1656 – Anne Blencowe (Lady Blencowe, née Anne Wallis), British food writer and compiler of recipes whose book was first published more than 200 years after her death.
1845 – Žemaite, pen name of Julija Beniuševiciute-Žymantiene, Lithuanian Samogitian writer who was a major participant in the Lithuanian National Revival; she wrote about peasant life in the style best described as realism.
1857 – Barbara Baynton (Lady Headley), Australian writer, poet, novelist, and short-story writer who was known primarily for her short stories about life in the bush.
1872 – Ahmad Rida, Lebanese linguist, writer, and politician; a key figure of the Arab Renaissance, he created the first modern monolingual dictionary of the Arabic language and is widely considered to be among the foremost scholars of Arab literature and linguistics.
1887 – Ray Strachey (born Rachel Pearsall Conn Costelloe), British writer, biographer, novelist, engineer, politician, suffragist, and feminist activist.
1889 – Ivy Low Litvinov, London-born English and Russian novelist, writer, and translator who married Soviet official Maxim Litvinov.
1898 – Harry Crosby, U.S. poet and publisher who epitomized the Lost Generation in American literature.
1898 – Mariana Frenk-Westheim, Mexican writer, poet, translator, author, linguist, and academic.
1900 – Alfredo Le Pera, Brazilian-born Argentine writer of Italian parentage; he was a screenwriter, playwright, journalist, songwriter, and lyricist.
1904 – Bhagat Puran Singh, Indian writer, publisher, and environmentalist who was an early advocate of the “Green Revolution,” writing on environmental pollution and soil erosion before those ideas were well-known.
1907 – Jacques Roumain, Haitian novelist, poet, and politician.
1911 – Milovan Đilas, Yugoslav author, poet, politician, theorist, lawyer, and political scientist.
1923 – Elizabeth Jolley, Australian novelist, screenwriter, short-story writer, nonfiction author, nurse, and university teacher.
1926 – Judith Malina, German playwright, theater director, and actress.
1930 – Teri Martini, U.S. author of children’s books.
1932 – Gilda Cordero-Fernando, Filippina short-story writer, novelist, playwright, artist, and nonfiction author and publisher of books on the culture of the Philippines.
1932 – Lisandro Otero González, Cuban novelist and journalist.
1932 – Cecilia Lindqvist, Swedish author, professor, and photographer who writes books about China.
1934 – Ghanshyam Ochchhavlal, Indian Gujarati short-story writer, children’s author, and editor.
1934 – Daphne Sheldrick, Kenya-based British author, conservationist, and expert in animal husbandry; she specialized in raising and reintegrating orphaned elephants into the wild.
1937 – Minoru Betsuyaku, one of Japan’s most prominent postwar playwrights, novelists, and essayists, best known as a writer in the “nonsense” genre who helped lay the foundations of the Japanese theater of the absurd; his works focused on the aftermath of the war and especially the nuclear holocaust.
1937 – Robert Fulghum, U.S. author, essayist, and minister, best known for the bestselling All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten books.
1939 – Margrit Schriber, Swiss writer of novels, short stories, and radio plays.
1941 – Ekaterina Petrova Yosifova, Bulgarian writer, journalist, poet, playwright, and teacher.
1942 – Liu Xinwu, Chinese novelist, short-story writer, and children’s author who was one of the earliest proponents of the post-Maoist wave of Chinese literature; his work focuses on the common people of Beijing and people who live on the margins of society.
1943 – Mireille Best, French author known for her works of fiction featuring lesbian characters and themes.
1947 – Jack N. Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author, historian, and professor.
1950 – Clifford Stoll, U.S. astronomer, teacher, science writer, and nonfiction author who is best known for his investigation that led to the capture of hacker Markus Hess, and for Stoll’s subsequent book The Cuckoo’s Egg, in which he details the investigation.
1951 – Leigh Kennedy, U.S.-born science-fiction novelist and short-story author, now living in the U.K.
1951 – Melanie Phillips, bestselling British author, journalist, memoirist, and publisher.
1952 – Dambudzo Marechera, Zimbabwean novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and poet who was known for his abrasive, heavily detailed, and self-aware writing, which was considered a new frontier in African literature.
1955 – Paulina Chiziane, award-winning Mozambican novelist and short-story writer who writes in Portuguese.
1955 – Val McDermid, Scottish crime writer whose novels feature clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill in a grim sub-genre that has been called Tartan Noir.
1956 – John Hockenberry, Emmy Award-winning U.S. journalist and author.
1956 – Joyce Sidman, Newbery Honor-winning U.S. children’s writer and poet.
1960 – Dmitry Galkovsky, Russian writer, novelist, historian, philosopher, opinion journalist, and blogger.
1960 – Corinne Hofmann, Swiss-born German author who was most famous for her bestselling memoir Die weisse Massai (The White Masai), based on her own experiences living in Kenya.
1960 – Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Hugo Award-winning U.S. author who has written novels in different genres under various names, including Kristine Grayson for romance and Kris Nelscott for mystery.
1965 – Huzama Habayeb, award-winning Kuwaiti-born Palestinian novelist, storyteller, journalist, columnist, translator, and poet
1967 – Marie NDiaye, French novelist, short-story writer, children’s writer, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright.
1970 – Marta Rivera de la Cruz, Spanish writer, biographer, journalist, children’s writer, essayist, and politician.
1972 – Joe Hill (real name Joseph Hillström King), U.S. comic-book writer who is the son of bestselling horror and suspense author Stephen King.