing. She is best known for her humorous works.

1846 – Kate Greenaway, iconic English author and illustrator of children’s books.

1863 – Olivia Shakespear (née Tucker), British writer, playwright, and novelist who had an intimate affair with poet William Butler Yeats and close friendships with Ezra Pound and other leading Modernist writers; her daughter Dorothy Shakespear married Pound.

1865 – Netta Syrett, English writer known for novels, children’s plays, and fairy tales; she is remembered for novels that featured independent woman protagonists; her novel Portrait of a Rebel was adapted into the 1936 film A Woman Rebels.

1867 – Patrice Contamine de Latour (born José Maria Vicente Ferrer Francisco de Paola Patricio Manuel Contamine, and published as J.P. Contamine de Latour and as Lord Cheminot), Spanish poet and librettist who lived in Paris.

1873 – Margaret Grace Bondfield, British author, autobiographer, Labour Party politician, trade unionist, and women’s rights activist who was Britain’s first female cabinet minister.

1886 – Laura Elizabeth McCully, Canadian writer, poet, and feminist; she began publishing her poetry in the Toronto Daily Mail and Empire while still a child.

1887 – D.V. Gundappa (popularly known as DVG), Indian Kannada writer, poet, and philosopher whose most notable work is Mankuthimmana Kagga (Dull Thimma’s Rigmarole, which is similar to the wisdom poems of the late medieval poet Sarvajna.

1894 – Paul Green, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. playwright; his play The Lost Colony has been regularly produced since 1937 near Manteo, North Carolina, and the historic colony of Roanoke, its success inspired numerous other historical outdoor dramas, but his work is still the longest running.

1896 – Herbert Tingsten, Swedish author, journalist, editor, newspaper publisher, political scientist, politician, and professor; he is credited with creating the concept of political behavior, pioneering the analysis of election statistics.

1898 – Yokomitsu Riichi, experimental Japanese author of the New Sensation School.

1905 – Purohita Thirunarayana Narasimhachar (commonly known as PuTiNa), Indian playwright and poet who wrote in the Kannada language and is considered one of the three best known Kannada Navodaya poets.

1905 – Lisa Sergio, Italian writer, biographer, journalist, and radio news broadcaster who was one of the first women to have her own radio news commentary program; she was the only woman Variety included in its 1945 analysis of 30 popular radio news commentators.

1910 – Judith Kestenberg, Polish-born Austrian writer, university teacher, psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst who was a child psychiatrist who worked with Holocaust survivors.

1914 – Patricia Cockburn, Irish writer, journalist, traveler, photographer, artist, and conchologist (expert in the study of mollusc shells) who also compiled an etymological report on the dialects of central Africa, meeting different tribes and constructing a language map.

1916 – Volodia Teitelboim, Chilean writer, poet, lawyer, and Communist politician.

1917 – Arthur Basil Cottle, Welsh grammarian, historian, archaeologist, antiquarian, Medievalist, and reference-book writer.

1920 – Olga Orozco (real name Olga Noemí Gugliotta), award-winning Argentine poet, screenwriter, translator, and journalist.

1924 – Sara Ginaite, Lithuanian-born author and professor; during World War II, she was imprisoned in the Kovno Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and became a resistance fighter and Jewish partisan; she later relocated to Canada. Her best known book is the award-winning Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, 1941–1944.

1927 – Kenneth S. Goldstein, U.S. folklorist, educator, and ethnomusicologist.

1933 – Penelope Lively, Booker Prize-winning British author of fiction for children and adults.

1934 – Jože Snoj, Slovenian poet, novelist, journalist, essayist, and children’s writer.

1939 – Nurcholish Madjid (also known as Cak Nur), Indonesian Muslim writer and scholar; throughout his career, he argued that for Islam to be victorious in the global struggle of ideas, it needs to embrace the concepts of tolerance, democracy, and pluralism.

1947 – James Morrow, U.S. science-fiction, fantasy, and literary author whose fiction is sometimes satirical.

1948 – William Gibson, U.S.-Canadian speculative-fiction author who coined the term “cyberpunk.”

1948 – Garry John Martin, English novelist, short-story writer, teacher, bookseller, and restauranteur; his magnum opus, his ‘Orcadian Trilogy,’ the result of ten years of research and six years of writing, imagines the adventures of the Dons of Westray, an improbable, hybrid race, made up of nervous, oppressed islanders and a ship’s boat full of strangers cast aside at the furthest edge of a war. The stories span the years from the last days of the Spanish Armada to the end of the Scottish earls’ dominion over the northern isles. He once took a year-long yachting trip halfway around the world, and documented his adventures in a series of articles for Yachting and Boating Weekly.

1948 – Iván Oñate, Ecuadorian writer, poet, and professor who has been called “the most original poet of the new generation.”

1950 – Huang Fan, Taiwanese writer whose fiction is urbane and often experimental.

1950 – Peter Robinson, English-born Canadian crime writer who is best known for his crime novels set in Yorkshire and featuring Inspector Alan Banks; he has also published other novels and short stories, as well as some poems and articles on writing.

1953 – Vikrom Kromadit, Thai writer, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster, and businessman.

1956 – Brigitte Aubert, French writer of detective fiction, screenwriter, film producer, and children’s author.

1956 – Patrick McDonnell, U.S. children’s author and cartoonist.

1961 – Umayya Abu-Hanna, Israeli-born Palestinian-Finnish novelist, cultural history writer, journalist, and member of the Helsinki City Council; she moved to Finland in 1981, and later settled in the Netherlands.

1961 – Sonia Chocrón, award-winning Venezuelan novelist, poet, screenwriter, and playwright.

1962 – Chirikure Chirikure, Zimbabwean writer, poet, songwriter, editor, publisher, translator, literary agent, and musician.

1967 – Simona Monyová, bestselling Czech novelist who was murdered by her husband in 2011.

1972 – Ana Cecilia Blum, Ecuadorian writer, poet, and journalist.

1975 – Nistula Hebbar, Indian writer, romance novelist, political journalist, and editor.

1976 – Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, award-winning Icelandic novelist and poet. Her books mostly take place in Reykjavík and deal with loneliness and the search for inner peace as well as a place in society; some include Postmodern ideas and philosophical speculations about memory and its effects.

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