November 29 Writer Birthdays

1531 – Johannes Letzner, German writer, historian, and Protestant priest.

1724 – Saviour Bernard, Maltese medical practitioner, scientist, author, and major philosopher.

1770 – David Hess, Swiss writer, politician, caricaturist, and painter.

1781 – Andrés Bello (also known as Andrés de Jesús María y José Bello López), Venezuelan poet, humanist, educator, philologist, diplomat, and scholar whose political and literary works constitute an important part of Spanish American culture.

1788 – Abigail Goodrich Whittlesey, U.S. writer, editor, educator, and magazine founder; in her magazine, she provided information and instructions on the role of mothers.

1799 – Amos Bronson Alcott, U.S. teacher, writer, philosopher, abolitionist, reformer, and women’s rights advocate who was a key figure in the Transcendentalist movement but who is best known today as the father of author Louisa May Alcott, also born on November 29.

1806 – Manuel de Araújo Porto-Alegre (Baron of Santo Ângelo), Brazilian writer, poet, teacher, architect, politician, diplomat, painter, cartoonist, art historian, journalist, caricaturist, playwright, painter, and art critic.

1814 – Girolamo de Rada, Italian writer, poet, playwright, folklorist, historian, journalist, and lawyer who wrote in Arbëreshë, a language of ethnic Albanians living in Southern Italy; he is regarded as one of the most influential Albanian writers of the 19th century, and he played an essential role in the Albanian Renaissance.

1832 – Louisa May Alcott, U.S. author, short-story writer, children’s writer, feminist, and abolitionist best known for her semi-autobiographical novel Little Women; she also wrote one of the earliest works of detective fiction. Her father was educator and reformer Amos Bronson Alcott, also born on November 29.

1840 – Rhoda Broughton, Welsh novelist and short-story writer; her early novels earned her a reputation for sensationalism, which caused her later and stronger work to be neglected by critics, although she was described as a queen of the circulating libraries.

1848 – Sarah Barnwell Elliott, U.S. writer, playwright, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, women’s rights activist, and suffragist.

1854 – Olaug Marie Løken, Norwegian writer, food writer, public debater, and women’s rights activist. Her cookbook Madstel og Husstel for almindelige Husholdninger (Food and Housekeeping for Ordinary Households) became a bestseller, with six re-issues. She also wrote books about child care.

1855 – August Kitzberg, Estonian playwright, short-story author, and memoirist; his early works consisted of comedies and humorous stories of village life; later, his plays developed a component of social criticism.

1865 – Teresa Mañé Miravet, Spanish author, editor, publisher, pedagogue, and anarchist who used the pen name Soledad Gustavo.

1880 – Vittoria Colonna (Duchess of Sermoneta), Italian writer, novelist, and autobiographer.

1895 – Hamid Ullah Afsar (also known as Afsar Merathi), Indian Urdu poet, short-story writer, children’s author, textbook author, teacher, and critic.

1898 – C.S. Lewis (Clive Staples Lewis), English writer, children’s novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, screenwriter, lay theologian, and Christian apologist; he is best known for his books in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

1902 – Carlo Levi, Italian novelist, essayist, memoirist, painter, and activist who is best known for his book Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli), a memoir of his time spent in exile in Lucania, Italy, after being arrested in connection with his political activities. The book was made into a film.

1905 – Vasily Grossman, Ukrainian-born Soviet writer, journalist, novelist, short-story writer, war correspondent, and screenwriter who originally trained as an engineer and was called Vasya the Chemist because of his diligence as a student; as a war correspondent during World War II he wrote firsthand accounts of battles and eyewitness reports of a extermination camp that were among the earliest journalistic accounts of a Nazi death camp. His major literary works were censored by the authorities as anti-Soviet; his book manuscripts were published only after his death, after they were smuggled out of the Soviet Union.

1906 – Barbara Constance Freeman, English writer and illustrator of books for children and young adults.

1910 – Hilda Kay Grant, Canadian writer, poet, biographer, and novelist; she published both nonfiction work under her own name and novels under the pen name Jan Hilliard.

1912 – Ai Xia, Chinese left-wing silent film actress and screenwriter whose suicide inspired Cai Chusheng’s classic film New Women, starring Ruan Lingyu, who also killed herself soon after the release of the film.

1913 – Alexander Badawy, Egyptian Egyptologist, author, anthropologist, archeologist, and professor.

1914 – Taisen Deshimaru, Japanese writer, Buddhist monk, and teacher who founded the Association Zen Internationale.

1914 – Eleanor Perry (born Eleanor Rosenfeld), Emmy Award-winning U.S. screenwriter, novelist, journalist, and playwright who was an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and screenwriters’ recognition, often criticizing the film industry.

1917 – Gopal Singh, Indian writer, poet, translator, biographer, lexicographer, philosopher, mystic, and politician

1918 – Madeleine L’Engle, Newbery Medal-winning U.S. author of fiction, poetry, a play, autobiographies, and young-adult books, including her best known novel, A Wrinkle in Time; her works tend to take place in settings that are mostly realistic, but with some some fantasy elements, and many of her books draw on a multigenerational cast of related characters.

1918 – Jeanne Modigliani, Italian writer, biographer, essayist, Jewish art historian, and French Resistance fighter; she is best known for her biography of her father, the artist Amedeo Modigliani.

1921 – Annemarie Reinhard (also known as Annemarie Gode), German writer and novelist.

1921 – Christine de Rivoyre, French writer, screenwriter, memoirist, and journalist.

1926 – Jean Sénac, Algerian author and poet, known as the “poet who signed with a sun”; he was also renowned for a long-running relationship and correspondence with writer Albert Camus. Sénac was murdered in Algiers in 1973; his murder remains unsolved.

1926 – Michi Nishiura Weglyn, U.S. author who wrote the book Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, which fueled a movement leading to reparations for Japanese Americans interned during World War II.

1927 – Kedar Nath Neupane, Nepalese author and educator who was a champion of teaching the language Nepal Bhasa as a subject in school, even though it was not his mother tongue.

1929 – Branko Hofman, Slovene poet, writer, playwright, editor, and journalist.

1934 – Willie Morris, U.S. fiction and nonfiction writer and editor known for his lyrical prose style and his reflections on the Mississippi Delta region.

1933 – David R. Reuben, U.S. psychiatrist who is best known for writing Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (but Were Afraid To Ask).

1942 – Marco Martos Carrera, Peruvian poet, writer, and professor who was part of Peru’s “60s generation” cultural movement whose work was known for its irony and simplicity of expression.

1943 – Sue Miller, bestselling U.S. novelist, short-story writer, and memoirist; some of her work has been adapted for film.

1946 – Conceição Evaristo, Brazilian writer and poet whose work is marked by her life experiences as an Afro-Brazilian woman.

1948 – George Szirtes, award-winning Hungarian poet, essayist, editor, biographer, playwright, and translator.

1953 – Jacqueline French, prolific, award-winning Australian author of children’s books, novels for adults, picture books, history, fantasy, and historical fiction; she is also an author of numerous books on ecology, gardening, pest control, wombats, other wildlife, and hens. She is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, and has presented gardening segments on television.

1955 – Astrid Saalbach, award-winning Danish playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story writer.

1956 – Nathalie Magnan, French writer, navigator, artist, university teacher, media theoretician, feminist, and activist.

1958 – Carmen Firan, Romanian poet, novelist, essayist, short-story writer, journalist, and playwright who currently lives in New York City.

1965 – Susanne Schädlich, German author, autobiographer, ghost writer, journalist, and literary translator.

1969 – Sheena Iyengar, Canadian writer, psychologist, and professor who is best known as an expert on decision making.

1977 – Diana Vladimirovna Mashkova, Russian journalist, writer and author.

1978 – Ville Ranta, award-winning Finnish writer, cartoonist, and comics artist who is noted for his focus on controversial and provocative subject matter.

1983 – Girish Kohli, bestselling Indian author and screenwriter.

1988 – Alaa Eddine Aljem, Moroccan screenwriter and film director.

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