1527 – Pedro de Ribadeneira, Spanish biographer, Jesuit priest, educator, and ascetic writer of the Spanish Golden Age.
1542 – Tarquinia Molza, Italian writer, poet, essayist, naturalist, composer, musician, and singer; unlike most women of her time, she studied the same subjects as her brothers, learning Greek, Latin, Hebrew, philosophy, astronomy, poetry, and science from some of the most esteemed academics of her day. She wrote poetry in Latin and in the Tuscan dialect.
1661 – Florent Carton (also known as Dancourt), French actor and playwright who was best known for his comedies.
1757 – Francesco Aglietti, Venetian Italian writer, physician, medicial historian, anatomist, and journal founder.
1769 – Garlieb Helwig Merkel, Baltic German writer and activist who was forced into exile after he wrote a book that described the life of peasants and the atrocities of German landowners.
1778 – Mary Brunton, Scottish novelist whose books were considered groundbreaking in their redefinition of femininity. Author Fay Weldon said of Brunton’s books, “What fun they are to read, rich in invention, ripe with incident, shrewd in comment, and erotic in intention and fact.” Brunton’s contemporary Jane Austen, on the other hand, described Brunton’s first novel as “excellently meant, elegantly-written work, without anything of Nature or Probability in it.”
1803 – Sarah Mytton Maury, British writer who emigrated to the U.S. and was known especially for her books about the U.S., including travel literature and works on statesen and religion in America.
1813 – Petar II Petrovic-Njegoš (commonly referred to simply as Njegoš), Montenegrin Prince-Bishop who was a writer, priest, philosopher, and poet; his works are widely considered some of the most important in Serbian and Montenegrin literature.
1837 – José Vieira Couto de Magalhães, Brazilian writer, folklorist, politician, mathematician, and military man; he is credited with starting the study of folklore in Brazil, and also founded the first astronomical observatory in São Paulo.
1850 – Rosario de Acuña Villanueva de la Iglesia, Spanish author of dramas, essays, poetry, journalism, and short stories; she was better known by the short name Rosario de Acuña and by her masculine pseudonym, Remigio Andrés Delafón, and was also known for her work for women’s suffrage.
1853 – Lie Kim Hok, Indonesian-born Chinese writer, journalist, publisher, translator, and teacher who is regarded as the father of Chinese Malay literature.
1861 – Dniprova Chayka (pen name of Liudmyla Vasylevska), Ukrainian writer, poet, children’s author, librettist, fairy-tale writer, short-story writer, and collector of folk songs and oral tradition.
1865 – Maria Pascoli, Italian writer, poet, and intellectual who wrote under the pseudonym Mariù Pascoli. Her brother Giovanni Pascoli was also a poet.
1866 – Liubov Gurevich, Russian writer, editor, translator, journalist, literary critic, linguist, theatre critic, publisher, and feminist who has been described as “Russia’s most important woman literary journalist.”
1871 – Stephen Crane, U.S. war correspondent, novelist, short-story writer, and poet who pioneered the use of psychological realism in fiction.
1877 – Else Ury, German Jewish novelist and children’s book author; her best-known character is the doctor’s daughter Annemarie Braun, whose life from childhood to old age is told in the ten volumes of the highly successful Nesthäkchen series, which have been adapted for television.
1880 – Sholem Asch, Polish-born Jewish novelist, dramatist, and essayist who wrote in Yiddish.
1886 – Hermann Broch, Nobel Prize-nominated Austrian novelist of the Modernist movement.
1886 – Sakutarō Hagiwara (萩原 朔太郎), Japanese poet, essayist, and literary critic who is credited with liberating Japanese free verse from traditional rules; he is considered the father of modern colloquial poetry in Japan.
1892 – Mabel Leigh Hunt, two-time Newbery Honor-winning U.S. librarian and children’s author.
1895 – David Jones, modernist British poet, writer, essayist, painter, illustrator, and engraver; both T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden considered him to be a poet of major importance.
1896 – Edmund Blunden, English poet, author, and critic who wrote of his experiences in World War I in both verse and prose.
1897 – Naomi Mitchison, Scottish novelist, poet, science-fiction author, linguist, and nurse.
1898 – Rose Antonia Maria Valland, French art historian and author who was a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history; she secretly recorded details of Nazi plundering and saved thousands of works of art.
1914 – Hodai Yamazaki, Japanese tanka poet whose verses are characterized by the skillful use of colloquial language.
1917 – Margaret Taylor-Burroughs (also known as Margaret Taylor Goss, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, and Margaret T.G. Burroughs), U.S. visual artist, writer, poet, educator, and arts organizer who co-founded the Ebony Museum of Chicago, now the DuSable Museum of African American History. Some sources give her birth year as 1915.
1921 – Ida Fink, award-winning Ukrainian, Polish, and Israeli author and short-story writer who escaped with her sister from the Zbaraż ghetto during World War II; she wrote in Polish, primarily on Holocaust themes, with stories revolving around the terrible choices Jews had to make during the Nazi era and the hardships faced by Holocaust survivors after the war.
1923 – Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian science-fiction author best known for his space opera.
1924 – Sarwanand Koul Premi (also spelled Sarvanand Kaul Premi), Indian Kashmiri poet, journalist, research scholar, and independence activist who was kidnapped and executed in 1990, during the rise of Kashmir’s militant movement.
1926 – Hilary Knight, U.S. writer and artist who wrote nine books and illustrated more than fifty; he is best known as the illustrator of the Eloise books.
1938 – Nicholasa Mohr – U.S. novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and young-adult author whose work focuses on growing up in U.S. Puerto Rican communities and the difficulties faced by Puerto Rican women in the U.S.; one of the best known Puerto Rican American authors, she has been a finalist for the National Book Award.
1948 – Natividad del Belén Preciado González (known as Nativel Preciado), award-winning Spanish writer, author, biographer, journalist, and opinion columnist.
1954 – H.G. Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist and author.
1954 – Jamal Naji, award-winning Jordanian novelist, screenwriter, and short-story writer, of Palestinian origins; he was born in a refugee camp in the West Bank and moved to Jordan in his teens.
1956 – Mariana Codrut, Romanian poet, essayist, novelist, short-story writer, and journalist.
1959 – Susanna Mary Clarke, Hugo Award-winning English novelist and short-story author best known for her bestselling debut novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, an alternative history set in a magical England and written in the style of 19th century authors.
1960 – Jennifer Mary Bornholdt, award-winning New Zealand poet, editor, anthologist, and children’s book author.
1961 – Louise Gunvor Catharina Lagercrantz Boije af Gennäs (born Boije af Gennäs), Swedish writer, bestselling novelist, and feminist who is co-creator of Rederiet, the longest-running Swedish soap opera in history. Her semi-autobiographical novel Stjärnor utan svindel (Stars Without Vertigo) is based on the author’s relationship with the prominent feminist Mian Lodalen.
1962 – Kamaria S. Muntu (born Tracey De Sandra Martin), U.S. African-American feminist poet, writer, literary magazine editor, and arts activist.
1963 – Samar Deb, Indian Bengali writer, poet, novelist, essayist, and activist whose forceful idioms and revolutionary content challenge traditional assumptions in Bengali literature.
1963 – Rayhana Obermeyer (also known as simply, Rayhana), Algerian playwright, writer, actress, comedian, and film director.
1964 – Rieko Saibara, award-winning Japanese manga artist and writer, game writer, and short-story writer.
1972 – Alessandra Silvestri-Levy, Brazilian art historian, art writer, curator, biographer, diplomat and human rights activist who became the Princess of Bismarck and the French Ambassador to Cuba.
1974 – Daniel Umpiérrez (also known as Dani Umpi), Uruguayan writer, artist, photographer, and musician.
1978 – Jessica Valenti, U.S. nonfiction author, editor, memoirist, columnist, and feminist blogger whose work explores women’s issues.
1983 – Sofía Fernández Castañón, award-winning Spanish poet, writer, audiovisual producer, and politician who has worked in print, television, and radio.