December 27 Writer Birthdays

1796 – Mirza Ghalib, preeminent Urdu-Persian poet during the last years of the Mughal Empire; he used pen names Ghalib and Asad.

1821 – Lady Jane Francesca Agnes Wilde (born Jane Francesca Elgee), Irish poet who wrote under the pen name “Speranza,” and a supporter of the nationalist movement; she had a special interest on Irish fairy tales, and helped to gather them.

1896 – Louis Bromfield, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist, nonfiction author, conservationist, and pioneer of innovative scientific farming concepts.

1904 – Ingri Parin d’Aulaire, Norwegian-born children’s book author and illustrator who often worked as a team with her Swiss husband Edgar after they immigrated to the U.S.; their best known works include a book of Greek mythology and a children’s biography of Abraham Lincoln.

1907 – Mary Howard, pen name of British romance novelist Mary Mussi.

1936 – Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri (Arabic: محمد عابد الجابري‎), Moroccan critic, philosopher, and professor who was an expert in Arabic, Islamic thought, and Arabic literature; was considered a major intellectual figure in the contemporary Arab world.

1946 – William “Bill” Manhire, award-winning New Zealand poet, short-story writer, and professor who was New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate.

1946 – Mary Louisa “Polly” Toynbee, left-wing British writer, journalist, and newspaper columnist.

1956 – Patricia Gaffney, U.S. author of contemporary novels and historical romances.

1957 – Greg Mortensen, U.S. author and mountaineer who co-founded the nonprofit Central Asia Institute; his bestseller Three Cups of Tea, an account of building a school for girls in rural Pakistan, has been discredited because of revelations that episodes presented in the book as factual were actually fictitious.

1959 – Gerina Dunwich, professional U.S. astrologer and New Age author.

1964 – Kevin Patterson, Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and medical doctor.

1966 – Chris Abani, Nigerian author, now based in the U.S., who is part of a new generation of Nigerian writers working to convey to an English-speaking audience the experience of those born and raised in his native country.

1966 – Wendy Coakley-Thompson, U.S. author and public radio commentator whose fiction centers on issues of race and gender.

1969 – Sarah Vowell, U.S. author, journalist, social commentator, and actress.

1982 – Isuna Hasekura (支倉 凍砂), Japanese author and manga writer.

1982 – Erin E. Stead, Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. illustrator of children’s books.

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