1606 – Esteban de Aguilar y Zúñiga, Spanish writer, poet, educator, translator, theologian, and sermon writer.
1617 – Johannes Andreas Quenstedt, German writer, theologian, and university teacher
1802 – Nikolaus Lenau (born Nikolaus Niembsch von Strehlenau), Austrian poet who is considered Austria’s greatest modern lyric poet; he wrote in German.
1807 – Lucjan Siemieński, Polish Romantic poet, prose writer, journalist, and literary critic.
1812 – Henriette Feuerbach, German author, editor, biographer, literary critic, musician, piano teacher, salonnière, and patron of the arts. Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms were among those who frequented her salon; Brahms once referred to her in a letter as “this splendid woman.”
1815 – Elizabeth Wooster Stuart Phelps, U.S. writer of adult domestic fiction, short stories, religious-themed articles, and books for children; she was “among the earliest depicters of the New England scene, antedating the regional novels of her Andover neighbor, Harriet Beecher Stowe.” In addition to being one of the first authors to write a fiction series specifically for girls, she also focused in her writing on the burdens on women in their restrictive roles as mothers and wives.
1818 – Lucy Stone , prominent U.S. orator, writer, journalist, newspaper publisher, abolitionist, and suffragist who was a vocal advocate and organizer for the rights of women. She was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree and was known for using her birth name after marriage, contrary to the custom at that time of a women taking her husband’s surname.
1820 – Joseph Albert Alberdingk Thijm, Dutch writer, poet, professor, publisher, art critic, and literary critic who was an important figure in Catholic literature.
1823 – Benedikt Roezl, Czech traveler, writer, botanist, explorer, and gardener who founded a botany magazine. Despite the loss of a hand in an accident in Cuba, he was the most famous collector of orchids of his time, traveling the world and discovering more than 800 species of orchid, with more than 40 named in his honor.
1827 – Francisco Gomes de Amorim, Portuguese writer, poet, librarian, and playwright who was part of the Romantic movement. He spent time in Brazil, studying the manners and dialects of the Indian tribes of the Amazon forests.
1842 – Albert Sorel, French historian, writer, and diplomat who was nominated nine times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1864 – Spiridon Popescu, Romanian writer, novelist, short-story writer, educator, and politician.
1867 – Manuel Bernárdez, Galician (Spain)-born Uruguayan writer, poet, journalist, travel writer, editor, and diplomat.
1868 – António Lobo de Almada Negreiros, Portuguese journalist, writer, essayist, and poet.
1871 – Rasmus Rasmussen (also known as Regin í Líð and Rasmus á Háskúlanum), Faroese novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, botanist, teacher, politician, and activist for Faroese independence. He wrote both the first Faroese novel (Bábelstornið, or The Tower of Babel)and the first Faroese botany textbook (Plantulæra, or Botany).
1884 – Jo van Ammers-Küller, successful Dutch writer and screenwriter.
1884 – Llewelyn Powys, British novelist, biographer, and essayist; he identified as a rationalist and an atheist, and wrote articles critical of religion in freethought journals. Several of his ten brothers and sisters were also writers, including John Cowper Powys, Theodore Francis Powys, Marian Powys, and Philippa Powys.
1898 – Aziz Abaza, Egyptian poet, writer, and politician whose poems focus on Arab unity and Pan-Arabism; he is considered one of the most prominent poets in modern Egyptian and Arab literature.
1899 – Komatsu Imai, Japanese writer, essayist, and aircraft pilot; she wrote under the pen name Ryuko Kumoi, and was only the second woman to become a licensed pilot in Japan.
1899 – Elizabeth Wiskemann, English writer, journalist, intelligence officer, and historian of the modern age. Working and writing in Germany in the 1930s, she became an outspoken critic of Nazism, but her warnings about the nature of the Nazis went unheeded by British officialdom; she was arrested by the Gestapo and expelled from Germany in July 1936.
1906 – Vishram Bedekar, Indian Marathi-language author, poet, screenwriter, and film director.
1906 – Arnold Everitt Campbell, New Zealand writer and university lecturer.
1907 – Mary C. Pangborn, U.S. science fiction writer who wrote short stories and a single novel, Friar Bacon’s Head.
1911 – Isabelle Marie Amélie Louise Victoire Thérèse Jeanne (also known as Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza, Countess of Paris), French memoirist and historical novelist.
1915 – Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo, prolific Pakistani writer, translator, philosopher, and teacher who was considered the living legend of Sindhi literature.
1917 – Anna Molka Ahmed, award-winning Pakistani artist, writer, and professor.
1918 – Hans Heyting (born Johannes Heijting), Dutch poet, playwright, radio personality, children’s book writer, and painter. Writing in Drèents (except for his Dutch-language children’s books and some poems in Dutch), he was one of the earliest Drèents writers to express personal themes and is considered to have been the first modern Drèents poet.”
1924 – Mona Matilda Clare (better known as Monica Clare), Aboriginal Australian author and political activist who was the first indigenous Australian woman to publish a novel.
1927 – Péricles Azambuja, Brazilian writer, journalist, and historian who specialized in writing about the history of southern Brazil, southern South America, and Antarctica. He is considered to be one of the most important geopolitical writers about Antarctica.
1936 – Yang Sok-il, Japanese-born Korean writer who writes in Japanese; some of his novels are autobiographical, and some have been adapted for film or the stage.
1939 – Danièle Djamila Amrane-Minne, French writer, poet, professor, feminist activist, and combatant in the Algerian War; she was one of the few European women convicted for assisting the National Liberation Front during the Algerian War. Her PhD dissertation on the participation of Algerian women in the war, based on interviews with 88 women between 1978 and 1986; was published as a book, Des femmes dans la guerre d’Algérie, which was the basis for the film Algeria: Women at War.
1945 – Supa Sirisingh (née Luesiri), Thai novelist whose first name is sometimes spelled Supha, but who writes under the pseudonym Botan, which translates as ‘peony.’ She is best known for her novel, Chotmai Chak Muang Thai (Letters from Thailand).
1948 – Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, British writer of romance and mystery novels who has sometimes used the Jane Austen-inspired pseudonyms Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennett.
1948 – Bensalem Himmich, Moroccan philosopher, novelist, poet, and writer who has published 26 books, both literary and scientific works, in Arabic and French. His work deals with problems facing Morocco today, and often advocates for the separation of church and state.
1960 – George Packer, National Book Award-winning U.S. journalist, essayist, nonfiction author, and playwright who specializes in U.S. history and foreign policy.
1961 – Tom Perrotta, U.S. novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter.
1961 – Giampietro Stocco, Italian writer, journalist, science-fiction author, and alternate-history novelist.
1961 – Maggie de Vries, award-winning Canadian writer for children, teens, and adults who is also a creative writing instructor.
1962 – Heidi Thomas, award-winning English screenwriter and playwright She was writer and executive producer of a major revival of the classic British television drama series Upstairs, Downstairs for the BBC, and wrote and co-produced the popular television adaptation of the Call the Midwife books by Jennifer Worth.
1963 – Valerie Plame (full name Valerie Elise Plame Wilson), U.S. spy and author of spy novels who was the subject of the 2003 Plame affair, in which her identity as a CIA agent was leaked and published by Robert Novak of the Washington Post; no one was formally charged. She wrote a memoir detailing her career and the events leading up to her resignation from the CIA; she has subsequently written several spy novels.
1965 – Gustafrizal Busra (also known as Gus tf Sakai), award-winning Indonesian short-story writer.
1967 – Amélie Nothomb (Baroness Fabienne-Claire Nothomb), prolific bestselling Belgian novelist who writes in French. Her parents were diplomats; her grandfather was writer, poet, and politician Pierre Nothomb; and her sister is children’s author and culinary writer Juliette Nothomb.
1973 – Kamila Shamsie, award-winning Pakistani novelist and short-story writer who is best known for her book Home Fire.