October 30 Writer Birthdays

1513 – Jacques Amyot, French Renaissance writer, translator, and Catholic priest.

1576 – Enrico Caterino Davila, Italian historian, writer, and diplomat.

1606 – Jean-Jacques Bouchard, French writer who is especially known for his erotic literature.

1624 – Paul Pellisson, French author and historian; as official historian to the king, he wrote Histoire de Louis XIV, covering the years 1660 to 1670.

1709 – Sneyd Davies, British poet, writer, academic, and clergyman who was the Archdeacon of Derby. His work included Latin verses, imitations of Horace’s epistles, serious and burlesque imitations of John Milton, and verses in the style of Jonathan Swift.

1751 – Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright, poet, and politician.

1762 – André Marie Chénier, Turkish-born French poet whose sensual, emotive poetry marks him as one of the precursors of the Romantic movement. His career met an abrupt end during the French Revolution, when he was guillotined for supposed “crimes against the state” just three days before the end of the Reign of Terror. His life has been the subject of Umberto Giordano’s opera Andrea Chénier and other works of art.

1783 – Karl Rottmanner, German writer, poet, philosopher, and politician.

1790 – Rinse Posthumus, Frisian romantic poet, translator, minister, political activist, and liberal spirit from the Frisian (or Wadden) Islands, a North Sea archipelago off the coast of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

1806 – Stepan Shevyryov, Russian poet, literary critic, philosopher, and literary historian who was a virulent critic of “the rotting West” and a leading representative of the Official Nationality theory, a conservative doctrine that sought imperial unity under Orthodox Christianity and the absolute authority of the emperor.

1825 – Adelaide Anne Procter, British poet, writer, feminist thinker, and philanthropist whose first poems were published when she was still in her teens; she grew up to be the most famous poet of her day, and the favorite poet of Queen Victoria. Her work is still considered significant today for what it reveals about how Victorian women expressed otherwise repressed feelings.

1830 – Eliza Brightwen (also known as Lizzie Brightwen or Eliza Elder), Scottish naturalist, author, essayist, autobiographer, and science writer who was one of the most popular naturalists of her day.

1840 – William Graham Sumner, U.S. social scientist, professor, author, and essayist who introduced the term “ethnocentrism” and spoke against imperialism; his work is considered a major influence on conservatism in the United States.

1862 – Anton Funtek, Slovenian poet, writer, editor, teacher, translator, and linguist. He is most remembered for his translations into Slovene, including Shakespeare’s King Lear, Schiller’s Song of the Bell, and the first part of Goethe’s Faust.

1866 – Rose Maud Young, Irish poet, writer, scholar, and collector of Irish songs; she was best known for her work to preserve the Irish language.

1874 – Bin Ueda, Japanese writer, poet, translator, university teacher, and literary critic. His major work is Kaichoon 海潮音 (The Sound of the Tide), a collection of translations of writing by Western poets.

1881 – Elizabeth Madox Roberts, U.S. novelist and poet, primarily known for her novels and stories set in central Kentucky’s Washington County; all of her writings are characterized by her distinct, rhythmic prose. Author Robert Penn Warren called her novel The Time of Man a classic, and the eminent Southern critic and Southern Review editor Lewis P. Simpson counted her among the half-dozen major writers of the Southern Renaissance.

1885 – Ezra Pound, expatriate U.S. poet and critic who was a central figure in the American Modernist movement.

1886 – Zoe Akins, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. playwright, poet, author, and screenwriter.

1887 – Georg Heym, German Expressionist poet, writer, and playwright.

1887 – Sukumar Ray, Indian Bengali writer, poet, playwright, photographer, editor, children’s writer, short-story writer, and illustrator who still remains one of the most popular children’s writers in Bengali literature. He was the son of children’s writer Upendrakishore Ray, the father of Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, and the grandfather of Indian filmmaker Sandip Ray.

1891 – Lilya Brik, Russian writer, sculptor, film director, and actress who was connected to many leading figures in the Russian avant-garde; she was the muse of poet, playwright, and artist Vladimir Mayakovsky.

1893 – Jan M Romein, Dutch Marxist historian, journalist, and literary scholar; he is remembered for his books popularizing Dutch national history, jointly authored with his wife Annie Romein-Verschoor.

1895 – Maria Kuncewiczowa, award-winning Polish novelist, short-story writer, radio writer, and literary diarist. Her first major success was publication of her first collection of short stories, Przymierze z Dzieckiem (Covenant With a Child), which explores birth, motherhood, and the connection between mother and child, but her most popular work was the internationally known Cudzoziemka (The Stranger), a novel that drew inspiration from her mother, who gave up her career as a violinist to raise a family.

1896 – Ruth Gordon Jones, U.S. actress, screenwriter, playwright, and author. As an actress, she performed on Broadway and then in films such as Rosemary’s Baby, Harold and Maude, and Every Which Way but Loose. She won an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Golden Globe Awards for her acting, and three Academy Award nominations for her writing.

1898 – Simon Halkin, award-winning Belarusian-born Israeli writer, poet, novelist, short-story writer, translator, professor, and literary theorist.

1900 – Xia Yan, Chinese playwright, screenwriter, writer, politician, translator, journalist, and film director who also served as China’s Deputy Minister of Culture.

1901 – Sudhindranath Dutta, Indian Bengali poet, journalist, essayist, literary critic, and lecturer who is one of the most notable poets after the Tagore-era in Bengali literature.

1902 – Ángela Figuera Aymerich, Spanish Basque writer, poet, and children’s author; she was a member of the Generation of ’27 literary movement.

1904 – Sydney Taylor (born Sara Brenner), U.S. author and children’s writer whose All-of-a-Kind Family books were the most widely known literature about Jewish children in the U.S. The stories were based largely on her own life in her large family, growing up in New York City.

1907 – Albert Rice Leventhal, U.S. journalist, author, bridge columnist, book editor, and book publisher who developed the Little Golden Books series of children’s books.

1908 – Marcel Béalu, French novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and bookseller. His writing is associated with the literature of the fantastic; he was intrigued by the equivocal relationship of fantasy or dream to reality, and the uncertainty of reality, and his fiction was widely hailed for its dreamlike qualities.

1910 – Miguel Hernández Gilabert, Spanish poet and playwright who was associated with the Generation of ’27 and the Generation of ’36 literary movements. Imprisoned due to his participation on the Republican side of the civil war, he wrote poems in prison, some on pieces of toilet paper and others in letters to his wife; his posthumously published book, Cancionero y romancero de ausencias, a collection of the poems he wrote in prison, is considered one of the finest works of Spanish poetry of the 20th century.

1914 – Marius Hendrikus Flothuis, Dutch composer and Mozart biographer.

1914 – James Laughlin, U.S. poet and renowned literary book publisher who counted as friends some of the best-known literary figures of his day, including Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound (also born on October 30). It was Pound who famously told him, “You’re never going to be any good as a poet. Why don’t you take up something useful?” That comment started his career as a publisher.

1915 – Porfirio Meneses Lazón, Peruvian writer, poet, translator, and short-story writer.

1916 – Lalgudi Saptarishi Ramamrutham, prolific and award-winning Indian Tamil novelist, essayist, and short-story writer who was commonly known as La Sa Ra.

1917 – Minni Katharina Nurme (also known as Minni Neumann and Minni Raudsepp), Estonian writer, novelist, poet, and translator; her sister was the poet Salme Ekbaum.

1920 – Juliette Benzoni, award-winning, prolific French writer, journalist, screenwriter, and bestselling novelist who wrote books in several genres, including historical romance, mystery, and historical fiction. She was called the “Queen of History Novels” and the “Daughter of Alexander Dumas.”

1925 – Ru Zhijuan, Chinese writer and essayist who was one of the most important writers of her generation, best known for her short stories. Her daughter Wang Anyi is also a prominent writer.

1927 – Jill McDonald, New Zealand children’s writer, illustrator, and columnist who eventually relocated to England; Kaye Webb, the editor of Puffin Books, wrote of her work: “Everyone who knows it has been captivated not only by her brilliant use of colour and unique style, but the way each sure, strong line seems to impose a very individual and secret humour.”

1930 – Jean Chapman, award-winning British romance writer and lecturer.

1930 – Khan Mohammad Moinuddin, award-winning Pakistani Bangladeshi writer and poet who is best remembered for his writing for children.

1932 – Louis Malle, Oscar-winning French screenwriter and film director; his second wife was actress Candice Bergen.

1935 – Robert Caro, U.S. journalist, author, and biographer who won two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award.

1935 – Ágota Kristóf, award-winning Hungarian novelist, autobiographer, and short-story writer who lived in Switzerland and wrote in French. She was also a playwright and poet, but she is best known for her prose.

1937 – Rudolfo Anaya, U.S. novelist, essayist, poet, children’s writer, and nonfiction writer who is considered one of the founders of contemporary Chicano literature; he is best known for his novel Bless Me, Ultima, which has been adapted into a film and an opera.

1941 – Endre Rózsa, award-winning Hungarian poet and poet laureate; he was one of the nine members of the Kilencek group of notable poets.

1941 – Sérgio Sant’Anna, influential Brazilian poet, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer whose work is heavily meta-fictional.

1946 – Eric Kimmel, prolific U.S. author of award-winning children’s books.

1946 – Andrea Mitchell, U.S. television journalist, anchor, reporter, and commentator; her husband is economist and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

1947 – Gary Catalano, award-winning Australian poet, short-story writer, nonfiction author, and art critic.

1952 – Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares, Angolan poet and writer who is one of Angola’s best-loved literary figures. Her work is influenced by Brazilian literature, but she is also known as a collector of Angola’s oral tradition.

1963 – Andrew Solomon, U.S. writer and lecturer on politics, culture, and psychology.

1964 – Abdel Latif Moubarak, important Egyptian poet whose work employs classical Arabic and Egyptian vernacular.

1974 – Priscila Uppal, Canadian poet, novelist, anthologist, editor, nonfiction author, and playwright.

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