October 4 Writer Birthdays

1524 – Francisco Valles (also known as Divino Valles Covarrubias), Spanish author, physician, educator, and medical writer.

1625 – Jacqueline Pascal, French poet, writer, and nun; she was the sister of philosopher Blaise Pascal; like her brother. she was a prodigy, composing verses when only eight years old, and a five-act comedy at eleven.

1737 – Fanny de Beauharnais (née Marie-Anne-Françoise Mouchard), French writer, poet, playwright, novelist, woman of letters, and salon-holder whose descendants include the former royal families of Romania and Yugoslavia and the present royal families of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Monaco.

1741 – Franciszek Karpiński, Ukrainian-born Polish writer, poet, librarian, playwright, and translator of the Romantic period; he is considered one of the most original Polish writers of the early partitions and is particularly remembered for his religious works, later rendered as hymns and carols.

1741 – Edmond Malone, Irish writer, literary critic, literary historian, Shakespearean scholar, editor, and lawyer. In London, he frequented literary and artistic circles. He regularly visited Samuel Johnson and assisted James Boswell in revising, proofreading, and annotating his Life of Johnson. He was friendly with painter Joshua Reynolds, and sat for a portrait that is now in the National Portrait Gallery; he was one of Reynolds’ executors, and published a posthumous collection of his works, with a memoir. He also counted as friends Horace Walpole, Edmund Burke, and Oliver Goldsmith.

1773 – Harriet Auber, British writer, poet, and hymnwriter who is best remembered for her collection The Spirit of the Psalms, and for her hymn “Our Blest Redeemer, Ere He Breathed,” a treatise on the Holy Spirit and his work.

1824 – Eleanor Boyle Ewing Sherman (also called Ellen), U.S. author who was a prominent figure in her own right, and who was also the wife of Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, after her parents took him in when he was orphaned as a child.

1835 – Mary Elizabeth Braddon, popular and prolific English novelist, writer, short-story writer, playwright, and magazine founder; she is best known for her bestselling sensational novel Lady Audley’s Secret, which has been adapted several times for film, television, and theater. She also wrote historical fiction and ghost stories.

1836 – Juliette Adam, French novelist, political author, autobiographer, journal editor, and feminist activist.

1854 – María Luisa Dolz y Arango, Cuban writer, essayist, educator, and women’s rights crusader who was the first woman in her country to earn a doctorate in the natural sciences.

1860 – Annie Elizabeth Fredericka Horniman, influential English theatre manager and patron who established the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and founded the first regional repertory theatre company in Britain; she is best known for encouraging the work of new writers and playwrights, including W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and the Manchester School of dramatists. She was considered a scandalous figure because of her exotic clothing and her penchant for smoking cigarettes in public.

1862 – Edward Stratemeyer, U.S. publisher and writer of children’s fiction who created such well-known series as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins.

1867 – Alice Matilda Langland Williams (more commonly known as Alys Mallt and Y Fonesig Mallt), Welsh novelist and political writer who was an activist for Welsh home rule.

1879 – Marie Le Franc, award-winning French-born novelist, poet, and short-story writer who found much of her inspiration in Canada.

1880 – Damon Runyon, U.S. newspaperman and author, best known for his short stories about New York City.

1885 – Yehudit Harari (née Eisenberg), Belarusian-born Israeli memoirist, short-story writer, and educator who was one of the founders of Tel Aviv.

1885 – Sophie Anita Treadwell, prolific U.S. playwright, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, theatrical director, and actress who is best known for her play Machinal, which is often included in drama anthologies as an example of an Expressionist or Modernist play. The styles and subjects of Treadwell’s writings are vast, but many present women’s issues of her time, subjects of current media coverage, or aspects of her Mexican heritage.

1890 – András Révész (also known as Andrés Révész Speier), Hungarian biographer, journalist, and writer.

1892 – Robert Lawson, U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books, best known for his illustrations of other author’s works.

1892 – Anica Savic-Rebac, Serbian writer, essayist, nonfiction book author, classical philologist, translator, and professor who wrote about Goethe, Sophocles, Spinoza, Thomas Mann, Plato, and Greek mystical philosophers.

1896 – Dorothy Lawrence, British journalist, war reporter, and author who posed as a male soldier in order to report from the front line during World War I.

1898 – Mireille Havet, French poet, diarist, novelist, and lyricist; she was friends with writers Jean Cocteau and Colette, who referred to her as “la petite poyétesse.”

1904 – Rene (Mable Neighbour) Cloke, British children’s book illustrator and author.

1906 – Natalie Savage Carlson, Newbery Medal runner-up U.S. writer of children’s books who incorporated folktales and old family stories into her books; she was also the United States nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award. She published her first story on the children’s page of the Baltimore Sunday Sun when she was eight years old.

1910 – Cahit Sitki Taranci (born Hüseyin Cahit, Turkish poet, author, and translator.

1914 – Brendan Gill, U.S. journalist and author whose best known work details his job at the New Yorker magazine.

1915 – Silvina Bullrich, bestselling Argentine novelist who was also a translator, screenwriter, journalist, critic, and academic; she was known as la gran burguesa (“the great bourgeois lady.”)

1915 – Uldis Germanis, Latvian historian, writer and publicist who specialized in modern Latvian history.

1916 – Julia Woolfook Cunningham, U.S. children’s book author who was a finalist for the National Book Award.

1917 – Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval, Chilean writer, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, painter, sculptor, ceramicist, and singer-songwriter who pioneered the Nueva Canción Chilena (The Chilean New Song), a renewal and a reinvention of Chilean folk music that would extend its sphere of influence outside Chile. She is acknowledged as “the Mother of Latin American folk,” and her birthday was chosen as “Chilean Musicians’ Day.”

1919 – René Marqués, Puerto Rican playwright, short-story writer, essayist, and activist who was part of Puerto Rico’s “La generación del 50” (The Generation of the 50s) artistic and literary movement. His play La Carreta (The Oxcart), considered to be his best work, secured his reputation as a leading literary figure; the drama traces a rural Puerto Rican family as it moved to the slums of San Juan and then to New York in search of a better life, only to be disillusioned and to long for their island.

1922 – Adam Hollanek, Polish novelist, poet, and science-fiction writer.

1923 – William Neville “Bill” Scott, award-winning Australian author, folklorist, songwriter, poet, children’s writer, and collector of bush ballads and Australian folk history.

1924 – Donald J. Sobol, U.S. children’s book author, best known for the “Encyclopedia Brown” novels about a boy detective.

1926 – U Thaung (born Aung Bala), Burmese author and journalist who founded a prominent newspaper; in 2000, he was named one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past half-century.

1929 – John E. Mack, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author, psychiatrist, and biographer.

1930 – Svava Jakobsdóttir, prominent, award-winning Icelandic novelist, playwright, poet, short-story writer, and politician whose writing was characterized by “unique brand of surreal feminism.” She was also a member of the Icelandic parliament.

1934 – Vaidya Bhagwan Dash, Indian author, doctor, and scholar in the field of Ayurvedic and Tibetan Medicine; he also worked as a bibliographer and cataloguer for the U.S. Library of Congress office in Delhi.

1936 – Cynthia McLeod, Surinamese author, historical novelist, writer, children’s author, and historian. Her debut novel, the bestselling Hoe duur was de suiker? (The Cost of Sugar), about the sugar cane industry in the 18th century, made her the most famous Surinamese novelist overnight; it was later turned into a movie and broadcast as a television miniseries.

1937 – Jackie Collins, English novelist who was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins. All 32 of her novels made the New York Times Bestseller list.

1939 – Jane Zemiro, award-winning Australian writer, poet, translator, and educator.

1941 – Roy Blount Jr., U.S. writer and humorist, and frequent panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

1941 – Karen Cushman, U.S. author of children’s and young-adult historical novels; she who won the Newbery Medal for The Midwife’s Apprentice; her book The Ballad of Lucy Whipple was made into a television film.

1941 – Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien), bestselling U.S. author of gothic fiction, Christian literature, and erotic literature; she is best known for her series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles, revolving around the central character of Lestat; two of her vampire novels and another of her books were adapted for film. She has also written under the pen names Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure.

1941 – Zacharie Tshimanga Wa Tshibangu, Congolese historian and writer.

1942 – Ave Alavainu, award-winning Estonian writer, poet, and politician.

1944 – Lucky de Chickera, Sri Lankan novelist, short-story author, and corporate executive who is best known for his award-winning novel Sarasu…Amidst Slums of Terror.

1946 – Alvard Petrossyan, award-winning Armenian writer, opinion journalist, editor, philologist, and publicist.

1949 – Godfrey Mwakikagile, Tanzanian author, scholar, biographer, and journalist who specializes in African studies; he experienced apartheid and racial segregation in Tanganyika, what is now mainland Tanzania, and wrote extensively about it in some of his works, as he did about the political climate of Tanganyika during the colonial era.

1949 – Luis Sepúlveda, Chilean writer and political prisoner; he who wrote children’s books, travel stories, and novels, and best known for his novel The Old Man Who Read Love Stories.

1951 – Bakhytzhan Musakhanuli Kanapyanov, Kazakhstani poet, writer, lyricist, screenwriter, film director, linguist, translator, publisher, and boxer who won Kazakhstan’s boxing cup for two consecutive years.

1951 – Willem Jan Otten, Dutch prose writer, playwright, poet, and translator.

1951 – Bina Štampe Žmavc, Slovene writer, poet, children’s author, translator, and theatrical director.

1957 – Elchin Shikhly, Azerbaijani writer, journalist, and newspaper editor.

1961 – Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese manga artist and writer, best known as the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! book series.

1962 – Manasi Pradhan, Indian author, poet, and women’s rights activist; she has been named by a New York-based magazine as one of the 20 most inspiring Feminists, Authors, and Activists. Her inspiring life story has been adopted for film in both the United States and Israel.

1963 – Kōji Ishikawa, Japanese children’s book author and illustrator.

1964 – Iva Klestilová, Czech playwright, screenwriter, writer, educator, and actress; her dramatic work is known for its social commentary on issues such as consumerism and the decline of social values.

1967 – Miloš Urban, award-winning Czech novelist and horror writer who has also written under the name Josef Urban, and who is known as the “dark knight of Czech literature”; he is best known for his bestselling novel Sedmikostelí (The Seven Churches), a Gothic crime horror set in Prague. He is also an acclaimed translator.

1968 – Tim Wise, U.S. anti-racism activist and writer.

1975 – Sandra Barneda Valls, Spanish journalist, writer,novelist, actress, and television presenter.

1975 – Andrei Alekseyevich Soldatov, Russian writer, investigative journalist, nonfiction author, and news editor who is a regular commentator on terrorism and intelligence issues.

1976 – Mia Skäringer, Swedish writer, comedian, actress, and television presenter.

1977 – Isabel Olid Báez, award-winning Spanish Catalan writer, novelist, essayist, translator, and educator.

1979 – Aurora Stewart de Peña, Canadian author, playwright, and theatrical director.

1983 – Andrea Priscila Crespo Granda, award-winning Ecuadorian author and poet.

1984 – Marie Kondo (also known as Konmari), bestselling Japanese nonfiction author, organizational expert, and television presenter who is known worldwide for her Konmari method of home organization.

1993 – Park Yeon-mi, North Korean defector, writer, memoirist, and human rights activist; she escaped to China as a teenager and settled in South Korea.

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