1632 – Esprit Fléchier, French author, memoirist, orator, and Catholic Bishop who was known for his witty turns of phrase; his two historical books, the histories of Theodosius I and of Ximenes, are more remarkable for their elegance of style than for their accuracy and comprehensive insight.
1716 – Carl Gustaf Ekeberg, Swedish writer, physician, chemist, sea captain, and explorer who wrote books about his travels.
1719 – Francisco Mariano Nipho, Spanish writer and journalist who established several newspapers and is considered the founder of modern journalism; he emphasized the artistic, social, and more responsibility of journalists, but decried the profession’s lack of profitability. He also used the pseudonyms Mariano de la Say and Manuel Ruiz de Uribe.
1791 – Václav Hanka, Czech writer, poet, archivist, librarian, lexicographer, linguist, literary historian, publicist, translator, university educator, and science writer.
1815 – Emilie Charlotta Risberg, Swedish writer, educator, school principal, and educational reformer; she is regarded as an important pioneers of girls’ education in Sweden.
1826 – Bogoboj Atanackovic (born Timotej Atanackovic), Serbian writer, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, and lawyer; much of his fiction is autobiographical and is written in the straightforward language of common people, combining romanticism with realism.
1845 – Manuela de los Herreros Sorà, Spanish writer, poet, teacher, and editor; she had fourteen children, but still found time to write.
1855 – Elisabet Kristina Hilma Angered Strandberg, award-winning Swedish journalist, poet, novelist, autobiographer, short-story writer, and feminist reformer who wrote both under the name Hilma Strandberg and the pseudonym Lilian.
1860 – Bessie Lee Cowie, Australian-born New Zealand writer, lecturer, social reformer, and Temperance proponent.
1865 – Murakami Kijo, Japanese writer and poet who is remembered chiefly for his haiku.
1880 – Margit Kaffka, Hungarian writer, poet, novelist, and teacher who was one of the most important Hungarian authors of her time. Her works dealt mostly with two main themes: the fall of the gentry, and the physical and spiritual hardships of independent women at the start of the 20th century.
1897 – Arturo Peralta Miranda, Peruvian writer and journalist who was one of the four major representatives of the Peruvian indigenous literary movement; he was known in both in Peru and Bolivia under the pseudonyms John Cajal, Gonzalez Saavedra, The Man in The Street, Gamaliel Churata, and, simply, P.
1900 – Elizabeth Sprigge, British writer, biographer, nonfiction author, translator, and children’s writer.
1904 – Lin Huiyin (also known as Phyllis Lin or Lin Whei-yin), Chinese architect, author, professor, and architectural historian who was the first female architect in modern China, and who is especially known for her restoration work on cultural heritage sites of China in the post-imperial Republican Era of China. The U.S. artist and architectural designer Maya Lin is her niece.
1906 – Jorge Icaza Coronel, Ecuadorian writer best known for his novel Huasipungo, which brought attention to the exploitation of Ecuador’s indigenous people by Ecuadorian whites.
1910 – Dorothy Carrington (full name Frederica Dorothy Violet Carrington, also called Lady Rose), expatriate British author and article writer who lived much of her life in Corsica and became one of the 20th century’s leading scholars on the island’s culture and history.
1911 – Terence Rattigan, British playwright who was one of England’s most popular 20th century dramatists.
1911 – Greta Barbara Stevenson, New Zealand botanist, mycologist, author, and scientific illustrator who described many new species of Agaricales (gilled mushrooms).
1914 – Oktay Rifat Horozcu (better known as Oktay Rifat), influential Turkish writer, poet, and playwright who was one of the key figures in modern Turkish poetry.
1915 – Saul Bellow, influential Canadian-born U.S. writer, winner of the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and Nobel Prize for Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.” Much of his work deals with the disorienting nature of modern civilization and the ability of humans to overcome their frailty and achieve greatness.
1922 – Alvise Zorzi, Italian journalist, writer, and biographer who was director of cultural programs for RAI, Italy’s state television network; he authored books on the history and civilization of Venice, including biographies of Carlo Goldoni, Marco Polo, Titian, and other prominent Venetians.
1925 – Nat Hentoff, U.S. novelist, columnist, and music critic.
1925 – James Salter (born James Arnold Horowitz), award-winning U.S. novelist, screenwriter, and Air Force pilot.
1926 – Arnold Olav Eidslott, award-winning Norwegian Poet Laureate and lyricist whose work centered on his Christian beliefs.
1927 – Altaf Fatima, Pakistani Urdu novelist, short-story writer, and teacher; her novel Dastak Na Do (“Do not Knock”) is one of the defining works of Urdu literature.
1928 – Maurice Sendak, National Book Award- and Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books whose works have sometimes been called dark and subversive but are extremely popular; American Library Journal has named his classic Where the Wild Things Are the number-one picture book ever, saying it ushered in a whole new era in children’s literature.
1929 – E.O. Wilson, U.S. biologist, naturalist, and author who is the world’s leading authority on myrmecology — the study of ants.
1930 – Aranka Siegal, Newbery Honor-winning Ukrainian novelist, memoirist, and Holocaust survivor.
1936 – M.C. Beaton, pseudonym of Scottish-born author Marion Chesney, known for her Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series of mystery novels.
1939 – Angelita Trujillo (full name María de los Ángeles del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Trujillo Martínez), French-born Dominican writer best known for her biography of her father, former Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.
1944- Yona Wallach (also called Yona Volach), Israeli post-modernist poet and revolutionary feminist who explored themes of Jewish mysticism.
1947 – Hitoshi Igarashi, Japanese author and scholar of Arabic and Persian literature and history who translated Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses into Japanese; he was murdered in the wake of fatwas issued by Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for the death of the book’s author and “those involved in its publication.”
1949 – Linda Lael Miller, U.S. author of contemporary and historical romance novels.
1952 – Kage Baker, Nebula Award-winning U.S. science-fiction and fantasy writer who wrote novels, short stories, and nonfiction.
1955 – Ved Prakash Sharma, Indian writer of novels and screenplays in Hindi.
1973 – Niq Mhlongo, award-winning South African journalist and novelist who has been called “one of the most high-spirited and irreverent new voices of South Africa’s post-apartheid literary scene.” His novels are set in post-apartheid Soweto and written in Soweto dialect.
1983 – Samartha Vashishtha, Indian poet, translator, and technical writer.