March 21 Writer Birthdays

1557 – Anne Howard (Countess of Arundel, née Dacre), English poet, writer, and religious conspirator who converted to Catholicism, despite laws against it.

1831 – Dorothea Beale, British textbook writer, educator, women’s suffragist, and college president; her Textbook of General History became a popular book with teachers.

1841 – Mathilde Blind (born Mathilda Cohen), German-born English poet, fiction writer, biographer, essayist, and literary critic who pioneered a female aesthete in a mostly male community of artists and writers, and was a prominent voice and leader among the New Woman school of writers; her widely discussed poem The Ascent of Man represents a feminist response to the Darwinian theory of evolution.

1866 – Antonia Caetana de Paiva Pereira Maury, award-winning American astronomer and human computer who was the first to detect and calculate the orbit of a spectroscopic binary; she published an important catalog of stellar spectra using her own system of stellar classification, which was later adopted by the International Astronomical Union.

1877 – Anna Strunsky Walling, Russian Belarusian-born Jewish-U.S. novelist, biographer, journalist, labor and peace activist, and advocate for socialism who was part of the radical group known as “the Crowd,” along with Jack London; she co-authored an epistolary novel with him and wrote a biography of him.

1886 – Elvira Santa Cruz Ossa (better known as Roxane), Chilean dramatist, author, and magazine editor who wrote her first novel before she was 20.

1893 – Geoffrey Dearmer, British poet whose works dealt with the brutality of war.

1893 – Eugénie Droz (born Eugénie Zahn), Swiss romance scholar, editor, publisher, and writer.

1902 – William Downie Forrest, Scottish journalist, editor, and war correspondent.

1904 – Jehane Benoît, Canadian chef, food writer, television presenter, and restauranteur who founded a cooking school and opened one of Canada’s first vegetarian restaurants; she was best known as “Madame Benoît.”

1905 – Phyllis McGinley, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author of children’s books and poetry.

1910 – Elizabeth Riddell, Australian poet and journalist who also published as Betty Riddell.

1915 – Alykul Osmonov, Kyrgyz poet and translator, significant for his efforts to modernize poetry in Kyrgyzstan, transforming it from an oral to a literary tradition, and focusing on secular themes with an emphasis on inner emotion, daily life, and nationalism.

1919 – Martha Jean-Claude, Haitian writer, playwright, civil-rights activist, entertainer, and composer who incorporated Haitian folklore and Voodoo lyrics into her work; she was arrested when Haitian authorities found her play Anriette to be critical of the government and its exploitation of the Haitian people. She has been described as “One of the most precious jewels Haiti has ever had.”

1919 – Geoffrey Pinnington, British newspaper reporter and editor.

1925 – Hilda Gadea, Peruvian author, economist, politician, Communist leader, and author who was Che Guevara’s first wife and wrote the memoir, My Life With Che.

1928 – Peter Hacks, Polish-born German playwright, author, essayist, and fairy-tale writer.

1929 – Jules Bergman, U.S. broadcast writer and journalist; as science editor for ABC News, he is most remembered for coverage of the U.S. space program.

1931 – Alda Merini, award-winning Italian writer and poet whose style has been described as intense, passionate, and mystic; she explored the “otherness” of madness as part of creative expression.

1932 – Pari Saberi, Iranian playwright, writer, theatre director, and film director.

1934 – Ved Mehta, Pakistani-born Hindu author and magazine writer who lost his eyesight as a child but went on to write novels, nonfiction, travel books, nonfiction books, and an autobiography.

1935 – Hubert Fichte, award-winning German novelist, essayist, and journalist.

1936 – Margaret Mahy, New Zealand author of children’s and young-adult fantasy books.

1942 – Catherine Lim, Singaporean poet, novelist, short-story writer, and writer of political and social commentary; she is known for her work about Singapore society and on themes of traditional Chinese culture.

1949 – Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher, researcher, and professor who works in subjects including continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, political theory, cultural studies, art criticism, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism, and theology.

1951 – Anne-Marie Adiaffi, Ivorian (Ivory Coast) writer who rose to prominence with her novel Une vie hypothéquée (A Mortgaged Life).

1951 – Mahshid Moshiri, Iranian novelist, translator, linguist, and lexicographer.

1953 – David Wisniewski, Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. children’s author and illustrator who early in his career worked as a circus clown.

1954 – Luba Lesná, contemporary Slovak investigative journalist, filmmaker, novelist, and playwright.

1956 – Teresa Nielsen Hayden, U.S. science-fiction editor, nonfiction writer, fanzine writer, essayist, and teacher who is a consulting editor for Tor Books.

1962 – Andrea Maria Schenkel, award-winning German writer best known for her crime fiction.

1964 – Kaori Ekuni, Japanese author, poet, translator, and novelist; her father is Japanese haiku poet and essayist Shigeru Ekuni.

1981 – Lauren Kate, bestselling U.S. author of adult and young-adult novels, especially known for historical fiction.Teresa Nielsen Hayden is an American science fiction editor, fanzine writer, essayist, and teacher. She is a consulting editor for Tor Books. Her non-fiction writing is collecting in

1988 – Oyinkan Braithwaite, award-winning Nigerian novelist, writer, editor, and illustrator; she is especially known for her thriller My Sister, the Serial Killer.

1989 – Nora Wagener, award-winning Luxembourger short-story writer, novelist, children’s author, and playwright who writes mainly in German; her short-story collection Larven (Larvae) was judged the most significant literary work published in Luxembourg in 2016.

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