December 25 Writer Birthdays

1721 – William Collins, English poet regarded as one of the most skilled 18th-century lyric poets.

1771 – Dorothy Mae Ann Wordsworth, English author, poet, short-story writer, and diarist who was the sister of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth.

1776 – Lady Sydney Morgan (née Owenson), popular and prolific Anglo-Irish novelist who wrote highly successful books including her most famous, The Wild Irish Girl, but is remembered more for her personality and liberal views; the year of her birth is in dispute, with some sources giving the year as sometime between 1780 and 1786.

1850 – Isabella Valancy Crawford, Irish-born Canadian writer, poet, and novelist who was one of the first Canadians to make a living as a freelance writer and who is increasingly viewed as Canada’s first major poet.

1869 – Charles Finger, Newbery Medal-winning British author best known for Tales from Silver Lands.

1886 – Malak Hifni Nasif, Egyptian writer, poet, teacher, and feminist who contributed greatly to the intellectual and political discourse on the advancement of Egyptian women in the early 20th century.

1890 – Robert Ripley, U.S. author and entrepreneur; creator of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! franchise.

1905 – Byambyn Rinchen (known in Russia as Rinchin-Dorzhi Radnazhapovich Bimbaev), Mongolian writer, poet, translator, Esperantist, university teacher, and linguist who was one of the founders of modern Mongolian literature.

1918 – Angelica Garnett, British writer, memoirist, painter, and artist; as the niece of author Virginia Woolf, she was the author of the memoir Deceived with Kindness, an account of her experience growing up at the heart of the Bloomsbury Group.

1921 – Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah, Pakistani writer, poet, magazine editor, journalist, and political commentator who was a pioneer of Pakistani literature and journalism in English; she was Pakistan’s first English-language columnist, first Muslim woman to write a column in an Indian newspaper, and was a pioneer of feminism.

1922 – William Demby, U.S. African-American experimental novelist and scriptwriter.

1924 – Rod Serling, U.S. television host and screenwriter, best known for The Twilight Zone.

1925 – Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-U.S. author known for his Don Juan books.

1925 – Pembe Marmara, one of the most important Turkish Cypriot poets of her time and one of the earliest female Turkish Cypriot poets; her poetry was influenced heavily by the Garip movement in Turkey, and she also wrote works of satire in free verse.

1926 – Dharamvir Bharati (धर्मवीर भारती), renowned Hindi poet, author, editor, playwright, and social thinker.

1934 – Famil Mehdi, Azerbaijani poet, journalist, literary critic, publicist, and professor.

1935 – Anne Roiphe, U.S. feminist writer of fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs.

1952 – Najma Idrees, Kuwaiti writer, poet, columnist, and scholar.

1952 – Nosa Igiebor, award-winning Nigerian journalist and editor.

1956 – Ishrat Afreen, Pakistani Urdu writer, poet, teacher, and feminist activist who has been named one of the five most influential and trendsetting female voices in Urdu literature.

1972 – Staceyann Chin, Jamaican-born poet, author, memorist, performing artist, and LGBT rights activist.

1976 – Sheila Heti, Canadian novelist, short-story writer, nonfiction writer, playwright, columnist, and performance artist.

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