1466 – Peter Blomevenna (also spelled Blommeveen) Dutch author, poet, and translator who was a Carthusian religious order of the Catholic Church and an active opponent of early Protestantism.
1553 – Vitsentzos Kornaros (also known as Vikentios Kornaros or Vincenzo Cornaro), Greek poet from Crete who wrote in the vernacular Cretan dialect and is considered to be the greatest of all the Cretan poets and one of the most significant and influential figures in Greek poetry; he is best known for the romantic epic poem Erotokritos.
1735 – Johann Karl August Musäus, German writer, poet, literary critic, children’s author, and collector of fairy tales.
1815 – Hagiwara Hiromichi, Japanese writer, poet, literary critic, linguist, and philosopher; he is best known for his innovative commentary and analysis of the classic work of 11th century Japanese literature, The Tale of Genji.
1831 – Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, prolific British novelist, autobiographer, and teacher, much of whose fiction was set in Scotland and England.
1843 – Paul Ferrier, French writer, playwright, and librettist.
1865 – Stephen Bonsal, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. journalist, war correspondent, author, translator, and diplomat.
1874 – Tyra Kleen, Swedish artist, author, and ethnographical researcher who was an important figure in the Swedish fin de siècle art movement.
1877 – Aurora Cáceres (full name Zoila Aurora Cáceres Moreno), Peruvian writer and women’s rights activist associated with the literary movement known as Modernismo; she wrote novels, essays, travel literature, and a biography of her husband, Guatemalan novelist Enrique Gómez Carrillo. She was the daughter of Peruvian president Andrés Avelino Cáceres.
1878 – Elena Farago, Romanian poet, writer, translator, and children’s author.
1880 – Frederica Jane Turle, British author of juvenile fiction who is best known for her story “The Gap in the Fence,” in the Red Nursery Series, which is still in print; it is the story of a little girl who is the daughter of a Russian anarchist.
1885 – Dezső Kosztolányi, Hungarian writer, poet, playwright, journalist, essayist, translator, and Esperantist whose work drew on French Symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Psychological Realism; he is considered the father of Futurism in Hungarian literature.
1889 – Mary Barnes Hutchinson, British short-story writer, socialite, and model who was a member of the Bloomsbury Group.
1895 – Ernst Junger, German novelist and essayist whom the New York Times called “an aloof warrior-author regarded as one of Germany’s most controversial and contradictory writers.” He wrote about his experiences fighting in World War I, but has been criticized for his glorification of war.
1901 – Andrija Maurović, Croatian comic-book author and illustrator who is considered the father of Croatian and Yugoslav comics.
1908 – Marta Krumina-Vitrupe, Latvian poet, writer, and chess master who won the Latvian Women’s Chess Championship.
1911 – Freya von Moltke, German writer, journalist, lawyer, scholar, and peace activist who was part of a group that opposed the Nazis.
1912 – Willy van Hemert, Dutch screenwriter, writer, playwright, composer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and film and theatrical director; he was best known as a songwriter who penned two winning Dutch songs for the Eurovision Song Contest.
1912 – Hanna Reitsch, German author, autobiographer, record-breaking aviator and glider pilot, and test pilot who flight-tested many of Germany’s new aircraft during World War II and is regarded as the world’s first female helicopter pilot; after the war, she founded the first Black African national gliding school, in Ghana.
1915 – Helen Yglesias, U.S. novelist and magazine editor whose novels examined women’s lives and their struggles to balance career and family in an array of settings and situations; she also wrote about small towns, radical urban politics, abusive relationships, illness, and old age.
1920 – Viveca Hollmerus (Lady Cable), award-winning Finnish-Swedish author.
1923 – Li Shijun, Chinese author, translator, educator, and Esperantist.
1926 – Lino Aldani, Italian science-fiction novelist, short-story writer, and essayist, who was also a mathematics teacher.
1927 – Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson, prolific Icelandic author, scholar, and folklorist who is well known for his works on Old Norse religion.
1928 – Akaki Bakradze, Georgian writer, literary critic, social critic, theater critic, biographer, and art historian who published widely on diverse issues and held a variety of prominent posts, including director of the Rustaveli Theatre and artistic director of the Marjanishvili Theatre.
1929 – Günter Kunert, German writer who wrote satirical and critical works about the repressive Communist government in East Germany.
1929 – Lennart Meri, Estonian history and travel writer who served as president of Estonia from 1992 to 2001.
1933 – Clifford Nelson Fyle, Sierra Leonean writer, author, mathematician, lecturer, lyricist, linguist, and professor who is best known for writing the lyrics to the Sierra Leone National Anthem; he also wrote textbooks in four major languages of Sierra Leone: Mende, Temne, Limba and Krio.
1936 – Judith Guest, U.S. novelist and screenwriter who is best known for her book Ordinary People and its film adaptation.
1942 – Beatriz Sarlo, Argentine writer, journalist, sociologist, literary critic, philosopher, biographer, and essayist; her book on Jorge Luis Borges is one of the seminal works on the great Argentine fabulist—but she has also worked in other cultural areas, such as feminism, the emergence of the modern Argentine city, and Argentina’s divided sense of its place in Latin America.
1943 – Claudio Angelini, Italian journalist, writer, biographer, poet, and broadcaster.
1943 – Eric Idle, English actor, comedian, writer, comedian, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, film director, lyricist, and singer-songwriter, best known as a member of the surreal comedy group Monty Python.
1944 – Eduardo Prado Coelho, award-winning Portuguese writer, journalist, columnist, academic, and social and political critic.
1944 – Jane Beryl Wilde Hawking Jones, English author, biographer, linguist, and teacher who was married to physicist Stephen Hawking.
1945 – Karen Alkalay-Gut, award-winning British-born Israeli poet, writer, professor, biographer, editor, and literary critic who writes in English.
1945 – Margaret Buffie, award-winning Canadian writer, children’s author, and fantasy author.
1949 – Anne Portugal, French poet whose work is influenced by such contemporary sources as instruction booklets and video games.
1952 – Jo-Ann Mapson, U.S. novelist whose work is mostly set in the southwestern U.S. and deals with friendship, love, and families.
1952 – K.N.Y. Patanjali, Indian writer, journalist, editor, novelist, and short-story author who was especially known for his satire.
1957 – Anne Grete Hollup, Norwegian novelist, playwright, and children’s writer.
1957 – Elizabeth Hand, bestselling U.S. novelist, short-story author, and essayist whose work spans several genres including science fiction and fantasy and has earned her multiple World Fantasy and Nebula Awards.
1958 – Pedro Bial, Brazilian poet, writer, journalist, filmmaker, and television presenter.
1961 – Amy Sedaris, U.S. author, comedian, screenwriter, and actress; writer David Sedaris is her brother.
1967 – Luo Yijun (Chinese: 駱以軍),award-winning Taiwanese Postmodernist writer, poet, essayist, science-fiction author, and literary critic whose work is characterized by themes of alienation and migration ; one critic has described his work as, “pseudo-autobiographical intimate narratives constituting a relay race of fragments, filled with uncanny and decadent imagery and undergirded by an immoral worldview.”
1969 – Ranjit Hoskote, Indian poet, art critic, and cultural theorist.
1971 – José Luis Rodríguez Pittí, Panamanian poet, essayist, and photographer.
1974 – Irma Shiolashvili (also called Irma Shiolashvili-Britze), Georgian writer, poet, journalist, and translator.
1976 – Julius Masimba Musodza, Zimbabwean author and screenwriter who wrote the first definitive science-fiction novel in the Shona language.
1976 – Noémi Szécsi, award-winning Hungarian writer, journalist, and translator whose debut novel was The Finno-Ugrian Vampire.