1834 – Aleksis Kivi, Finnish playwright, novelist, and poet.
1870 – Louise Mack, Australian poet, journalist, and novelist who is best known for her writings about World War I and her involvement in 1914 as the first woman war correspondent in Belgium.
1892 – Ivo Andric, Nobel Prize-winning Yugoslav novelist, poet, and short-story writer.
1892 – Lilly Daché, French-born U.S. milliner, fashion merchandiser, and author who started her career in a small bonnet shop and eventually ran her own fashion empire, custom-designing fashionable hats for wealthy women, celebrates, socialites, and movie stars; later in her career she expanded her fashion line to include dresses, perfume, and jewelry. She also wrote books, including her witty autobiography, Talking Through My Hats.
1906 – R.K. Narayan, Indian author who is best known for bringing Indian fiction to an English audience.
1908 – Mercè Rodoreda, award-winning Spanish Catalan novelist, journalist, playwright, short-story writer, and children’s writer who is considered to be the most influential contemporary Catalan-language writer; her bestselling novel La plaça del diamant (The Diamond Square, also called The Time of the Doves) is regarded as one of the best novels published in Spain since the Spanish Civil War.
1913 – Claude Simon, Nobel Prize-winning Madagascar-born French novelist who “in his novel combines the poet’s and the painter’s creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition.”
1924 – James Clavell, Australian-born British/American novelist and screenwriter, known for his Asian saga, which included the novels Tai-Pan and Shogun.
1928 – Sheila Walsh, award-winning British writer of romance novels who also wrote under the pen name Sophie Leyton.
1930 – Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize-winning English playwright who “in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.”
1933 – Thomas Kanza, Congolese writer, author, biographer, newspaper founder, politician, diplomat, and jazz musician.
1934 – Kunie Iwahashi, award-winning Japanese novelist, biographer, and short-story writer; one of her short stories was made into a film.
1935- Yumiko Kurahashi, award-winning postmodernist Japanese novelist, short-story writer, and translator whose work was experimental and antirealist, questioning prevailing norms about sex, violence, and social order.
1938 – Lily Tuck, National Book Award-winning French-born U.S. novelist and short-story writer.
1939 – Goli Taraghi (real name Zahren Taraghi-Moghadam), award-winning Iranian novelist, short-story writer, and university teacher; she wrote in Persian, French, and English.
1940 – Tran Bich San (born Trần Gia Thái), Vietnamese writer, newspaper editor, journalist, author, activist, and military official who emigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon.
1941 – Terence Heffernan, award-winning Canadian screenwriter and playwright who is most noted for writing the film Heartaches.
1941 – Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian activist, dramatist, diarist, and poet.
1942 – Ratko Adamovic, award-winning Serbian novelist, essayist, literary critic, and short-story writer.
1942 – James Marshall, U.S. children’s author best known for his George and Martha books.
1943 – Frederick Barthelme, U.S. novelist, short-story writer, memoirist, and screenwriter who is one of the seminal writers of minimalist fiction.
1944 – Linda Rogers, award-winning Canadian poet, novelist, nonfiction author, and children’s writer.
1945 – Denis Henriquez, award-winning Aruban writer, author, and teacher.
1950 – Nora Roberts, prolific U.S. novelist, beloved for her bestselling romantic works, though she also writes mysteries; in addition to writing under her own name, she has published under the pseudonyms J.D. Robb, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty.
1946 – Mildred Grieveson, popular British author of more than 160 romance novels; she most often uses the pseudonym Anne Mather but has also written under the names Caroline Fleming and Cardine Fleming. Her novel, Leopard in the Snow, was developed into a 1978 film.
1957 – Rumiko Takahashi, Japanese manga artist whose most famous works in the West are the InuYasha series.
1967 – Jonathan Littel, U.S. and French author whose book The Kindly Ones won the Prix Goncourt in France.
1969 – Dilsa Demirbag Sten, award-winning Swedish and Kurdish author and journalist.
1979 – Kim Keum Hee, award-winning South Korean novelist, editor, and short-story writer; a common theme in her works is the value of things that are old or forgotten; rather than rejecting frustrating realities or running away from them, her characters take ownership of their past and of who they are now.