December 29 Writer Birthdays

1256 – Ibn al-Banna’ al-Marrakushi (also known as Abu’l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman), Moroccan-Berber author, astronomer, mathematician, astrologer, translator, Islamic mystic, and Islamic scholar.

1792 – Sir Archibald Alison, Scottish author who wrote the first scholarly English-language study of the French Revolution.

1813 – Karel Sabina, Czech poet, author, theater reviewer, playwright, essayist, philosopher, librettist, literature historian, literary critic, publicist, and translator.

1823 – Augusta Theodosia Drane, English writer, poet, theologian, andd Roman Catholic nun.

1841 – Henrietta A. Bingham, U.S. writer, editor, poet, essayist, short-story writer, editorial writer, and educator who was considered one of the leading poets of her time.

1843 – Elisabeth of Wied, Queen Consort of Romania, who under the pen name Carmen Sylva wrote many poems, plays, novels, short stories, and essays in German, Romanian, French, and English.

1863 – Francisco Antonio Gavidia Guandique, prominent Salvadoran poet, writer, historian, politician, speaker, translator, educator, and journalist whose poems were greatly influenced by French poetry.

1867 – Annie Montague Alexander, Hawaiian-born U.S. explorer, naturalist, paleontological collector, and philanthropist who founded the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

1868 – Kitamura Tokoku, pen name of Kitamura Montaro, Japanese poet and essayist who was one of the founders of the modern Japanese romantic literary movement.

1873 – Indira Devi Chaudhurani, Indian author, poet, literary figure, translator, essayist, music critic, composer, and musician; she was a strong proponent of women’s issues, and authored a number of works on the position of women in India.

1873 – Usui Kojima, Japanese author, banker, and mountaineer who, in addition to writing more than 20 books, was known for amassing a collection of over 900 ukiyo-e prints and for establishing Japan’s first mountaineering society.

1874 – Jeanne Landre, French journalist, critic, and novelist; she was called “the romancer of Montmartre and the modern disciple of a Mürger still more bohemian than the original.”

1878 – Ingeborg Møller, Norwegian teacher, playwright, novelist, and biographer.

1884 – Anna Helena “Lenah” Maria Elgström, Swedish author and translator who wrote anti-war literature during the first World War; her most famous work is the “Den kloka Elsa” (The Clever Elsa) trilogy, which began in 1928 and told the story of the upbringing and development of a young woman named Elsa Holm; she was also one of the founders of the organization Save the Children.

1890 – Bettiola Heloise Fortson, U.S. African-American writer, poet, suffragist, and civil-right activist.

1893 – Vera Brittain, British writer, feminist, and pacifist who is remembered for her bestselling memoir Testament of Youth, which recounts her experiences during World War I and the beginning of her journey towards pacifism.

1898 – Elsa Gidlow, English-born Canadian-U.S. poet, writer, journalist, philosopher, and memoirist best known for On a Grey Thread, the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America, and for her autobiography, Elsa, I Come With My Songs, the first lesbian autobiography published by an author under her own name; she also helped found Druid Heights, a bohemian community in Marin County, California.

1899 – Näqi Isänbät (also known as Naki Isanbet), Russian-born Tatar writer, encyclopaedist, poet, playwright, children’s author, philologist, Tatar lexicographer, and folklore specialist.

1900 – Rigoberto Fontao Meza, Paraguayan poet who has been called one of the greatest poets of the Paraguayan native canon; he wrote highly descriptive poems in Spanish, Guarani and Jopara.

1901 – Pingali Nagendrarao, Indian poet, author, playwright, screenwriter, songwriter, and lyricist; he is famous for coining of new and funny words and phrases in Telugu.

1904 – Nio Joe Lan (also known by the Chinese name Liáng Yǒulán and the Indonesian name Junus Nur Arif) Chinese-Indonesian writer, journalist, and history teacher.

1904 – Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa (popularly known by his pen name Kuvempu), Indian Kanada-language novelist, poet, playwright, critic, and thinker who is widely regarded as the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century.

1906 – Frida Alexandr, Brazilian Jewish author, homemaker, and volunteer who is best known for Filipson, Memórias da primeira colônia judaica no Rio Grande do Sul (Filipson: Memories of the First Jewish Colony in Rio Grande do Sul), which describes the Jewish immigrant farming colony established in the Brazilian countryside; she was the first woman to publish stories about Jewish immigrants living in Brazil’s farmlands, and the only woman from Filipson to write about the colony from a firsthand perspective.

1912 – Peggy Winsome Glanville-Hicks, Australian and U.S. music critic, composer, librettist, and pianist who was musical director at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

1915 – Charles Leonard Harness, U.S. science-fiction author who has been named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

1915 – Robert Ruark, U.S. author, sports journalist, columnist, and big-game hunter.

1918 – Dricky Beukes, prolific South African writer of Afrikaans novels, short stories ,and radio dramas; there is a Dricky Beukes Street named after her in Kokrus, Vereeniging.

1921 – Dobrica Ćosić, Serbian writer and political theorist who was the first president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1921 – Aziza Jafarzade, Azerbaijani writer and professor of philology; she was an expert on the history of Azerbaijani literature.

1921 – Vladka Meed (born Feigele Peltel), Polish writer and Holocaust educator who was a member of the Jewish resistance in Poland; she famously helped children escape from the Warsaw Ghetto, smuggled dynamite into the ghetto, and helped organize the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; her book “On Both Sides of the Wall,” originally published in Yiddish, related her wartime experiences.

1921 – Chou Meng-tieh (also called Zhōu Mèngdié), Chinese-born Taiwanese poet, writer, and bookseller who was influenced by Buddhism and who often wrote about time, life, and death.

1922 – William Gaddis, U.S. author and essayist who has won three National Book Awards and is considered one of the first and most important U.S. postmodern writers.

1926 – Nabakanta Barua, prominent Indian Assamese novelist and poet who was also known as Ekhud Kokaideu.

1932 – Choi Il-Nam, award-winning South Korean novelist, journalist, editor, and short-story writer whose work explored the dark side of industrial development and an intense criticism of social reality, often describing powerless individuals alienated by power.

1934 – Forugh Farrokhzad, influential Iranian poet and film director; she was a controversial modernist poet and an iconoclast who wrote from a female point of view.

1936 – Angelina Muñiz-Huberman, award-winning French-born Mexican writer.

1943 – Molly Bang, three-time Caldecott Honor-winning U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books.

1944 – Gilbert Adair, award-winning British film critic, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, and nonfiction author.

1947 – Solfrid Sivertsen, Norwegian novelist, short-story writer, poet, librarian, and children’s writer

1956 – Jim Shepard, U.S. novelist and short-story writer who teaches creative writing and film.

1957 – Andrew McMillan, award-winning Australian writer, essayist, poet, playwright, popular history writer, music journalist, songwriter, and musician.

1957 – Paul Rudnick, U.S. playwright, novelist, young-adult author, screenwriter, satirical film critic, and essayist.

1959 – Vladimir Aleksandrovich Mau, Russian writer and economist.

1960 – Dave Pelzer, controversial U.S. memoirist and self-help author.

1963 – Marija Knežević, Serbian writer, poet, short-story writer, translator, essayist, radio journalist, and professor.

1963 – Dave McKean, World Fantasy Award-winning English writer, artist, comics artist, screenwriter, graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker, and jazz musician; he is perhaps best known for illustrating books by Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury.

1964 – Christine Leunens, award-winning New Zealand-Belgian novelist whose bestselling novel Caging Skies, about a child in the Hitler Youth, was the basis for the award-winning film, Jojo Rabbit, which won the Toronto International Film Festival’s People Choice Award and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

1966 – Sean Chercover, U.S.-Canadian crime writer best known for The Trinity Game (part of The Daniel Byrne Trilogy).

1968 – Gospel Kazako, Malawian poet, engineer, and entrepreneur who founded the Zodiak Broadcasting Station, the most popular radio station in Malawi.

1973 – Jenny Lawson, U.S. journalist, author, and blogger who is the creator of The Bloggess website.

1973 – Radha Paudel, Nepalese writer, nurse, humanitarian, and social activist; her work aims to empower people living in poor districts of Nepal, organizing health services and human aid and advocating to eliminate discrimination, especially against women.

1976 – Michal Hvorecky, award-winning Slovak novelist, journalist, and short-story author.

1981 – Anna Woltz, award-winning Dutch journalist, writer, and author of children’s literature.

1986 – Khin Hnin Kyi Thar, Burmese writer, journalist, and philanthropist; she has been named one of the Most Notable People of 2015 and one of the Outstanding Pioneer Women in the Era of Myanmar.

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