September 9 Writer Birthdays

1516 – Francesco Robortello, Italian writer, translator, editor, humanist, and university teacher; he was nicknamed Canis grammaticus (“the grammatical dog”) for his confrontational and demanding manner.

1595 – Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, Spanish and German Jesuit who was a writer, naturalist, theologian, philosopher, lecturer, and mystic; he was born and died in Madrid, but his parents were German.

1704 – Giuseppe Bianchini, Italian writer, historian, and biblical scholar.

1708 – Paul Egede, Norwegian writer, missionary, translator, theologian, and university teacher.

1731 – Francisco Javier Clavijero Echegaray (sometimes Francesco Saverio Clavigero), Mexican Jesuit writer, teacher, scholar, and historian; after the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish provinces, he went to Italy, where he wrote a valuable work on the pre-Columbian history and civilizations of Mesoamerica.

1796 – Harriet Vaughan Cheney, U.S. and Canadian novelist, historical-romance writer, poet, children’s religious writer, and short-story writer. She was also the founder, with her sister, the writer, Eliza Lanesford Cushing, of a magazine for girls.

1808 – Wendela Hebbe (née Åström), Swedish journalist, writer, and salon hostess who was arguably the first permanently employed female journalist at a Swedish newspaper; she played a key role in the radical literary circles of mid 19th-century Sweden and was a controversial role model for the emancipated woman.

1828 – Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy), Russian novelist, poet, and essayist who is considered one of the greatest writers of all time; his work is known for its high degree of detail and its psychological complexity, including his most famous novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He has been called “the conscience of humanity.”

1833 – Hephzibah Beulah Dumville Bechly, English-born writer and letter writer who emigrated to the U.S. and was known for her writings about life for common women in the antebellum midwestern United States; the degree of political understanding and outspokenness seen with her writings was unexpected in her time, and would have been regarded as inappropriate.

1850 – Bharatendu Harishchandra, Indian poet, author, travel writer, dramatist, and translator who is considered the father of modern Hindi literature and theater.

1851 – Florence Bell (Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore Bell, née Olliffe), Parisian-born British writer and playwright.

1851 – Mabel Collins, Guernsey-based English fashion writer, author of popular occult novels, anti-vivisection activist, and theosophist.

1856 – Clara Tschudi, Norwegian writer who is best known for her biographies of contemporary and historical women.

1862 – Sergei Aleksandrovich Nilus, Russian religious writer and mystic who was responsible for publishing for the first time in Russia The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

1867 – Delilah Leontium Beasley, U.S. historian and newspaper columnist who was the first African-American woman to be published regularly in a major metropolitan newspaper; she was also first to present written proof of the existence of California’s black pioneers, in her books Slavery in California and The Negro Trail-Blazers of California. She is remembered for detailing the racial problems in California and the heroic achievements by Blacks to overcome them. (Some sources give her birth year as 1971.)

1867 – Maud Diver (born Katherine Helen Maud Marshall), English author in British India who wrote novels, short stories, biographies, and journalistic pieces; she wrote primarily on Indian topics and about the English in India.

1868 – Mary Hunter Austin, U.S. nature writer whose work focused on the fauna, flora, culture, and spirituality of the southwestern United States.

1869 – Abdullah Cevdet, Turkish writer, poet, author, translator, journalist, free-thinker, and physician.

1869 – Charlotte Elizabeth Frederica Remfry Koesler (also known as Carlota Remfry-Kidd), Spanish writer and translator.

1871 – Ralph Hodgson, English poet and animal lover who is considered one of the earliest writers about ecology, speaking out against the fur trade and human destruction of the natural world.

1872 – Sarala Devi Chaudhurani, Indian writer and activist who founded the first women’s organization in India; one of her primary goals was to promote female education.

1872 – Phan Châu Trinh, Vietnamese writer, politician, and nationalist who sought to end France’s colonial occupation of Vietnam by educating the population and by appealing to French democratic principles.

1874 – Rosa Schapire, Ukrainian-born German writer, translator, author, and art historian.

1878 – Adelaide Crapsey, U.S. writer, teacher, poet, journalist, and literary critic.

1887 – Ada Artemyevna Chumachenko, influential Russian writer, poet, playwright, and children’s writer who began publishing poetry at the age of eight.

1891 – María Olimpia de Obaldía, award-winning Panamanian poet, writer, and teacher whose writings generally deal with such subjects as maternity and love of family.

1900 – James Hilton, award-winning bestselling English novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction author, playwright, and screenwriter whose most famous works include the books Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Random Harvest, and Lost Horizon, as well as the screenplay for the World War II film Mrs. Miniver.

1903 – Phyllis A. Whitney, Japanese-born U.S. mystery writer for adults and teens, known for her suspenseful plots and exotic settings.

1907 – Leon Edel, Pulitzer Prize-winning and National Book Award-winning U.S. literary critic and Henry James biographer.

1908 – Cesare Pavese, Italian writer, poet, novelist, screenwriter, biographer, linguist, literary critic, and translator who is widely considered to be among the major Italian authors of the 20th century.

1908 – Hằng Phương, Vietnamese poet whose poetry has been characterized as intimist; her daughter is the painter Vũ Giáng Hương.

1911 – Paul Goodman, U.S. novelist, playwright, poet, psychotherapist, social critic, anarchist philosopher, and public intellectual whose work often revolved around education, community, civil planning, decentralization and self-regulation, civil liberties, and peace.

1911 – Manuel Sanchis i Guarner, prolific Valencian Spanish writer, historian, philologist, and linguist whose award-winning work includes linguistic studies, literature, history, ethnography, and popular culture, much of it centered on the Valencian community.

1918 – Deryck Robert Endsleigh Abel, British author, editor, journalist, and political activist,

1918 – Tan Onuma, award-winning Japanese writer, novelist, and translator.

1922 – Bernard Bailyn, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. historian and author who wrote about American Colonial and Revolutionary War history.

1922 – Álvaro de Laiglesia, Spanish writer, humorist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and resistance fighter.

1923 – Rosita Sokou, award-winning Greek writer, journalist, author, biographer, playwright, translator, and film critic.

1924 – Thakin Tin Mya, Burmese writer and politician who is particularly known for his five-volume work on the history of the struggle against Japanese occupation of Burma during the Second World War.

1926 – Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Egyptian writer, imam, theologian, television preacher, and Islamic scholar.

1930 – Minoru Hara, Japanese writer, Indologist, philologist, and professor who is a scholar of Sanskrit and Buddhist literature and philosophy.

1934 – Sonia Sanchez (born Wilsonia Benita Driver), American Book Award-winning U.S. African-American poet, playwright, children’s author, short-story writer, essayist, and black nationalist who is part of the Black Arts movement.

1935 – Chaim Topol, Israeli writer, poet, singer, illustrator, artist, theatrical and film performer, actor, and producer.

1937 – Betsy Reilly Lewin, U.S. writer and illustrator of children’s books; she is best known for the Caldecott Honor Book, Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type.

1938 – Claudio Nizzi, Algerian writer, comics artist, scriptwriter, cartoonist, and short-story writer.

1941 – Juliet Margaret Townsend (née Smith), British writer, children’s author, and book reviewer who served as Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire from 1998 to 2014, the first woman to hold the position.

1942 – Juan Luis Panero, award-winning Spanish poet, anthologist, and filmmaker.

1948 – Pamela Des Barres, U.S. author, magazine writer, memoirist, actress, and musician who writes about music and popular culture; she is best known for her memoir, I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie, about her experiences in the rock music scene of the 1960s and 1970s.

1949 – Volker Hage, German journalist, author, and literary critic.

1950 – Seyla Benhabib, award-winning Turkish-born U.S. writer, philosopher, biographer, political scientist, and professor; she is well known for her work in political philosophy, which draws on critical theory and feminist political theory.

1950 – Eeva Park, award-winning Estonian writer, poet, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who is known for her novels’ dark undertones.

1951 – Bob Shacochis, National Book Award finalist U.S. novelist, short-story writer, food writer, and literary journalist.

1953 – Wanjiru Kihoro, Kenyan writer, economist, and feminist activist who was one of the founders of the pan-African women’s organization Akina Mama wa Afrika and the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya.

1959 – Amal Taher Mohamed Naseer, Jordanian writer, literary critic, and academic; she is the first woman to have a doctorate from her department at the University of Jordan.

1960 – Kimberly Willis Holt, National Book Award-winning U.S. children’s author.

1960 – Rosabetty Muñoz Serón, award-winning Chilean poet, writer, and professor.

1962 – Eva Elisabeth “Liza” Marklund, Swedish journalist, crime writer, and book publisher whose novels feature fictional newspaper reporter Annika Bengtzon.

1964 – Aleksandar Hemon, Bosnian-U.S. fiction writer, essayist, and critic best known for his 2008 novel The Lazarus Project.

1965 – Troy Blacklaws, South African writer, novelist, and teacher; his first novel, Karoo Boy, described as “a riotous vision of 1976 Cape Town,” was later adapted for the stage by Blacklaws and two co-authors.

1967 – Hana Andronikova, award-winning Czech novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.

1969 – Jorge Enrique González Pacheco, Cuban poet, film industry professional, and cultural entrepreneur.

1971 – Ayeta Anne Wangusa, Ugandan writer, editor, and women’s rights activist who first achieved recognition in literary circles for her novel Memoirs of a Mother.

1973 – Zaza Burchuladze, Georgian postmodern writer, playwright, translator, and journalist. His narratives often startle the audience with their experimental style and provocative themes; he writes about political conformity, violence, and brutality, addressing ideological and religious topics as well as sexuality.

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