June 26 Writer Birthdays

1126 – Fan Chengda, Chinese poet, travel writer, geographer, cartographer, and politician who was one of the best-known Chinese poets of his time and one of the “Four Masters” of the Southern Song Dynasty poetry.

1786 – Phra Sunthonwohan (known as Sunthorn Phu), Thailand’s best-known royal poet; his epic poetry is still popular today.

1791 – John Mactaggart, Scottish encyclopedia writer, poet, and civil engineer.

1859 – Alice Werner, Italian-born German writer, poet, teacher, and translator of the Bantu language.

1861- Krikor Zohrab, Turkish-born Armenian writer, opinion journalist, politician, lawyer, and patron of the arts; in 1915, at the onset of the Armenian genocide, he was arrested by the Turkish government and sent to appear before a military court, but was murdered by a band of known brigands en route.

1881 – Ya’akov Cohen, Israeli poet, playwright, and translator.

1882 – Sharda Mehta, Indian Gujarati writer, essayist, autobiographer, translator, children’s author, social worker, reformer, and education activist.

1892 – Pearl S. Buck, Pulitzer Prize-winning and Nobel Prize-winning U.S. writer especially known for her bestselling novel, The Good Earth; she spent much of her time in China, where her parents were missionaries and where she was known as Sai Zhenzhju ( 賽珍珠). She was praised for her “rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces,” and was a prominent advocate for the rights of women and minority groups and for Asian and mixed-race adoptions.

1893 – Dorothy Fuldheim, U.S. journalist and anchor who was the first woman in the U.S. to anchor a television news broadcast, as well to host her own television show; she has been called the First Lady of Television News.

1903 – Tomoji Abe, Japanese novelist, literary critic, and translator who began writing as a Modernist, but later represented the Intellectual movement in Japanese literature, which departed from Japanese traditional thinking, established forms of narration, and modernist views.

1905 – Lynd Ward, U.S. artist and storyteller, known for his wordless novels illustrated with woodcuts and watercolors; his books won a Caldecott Medal and two Newbery Medals.

1909 – Amalia Polleri, Uruguayan writer, teacher, artist, poet, journalist, and art critic.

1911 – Toyo Shibata, bestselling Japanese poet who began writing poetry at the age of 92, after back pain forced her to give up classical dance.

1914 – Laurie Lee, English poet and novelist whose best-known work was an autobiographical trilogy.

1915 – Charlotte Zolotow, prolific U.S. author, editor, and publisher of children’s books.

1916 – Virginia Satir, award-winning U.S. nonfiction author and psychotherapist who is regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy.”

1921 – Vadim Pirogan, Moldovan author and activist.

1922 – Walter Farley, U.S. author known for the Black Stallion series.

1931 – Mirkka Elina Rekola, award-winning Finnish poet, essayist, and translator who was also known for her aphorisms.

1931 – Colin Wilson, English author of both fiction and nonfiction, whose philosophical works he calls phenomenological existentialism.

1936 – Erica Elisabeth Arendt Harvor (née Deichmann), award-winning Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and poet.

1936 – Edith Pearlman, U.S. short-story writer and nonfiction author.

1936 – Nancy Willard, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. novelist, poet, children’s author, and illustrator.

1938 – Maria de Fátima de Bivar Velho da Costa, award-winning Portuguese writer who was part of the Portuguese Feminist Movement, and, along with writers Maria Isabel Barreno and Maria Teresa Horta, was one of The Three Marias.

1939 – Barbara De Wayne Chase-Riboud, U.S. novelist, poet, and sculptor, best known as the author of the bestselling book Sally Hemings.

1939 – S.M. Abdul Jabbar, Indian Tamil writer, radio broadcaster, cricket commentator, and actor.

1940 – Ketaki Kushari Dyson (née Ketaki Kushari), Bengali-born poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, translator, critic, diaspora writer, and scholar who lives in Britain and writes in both Bengali and English.

1941 – Yves Beauchemin, Canadian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, editor, and teacher.

1943 – Warren Farrell, U.S. author of books on men’s and women’s issues.

1953 – Peng Xiaolian, award-winning Chinese screenwriter, film director, and author; she is best known for her series of films about Shanghai.

1956 – Amma Darko, Ghanaian novelist and children’s author; many of her books explore everyday life in Ghana.

1956 – Muthui Kariuki, Kenyan journalist, public relations specialist, speechwriter, and teacher who was the official spokesperson for the government of Kenya and the editor of the official magazine of Kenya Breweries.

1958 – Han Bi-ya, South Korean travel writer, relief worker, and refugee advocate who in a 2009 poll of university students was voted one of the most respected Koreans; she wrote a four-volume bestselling travel series, Daughter of the Wind: Three and a Half Times Around the Globe on Foot, an account of her seven-year travels around the world, exploring the world alone and on foot, especially to isolated regions where she frequently put herself at rick.

1965 – Kayode Akintemi, Nigerian broadcast journalist and television presenter.

1969 – Lev Grossman, U.S. novelist, children’s writer, screenwriter, literary critic, and journalist who is best known for The Magicians Trilogy.

1974 – Nicholas Hogg, award-winning English author, short-story writer, and poet.

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