May 26 Writer Birthdays

1700 – Nicolaus Zinzendorf, German writer, poet, translator, theologian, hymnwriter, orator, religious and social reformer, and bishop of the Moravian Church.

1799 – Felipe Poey, Cuban writer, zoologist, lepidopterist, and ichthyologist.

1833 – Hannah Cullwick, British diarist whose work revealed lesser-known aspects of the relations between Victorian servants and their masters. Working in domestic service, she caught the attention of Arthur Munby, a prominent barrister and philanthropist, who was studying the conditions of working women; to escape poverty, she married him reluctantly and secretly, but it was an unconventional partnership, with role-playing, as documented in both their diaries, which have survived, along with letters and photographs.

1855 – Vittoria Aganoor, Italian poet with Armenian ancestry; she is considered a minor but important figure in nineteenth century poetry.

1887 – Leonard Bacon, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet, translator, and literary critic who sometimes used the pen name Autholycus.

1904 – Ahmet Necip Fazil Kisakürek, Turkish poet, novelist, playwright, and Islamist ideologue.

1905 – Ruth M. Arthur, Scottish children’s and young-adult novelist.

1911 – Marta Hillers, German journalist, writer, and diarist whose anonyously published memoir, Eine Frau in Berlin (A Woman in Berlin), is the diary of a German woman during and after the Battle of Berlin; the book details the author’s rape, in the context of mass rape by occupying forces, and how she chose to take a Soviet officer as protector. When the book was published in Germany in 1959, the author was accused of “besmirching the honor of German women,” but it was republished after her death to critical acclaim and became a bestseller.

1915 – Antonia Forest, pseudonym of British children’s book author Patricia Giulia Caulfield Kate Rubenstein.

1916 – Halil İnalcık, Turkish writer, historian, university professor, and founding member of the Eurasian Academy; his highly influential research centered on social and economic approaches to the empire.

1917 – Harivallabh Chunilal Bhayani, Indian linguist, researcher, critic, and translator.

1933 – Edward Whittemore, U.S. novelist and CIA agent whose work includes the highly praised series, Jerusalem Quartet.

1934 – Ann Schlee, Booker Prize-winning British novelist, best known for her children’s books.

1934 – Sheila Greenwald, U.S. children’s book author and illustrator whose real name is Sheila Ellen Green.

1936 – Natalya Yevgenyevna Gorbanevskaya, Russian poet, translator, editor, and founder of A Chronicle of Current Events (1968–1982); in 1968 she took part in the Red Square demonstration against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and was incarcerated in a mental hospital; she was released in 1972 and now lives in France.

1938 – Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, award-winning Russian novelist, short-story writer, memoirist, screenwriter, playwright, and children’s writer; she is counted among Russia’s premier living literary figures and has been compared in style to Anton Chekhov and in influence to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

1945 – Bronwen Wallace, Canadian poet, short-story writer, filmmaker, and essayist.

1946 – Radwa Ashour, Egyptian novelist, writer, literary critic, and university teacher.

1947 – Carol O’Connell, U.S. author of crime novels who was an art major but turned to writing when her painting career failed.

1951 – Sally Ride, U.S. physicist and astronaut who also wrote science books for children; she was the first American woman in space.

1954 – Alan Hollinghurst, Booker Prize-winning British novelist, poet, short story writer, and translator.

1954 – Aritha Van Herk, Canadian writer, novelist, short story writer, critic, and university professor; her work often includes feminist themes and depicts and analyzes the culture of western Canada.

1955 – Doris Dörrie, German author, screenwriter, film director, and university teacher.

1956 – Andreas Brandhorst, Germany writer, translator, lingist, and author of fantasy and science fiction; in addition to writing under his own name, he uses the pseudonyms Thomas Lockwood and Andreas Weiler.

1957 – Alaa Al Aswany, Egyptian novelist, screenwriter, politician, and dentist.

1964 – Caitlín Kiernan, Irish-born U.S. paleontologist and author of dark fantasy and science-fiction novels, short stories, and comic books; she is the winner of multiple World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards.

1967 – Sara Mannheimer, award-winning Swedish novelist, designer, and glass blower.

1967 – Mika Yamamoto, award-winning Japanese video and photo journalist who was killed in 2012 while covering the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

1973 – Clémentine Autain, French writer, journalist, and politician.

1981 – Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy, identical twins who write fiction and nonfiction books for children and teens, including a co-written series of books about a pair of twins, in which each sister writes the part of one twin.

1973 – Sushma Joshi, award-winning Nepali novelist, nonfiction writer, reporter, short-story writer, essayist, and filmmaker; her fiction and non-fiction deal with Nepal’s civil conflict, as well as stories of globalization, migration, and diaspora.
“The Prediction”, another book of short stories that bring together stories of tradition and modernity, was published in 2013.

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