0039 – Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (better known in English as Lucan), Roman poet, writer, and historian who is considered one of the outstanding figures of the Imperial Latin period, known in particular for his epic Pharsalia.
1500 – Benvenuto Cellini, Florentine Italian writer, poet, autobiographer, painter, sculptor, and goldsmith; his best-known extant works include the Cellini Salt Cellar, the sculpture of Perseus with the Head of Medusa, and his autobiography, which has been described as “one of the most important documents of the 16th century.”
1569 – Heo Gyun, prominent Korean writer, poet, novelist, autobiographer, and politician. He was also known by the pen names Gyosan and Seongso.
1635 – Miguel Barrios (also known as Daniel Levi de Barrios), Spanish poet, playwright, and historian who fled the Spanish Inquisition and joined the community of Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam.
1794 – William Cullen Bryant, U.S. romantic poet, journalist, and short-story writer who was also editor of the New York Evening Post.
1797 – Alexander Bestuzhev, Russian writer, poet, literary critic, and soldier. After the Decembrist revolt of 1825, he was sent into exile to Caucasus, where he wrote under the pseudonym Marlinsky and became known as a romantic poet, short-story writer, and novelist.
1841 – Isabella Macdonald Alden, U.S. writer, journalist, novelist, children’s author, educator, and temperance worker.
1841 – Kate Lee Ferguson (born Catherine Sarah Lee), U.S. novelist, poet, short-story writer, and composer who was best known as the author of Cliquot and Little Mose.
1845 – Ludwig Laistner, German writer, historical novelist, mythologist, clergyman, educator, translator, literary critic, and literary historian. Das Rätsel der Sphinx (The Riddle of the Sphinx), his book on mythology from an Idealist perspective, argued that dreams and nightmares were the ultimate source of many famous myths; the book is regarded as a direct predecessor of psychoanalytic interpretation.
1848 – Francis Davis Millet, U.S. writer, journalist, sculptor, classical painter, and military physician who died in 1912 in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
1850 – František Sláma, Czech writer, travel writer, publisher, lawyer, politician, and judge. He traveled extensively in the Silesian region of central Europe, learning about the traditions and history of the area, and was the first writer to spread knowledge about Silesia to Czech lands.
1866 – Dinesh Chandra Sen, Indian Bengali writer, folklorist, and teacher.
1867 – Pearl Mary Teresa Richards, U.S.-born British novelist and dramatist who wrote under the pen name of John Oliver Hobbes and was wildly successful in her day; her first book, Some Emotions and a Moral, sold 80,000 copies in only a few weeks.
1873 – Margarita Morozova, Russian writer, publisher, memoirist, salonnière, and patron of the arts.
1874 – Lucie Delarue-Mardrus, prolific French writer, journalist, poet, novelist, sculptor, historian, and designer; she is best known in France for her poem beginning with the line “L’odeur de mon pays était dans une pomme” (“In an apple I held the smell of my native land.”) Her writings express her love of travel and her love for her native Normandy.
1878 – Bangalore Nagarathnamma, Indian writer, historian, scholar, editor, publisher, linguist, cultural activist, Carnatic singer, violinist, dancer, feminist, and patron of the arts; she worked not only in Kannada, her native tongue, but also in other languages including Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit.
1880 – Avra Theodoropoulou, Greek writer, author, teacher, pianist, and suffragist; she also founded the League for Women’s Rights and served as its chairperson.
1886 – Vyvyan Holland, British author, translator, writer, poet, biographer, and linguist who was the son of poet and playwright Oscar Wilde.
1900 – Nikolai Pogodin, Soviet Russian writer, playwright, screenwriter, and journalist whose plays were recognized for their realistic portrayals of common life combined with socialist and communist themes.
1901 – André Malraux, award-winning French novelist who also wrote about art and was Minister for Cultural Affairs and Minister of Information.
1913 – Albert Cossery, Egyptian-born novelist and screenwriter who wrote in French and set all of his novels either in his home country of Egypt or in an imaginary Middle Eastern country; his writings pay tribute to the lowborn and the misfits of his childhood in Cairo. He was nicknamed “The Voltaire of the Nile.”
1919 – Jesús Blasco, influential Spanish author and comic-book artist whose work ranged from cute animal cartoons to shadowplay realism.
1919 – Květa Legátová, Czech novelist, short-story author, essayist, and screenwriter.
1920 – Oodgeroo Noonuccal (also known as Kath Walker), Australian poet, children’s author, artist, educator, and activist for Aboriginal rights.
1924 – Toyoko Yamasaki, Japanese writer, journalist, novelist, and short-story author.
1925 – Monica Hughes, English and Canadian author of books, mostly for children and young adults; her science fiction is especially well regarded, but she also wrote adventure and historical novels set in Canada, as well as children’s picture books.
1926 – Alice Rasmussen (born Alice Fallai), Italian and Swedish art historian, author, and translator who specialized in art history and botany.
1928 – Osamu Tezuka, prolific, influential Japanese manga artist, writer, cartoonist, animator, and film producer who has been called “the father of manga,” and “the Japanese Walt Disney.”
1931 – Mabel Condemarín, Chilean writer, children’s author, and educator.
1931 – Arun Sarma, Indian Assamese writer, novelist, and playwright who is known for his novels describing the Assamese way of life and for his unconventional plays.
1938 – Bette Bao Lord, Chinese-born writer and civic activist for human rights and democracy.
1938 – Terrence McNally, U.S. playwright whose many awards include four Tony Awards and an Emmy.
1938 – Daniel Sleigh, award-winning South African novelist, poet, children’s writer, nonfiction author, and historian; he writes in Afrikaans.
1942 – Martin Cruz Smith, U.S. mystery novelist best known for Gorky Park and other novels about Russian investigator Arkady Renko.
1948 – Mercedes Franco, Venezuelan novelist and editorial writer.
1952 – Michel Boujenah, Tunisian and French author, screenwriter, actor, comedian, and film director.
1954 – Heike Hohlbein, bestselling German author of children’s books, science fiction, and fantasy.
1964 – Farzona, award-winning Tajikistani poet and writer whose real name is Inoyat Hojieva.
1965 – Anne Scott, French novelist of social realism who has a cult following for her second novel, Superstars.
1967 – Amy Siu-haan Cheung, Chinese novelist, essayist, and blogger who is one of Hong Kong’s most popular writers; most of her books deal with love and relationships.