April 29 Writer Birthdays

0220 – Pacuvius, Ancient Roman tragic poet, writer, playwright, and painter who is regarded as the greatest Roman tragedian of his time.

1659 – Sophia Elisabet Brenner, Swedish writer, poet, feminist, and salon hostess.

1764 – Ann Julia Hatton (née Kemble) popular British novelist and poet; she also published as Ann of Swansea.

1780 – Charles Nodier, influential French author, poet, librarian, translator, journalist, entomologist, literary critic, novelist, and lexicographer who introduced a younger generation of Romanticists to the conte fantastique, gothic literature, and vampire tales. (Conte fantastique is a French literary and cinematic genre that blends science fiction, horror, and fantasy.)

1787 – Jane Bewick, English writer and editor who is best known for editing and publishing a memoir of her father, the famous wood-engraver Thomas Bewick.

1815 – Antun Pasko Kazali, Croatian folk-writer, poet, and translator.

1822 – Amalia de Llano, Spanish writer and countess who was an important figure in the cultural life of Madrid in the 19th century.

1863 – Constantine P. Cavafy, Egyptian and Greek poet, writer, and journalist.

1882 – May Hezlet (real name Mary Elizabeth Linzee Hezlet), Gibraltar-born British golfer, sportswriter, and author of books about golf; she has been called “probably Ireland’s greatest woman golfer.”

1888 – Stina Bergman, Swedish writer, translator, and screenwriter who was the daughter of actors August and Augusta Lindberg and sister of director Per Lindberg; she married author Hjalmar Bergman.

1890 – Daisy Fellowes (née Marguerite Séverine Philippine Decazes de Glücksberg), prominent French poet, novelist, and fashion icon who was Paris editor of Harper’s Bazaar magazine; she was an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune.

1893 – Elisaveta Bagriana, Bulgarian poet, author, translator, and literary editor who was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1890 – Daisy Fellowes (née Marguerite Séverine Philippine Decazes de Glücksberg), French socialite, novelist, and poet, who was Paris editor of Harper’s Bazaar and an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune.

1901 – Alison Grant Robinson Waley, New Zealand poet, journalist, artist, and writer who was best known for her memoir A Half of Two Lives: A Personal Memoir, a book about her lifelong affair with writer and translator Arthur Waley.

1902 – Frances Shelley Wees, Canadian mystery and romance novelist, poet, short-story writer, children’s author, and educator.

1907 – Chuya Nakahara (born Chuya Kashimura), groundbreaking Japanese poet and translator who was influenced by Dada and other experimental forms of European (mainly French) poetry; he wrote more than 350 poems, though he died at the young age of 30. Many called him the “Japanese Rimbaud” for his affinities with the French poet whose poems he translated.

1908 – Jack Williamson, pioneering U.S. science-fiction writer who is often called the “Dean of Science Fiction” and is credited with one of the first uses of the term “genetic engineering.”

1910 – Elzbieta Szemplinska (née Sobolewska), Polish poet, novelist, short-story writer, editor, and diplomat.

1912 – Glecia Bear (also called Nêhiyaw), Canadian-born Cree elder, writer, and traditional tale teller; she was the first female chief of the Flying Dust First Nation.

1916 – Ramón Amaya Amador, Honduran author and journalist who was known for his radical left-wing politics.

1917 – Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkowska), Ukrainian-born experimental filmmaker, film theorist, poet, writer, photographer, lecturer, dancer, and choreographer who was an important promoter of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s.

1920 – Edward Blishen, English author best known for his children’s novels based on Greek mythology.

1924 – Shintaro Abe, Japanese politician, diplomat, and journalist who served as Japanese foreign minister.

1926 – Elmer Kelton, U.S. journalist and author, best known for his western novels; he also wrote under the pseudonyms Tom Early, Alex Hawk, and Lee McElroy.

1927 – Sabino Acquaviva, Italian writer, journalist, novelist, scriptwriter, sociologist, professor, and university president; he is best known for his studies about secularization and the decline of religion in Western Europe.

1930 – Kyōko Kishida, Japanese writer, actress, voice actress, and children’s author.

1933 – Rod McKuen, popular U.S. poet, songwriter, composer, singer, and translator whose poetry deals with themes of love, the natural world, and spirituality; in the late 1960s he was one of the bestselling poets in the United States.

1934 – Åse-Marie Nesse, award-winning Norwegian writer, poet, philologist, translator, linguist, and teacher.

1936 – Shigehiko Hasumi, Japanese writer, translator, university teacher, journalist, film critic, literary critic, novelist, and literary historian who was president of the University of Tokyo.

1936 – Alejandra Pizarnik, Argentinian writer, poet, diarist, linguist, translator, and literary critic.

1937 – Jill Paton Walsh (real name Gillian Honorine Mary Herbert, Baroness of Hemingford), award-winning English novelist, mystery writer, and children’s book writer.

1944 – Katarina Mazetti, Swedish author, journalist, children’s picture-book writer, and radio producer.

1947 – Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet and professor; his subject matter includes the Black experience, rural Southern life before the Civil Rights era, and his time as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

1949 – Hæge Follegg Pedersen, award-winning Norwegian writer of books for children and young adults.

1950 – Nguyễn Huy Thiệp, Vietnamese novelist and short-story writer who has been described as Vietnam’s most influential writer.

1950 – Bondan Winarno, Indonesian writer, journalist, culinary expert, and television cooking show host.

1950 – Mari Yonehara (米原 万里), award-winning Japanese translator, essayist, novelist, nonfiction writer, broadcaster, television commentator, and simultaneous interpreter between Russian and Japanese.

1953 – Nicole Rubel, U.S. author and illustrator of children’s books; best known for her Rotten Ralph books.

1954 – Angèle Ntyugwetondo Rawiri, Gabonese writer, actress, model, and translator who is considered the first Gabonese novelist; she published her works under the name Ntyugwetondo Rawiri.

1958 – Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian, author, journalist, columnist, biographer, and teacher whose research interests include social, economic, and political history; the environment, and cricket. He is considered a significant figure in Indian historical studies, and one of the major historians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

1960 – Robert J. Sawyer, Canadian science-fiction novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter who has won both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award.

1962 – Polly Samson, British novelist, songwriter, lyricist, and journalist; she is married to musician David Gilmour and has written the lyrics to many of his works, both as a solo artist and with the group Pink Floyd.

1967 – Annette Langen, award-winning German author of children’s and young adults’ literature; her most popular work is a bestselling picture-book series about Felix, a traveling stuffed rabbit.

1979 – Tati Bernardi ( full name Tatiane Bernardi Teixeira Pinto), Brazilian novelist, journalist, screenwriter, and short-story writer who writes for an audience of young women.

1981 – Michèle-Jessica Fièvre, Haitian-born novelist, children’s and young-adult author, short-story writer, editor, translator, publisher, and professor who self-published her first mystery novel at the age of 16; she writes in both English and French.

1984 – Yu Wo, Taiwanese young-adult novelist and children’s writer who is well known for popular book series that feature female protagonists, such as “The Legend of Sun Knight.”

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