April 20 Writer Birthdays

0660 – Empress Genmei (Japanese: 元明天皇; she is also known as Genmei-tennō and as Empress Genmyō), Japanese poet who was the 43rd monarch of Japan and the fourth of eight women to take on the role of empress in her own right.

0834 – Yang Yunsong (Chinese: 楊筠松), Chinese Taoist writer credited with the authorship of the Green Satchel Classic (also known as the Esoteric Pronouncements of the Green Satchel), one of the few surviving classic texts concerning the principles guiding the Chinese practice of fengshui.

1494 – Johannes Agricola, German author, religious writer, philosopher, theologian, reformer, humanist, proverb writer and collector, and university teacher during the Protestant Reformation; he was a follower and friend of Martin Luther, until they parted ways because of religious disagreements.

1717 – Isaac de Pinto, Dutch Jewish writer, publisher, economist, author, religious writer, philosopher, and merchant who was one of the main investors in the Dutch East India Company.

1751 – Manuel Casal y Aguado (better known by his anagrammatic pseudonym, Lucas Alemán y Aguado), Spanish writer, poet, journalist, playwright, educator, and polymath.

1826 – Dinah Craik (born Dinah Maria Mulock, and often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik), English writer, poet, children’s writer, novelist, and essayist, best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the ideals of English middle-class life.

1851 – Eduardo Acevedo Díaz, Uruguayan writer, politician, diplomat, and journalist.

1884 – Augusto de Carvalho Rodrigues dos Anjos, Brazilian poet, writer, and professor; his poems speak mostly of sickness and death, and are considered the forerunners of Modernism in Brazil.

1895 – Mary Kawena Pukui (known as Kawena; full name Mary Abigail Kawenaʻulaokalaniahiʻiakaikapoliopele Naleilehuaapele Wiggin Pukui), Hawaiian and U.S. scholar, author, composer, educator, dancer, and hula expert.

1900 – Ada Halenza (also known as Magda Koch), German author, playwright, screenwriter, and radio writer; she was best known because of her Radio Bremen stories involving two cleaning ladies, Madda and Kede, written in the local dialect of Bremen.

1901 – Julian Michael Leiris, French surrealist writer, anthropologist, and autobiographer.

1905 – Inés Rodena, popular Cuban novelist, radio writer, and television writer.

1905 – Éva Senécal, award-winning Canadian Québécois writer, poet, novelist, editor, and artist.

1907 – Kang Kyeong-ae, Korean writer, novelist, poet, and autobiographer who was one of the foremost writers of the colonial period; she is associated with the Feminist movement; she is also known by her penname, Kang Gama.

1914 – K.M. George (Karimpumannil Mathai George), Indian writer, literary critic, children’s writer, and educator.

1918 – Edward L. Beach Jr., U.S. Navy submarine officer and bestselling author of novels and nonfiction books on naval history; he is best known for his novel Run Silent, Run Deep, which was made into a 1958 film starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster.

1921 – Michiko Inukai, Japanese Roman Catholic author, essayist, religious writer, and philanthropist; she was founder of the Michiko Inukai Foundation, which provides financial aid for refugees seeking education.

1922 – Elio Bartolini, Italian writer, poet, screenwriter, and film director.

1923 – Mahmoud Daoud Sulaiman Al-Samra, Palestinian-born Jordanian writer, author, researcher, professor, and university dean who served as the Jordanian Minister of Culture; he authored more than 250 books, articles, research papers, and other academic and literary works.

1923 – Irene Lieblich (née Wechter), award-winning Polish-born artist, illustrator, poet, writer, and Holocaust survivor who is best known for illustrating the books of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer and for her paintings that highlight Jewish life and culture.

1929 – Virginia Grütter (born Virginia Teresa del Carmen y Inés), Costa Rican writer, poet, actress, and theatrical director.

1932 – Rosa Lobato de Faria (born Rosa Maria de Bettencourt Rodrigues Lobato de Faria), Portuguese writer, poet, novelist, scriptwriter, actress, and songwriter.

1933 – Aimée Beekman, Estonian writer, children’s author, and science-fiction writer known for her realistic depictions of modern life.

1935 – Thee Kian Wie, award-winning Indonesian writer, economist, and academic; The Jakarta Post has called him “Indonesia’s most respected economist.”

1937 – Lee Ze-ha, award-winning South Korean writer, poet, novelist, painter, and university teacher whose work has been described as “fantastic realism.”

1939 – Peter S. Beagle, U.S. fantasy novelist and screenwriter, whose best known work is The Last Unicorn, which he adapted into an animated film and which Locus subscribers voted the fifth all-time best fantasy novel. He has won various awards including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and was named a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science-Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

1940 – Erna Brodber, Jamaican novelist, cultural historian, and social activist.

1942 – Margaret Dianne Clark, Australian novelist and children’s author, who used M.D. Clark and Lee Striker as pseudonyms; some of her most famous works are the Aussie Angels series and the young-adult novel Fat Chance.

1942 – Khadijah Hashim, award-winning Malaysian poet, novelist, short-story writer, journalist, teacher, radio scriptwriter, and children’s writer; she is best known for her novels, many of which have been made into movies and television programs.

1943 – Ian Watson, Spain-based British science-fiction writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, best known for novels set in the Warhammer gaming universe.

1944 – Philip Margolin, bestselling U.S. author of legal thrillers.

1945 – Mary Lassiter Hoffman, bestselling British writer, children’s book author, and critic who wrote the teen fiction series “Stravaganza.”

1949 – Abdoulaye Ascofaré, Malian poet, filmmaker, screenwriter, comedic writer, and radio host.

1953 – Robert Crais, U.S. screenwriter and author of detective fiction, notably the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series.

1953 – Sebastien Faulks, British novelist, journalist, and broadcaster known for historical novels set in France, as well as a recent James Bond novel.

1964 – Dea Loher, award-winning German playwright and author who is considered one of the most important German playwrights of her generation.

1984 – Asia Alfasi, Libyan and British Manga-influenced comic writer and artist whose works synthesize Islamic, Libyan, British, and Japanese influences; she gained wide recognition when she became the first female to participate in and win the Hi8us Midlands Stripsearch competition, with a portfolio based on her character Monir.

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