February 13 Writer Birthdays

1469 – Elia Levita (Hebrew: אליהו בן אשר הלוי אשכנזי) also known as Elijah Levita, Elias Levita, Élie Lévita, and Eliahu Bakhur or “Eliahu the Bachelor”), Bavarian-born Hebrew grammarian, scholar, and poet; he was best known as the author of the Bovo-Bukh, the most popular chivalric romance written in Yiddish.

1769 – Ivan Andreyevich Krylov (Ива́н Андре́евич Крыло́в), Russia’s best known fabulist, who wrote fables loosely based on Aesop’s and La Fontaine’s, but was also known for his original work, often satirizing the incompetent bureaucracy.

1861 – Kanzo Uchimura, Japanese religious writer who was a leader of the Non-Church (Mukyokai) movement in early Japanese Protestantism.

1879 – Sarojini Naidu (née Chattopadhyaya), known as the Nightingale of India (Bharatiya Kokila); she was a child prodigy, Indian independence activist, and poet, who was the second Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh state.

1881 – Eleanor Farjeon, English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history, and satire; many of her works had charming illustrations by Edward Ardizzone.

1886 – Ricardo Güiraldes, Argentine novelist and poet who was one of the most significant Argentine writers of his era, particularly known for his novel Don Segundo Sombra.

1891 – Kate Roberts, one of the foremost Welsh-language authors of the twentieth century, she is known mainly for her short stories but also wrote novels.

1903 – Georges Simenon, Belgian author best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.

1911 – Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Punjabi-born Nobel Prize-nominated Pakistani leftist poet and author; one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language.

1932 – Simms Taback, Caldecott Medal-winning U.S. writer and illustrator of children’s books.

1943 – Friedrich Christian Delius, award-winning, influential German novelist and poet who is best known as the author of Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman.

1945 – Simon Schama, British historian and author, best known for his multivolume history of Britain.

1945 – William Sleator, U.S. science-fiction author who wrote primarily for a young-adult audience.

1952 – Lung Ying-tai (龍應台), Taiwanese essayist and cultural critic; she occasionally writes under the pen name Hu Meili.

1953 – Kaoru Kurimoto, Japanese writer, literary critic, novelist, science-fiction writer, and musician who also writes under the pen name Azusa Nakajima; her style has been described as being part of the New Wave science fiction movement.

1954 – Mary GrandPré, U.S. children’s writer and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator best known for her cover and chapter illustrations for the U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books.

1957 – Denise Austin, U.S. fitness instructor and prolific author of fitness books.

1957 – Andrea di Robilant, Italian journalist, writer, professor, historian, biographer, and journalist.

1958 – Anna Maria Angelika Jansson, award-winning Swedish crime writer who began her career as a nurse and decided to pursue her interest in writing because of her frequent work with terminally ill patients who regretted the fact that they had not spent much time in life doing what they really wanted to do.

1958 – Nilgün Marmara, Turkish poet whose works often depicted poverty and chaos, but left the external world behind in an effort to capture the subconscious mind, “turning realism into a self-reflective dream.” She suffered from depression and committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of her house; her poetry was published posthumously.

1958 – Lenard Duane Moore, U.S. poet, essayist, playwright, and literary critic.

1959 – Maureen F. McHugh, U.S. author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.

1961 – Nassira Belloula, Algerian feminist journalist, writer, novelist, poet, essayist, and short-story writer who founded a literary magazine; her work deals most significantly with women’s issues, including cultural and religious restrictions, education, social relations, traditions, confinement, and violence. She writes in French and currently lives in Montreal.

1961 – Henry Rollins, U.S. spoken-word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio DJ, activist, and singer-songwriter.

1961 – Artur Mayakovich Yusupov, Russian chess grandmaster who is also an author of books about chess.

1969 – Chong Yee-Voon, Malaysian writer in the Chinese language who is also a professor of Chinese linguistics and literature.

1970 – Ana Maria Gonçalves, award-winning Brazilian novelist, short-story writer, and professor.

1972 – Carina Rozenfeld, French writer, children’s writer, fantasy author, and science-fiction writer.

1973 – Igor Yakovlevich Rabiner, Russian football journalist, sportwriter, and author known for his controversial bestseller How Spartak Was Being Killed.

1977 – Juan Carlos Camacho Vega, Colombian writer, painter, and sculptor whose work explores the use of words to create a sculpture of the mind.

1980 – Indira Dangi, award-winning Indian novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who writes in Hindi.

1980 – Mark Watson, British comedian, novelist, and graphic novelist who has also written the non-fiction book Crap at the Environment, about his efforts to halve his carbon footprint over the course of a year.

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