May 1 Writer Birthdays

1503 – Celio Secondo Curione (Latin form Caelius Secundus Curio), influential Italian humanist, grammarian, editor, historian, and professor who was a major figure in the Italian Reformation.

1527 – Johannes Stadius, Belgian writer, scientist, astronomer, astrologer, mathematician, and university teacher who was one of the important late 16th-century makers of ephemerides, which gave the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time.

1591 – Johann Adam Schall von Bell, German writer, astronomer, mathematician, translator, and Jesuit who spent most of his life as a missionary in China (where he is remembered as “Tang Ruowang”) and became an adviser to the Shunzhi Emperor of the Qing dynasty.

1672 – Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician.

1751 – Judith Sargent Murray, U.S. essay writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, and influential advocate for women’s rights; among many other influential pieces, her landmark essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” paved the way for new thoughts and ideas from other feminist writers.

1783 – Vicente Rocafuerte, Ecuadorian writer, diplomat, and politician who served as the President of Ecuador.

1800 – Carlo Marenco, Italian writer and playwright of the Romantic school; he was known for his elegant style, his sentimental tragedies, and his lifelike characters. Much of his work drew inspiration from Dante.

1811 – Andreas Laskaratos, Greek satirical poet and writer of the Heptanese School of literature; he was excommunicated by the Greek Orthodox Church because his satire targeted prominent church members.

1848 – James Ford Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. industrialist, historian, and author whose work includes a seven-volume history of the United States.

1855 – Mary Mackay (also known by her pseudonym Marie Corelli), popular English novelist and poet whose novels sold more than those of her contemporaries Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Rudyard Kipling combined.

1856 – K. Langloh Parker (pen name of Catherine Eliza Somerville Stow), Australian writer who is best known for recording the stories of the Ualarai Aboriginal people.

1856 – Raphaël Rafiringa (born Firinga), Malagasy writer and missionary who has been beatified by the Roman Catholic church.

1864 – Anna Bøe, Norwegian journalist who cofounder the women’s magazine Urd and served as its editor for 37 years.

1867 – Mary Rice Phelps, U.S. African-American teacher and writer who began her teaching career at 13 years old.

1869 – Minna Wettstein-Adelt, German and French journalist, writer, and novelist who was a proponent of extending female emancipation to the working class; she also wrote under the names Aimée Duc and Helvetia. Some of her groundbreaking work included an experiment in which she worked with women at four factories and wrote about her experiences, paying attention to issues of birth control, sexual harassment, prostitution, and the burden of working women with families, though her main recommendation was that her readers become factory supervisors instead of laborers. Her pseudonymously published 1901 novel Are They Women portrays a group of “independent, intellectually driven, same-sex loving female medical students” in Switzerland, and centers on a lesbian relationship.

1881 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French idealist philosopher, writer, Jesuit priest, paleontologist, and geologist.

1888 – Millicent Sylvia Armstrong, Australian playwright and farmer who wrote primarily about country life in early 20th-century Australia.

1900 – Ignazio Silone (pen name for Secondino Tranquilli), Italian novelist, essayist, and political activist.

1901 – Sterling A. Brown, U.S. African-American poet, folklorist, and critic.

1901 – Antal Szerb, Hungarian writer, poet, translator, university teacher, literary critic, and literary historian who is considered to be one of the major Hungarian writers of the 20th century.

1902 – Ken Kuronuma, Japanese writer, screenwriter, novelist, translator, science-fiction author, and composer; he gained wide acclaim as the writer of the classic monster movie, Giant Monster of the Sky: Rodan (Sora no Daikaiju: Rodan), but his next film, Rodan with Varan the Unbelievable, was so unpopular that it nearly destroyed his career. He also wrote scripts for one of Japan’s first science fiction series, Undersea Man 8823, and helped compose the music for it.

1904 – M.P. Paul (Menacherry Poulose Paul) Indian Malayalam academic, educationist, scholar, and literary critic who was a key literary critic of Malayalam literature.

1905 – Maria José Dupré (also known as Sra. Leandro Dupré), award-winning Brazilian novelist and short-story writer who was one of the most popular and prolific Brazilian writers of the 1940s and 1950s; her work has been adapted multiple times for telenovelas.

1905 – Edna May Hull van Vogt, Canadian author and science-fiction writer who published under the name E. Mayne Hull; she was married to science-fiction writer A.E. van Vogt.

1908 – Niccolo Tucci, Swiss and Italian author of autobiographical fiction.

1910 – Nejdet Sançar, Turkish author, magazine writer, and literature teacher who became one of the prominent personalities of the Pan-Turkist ideology.

1912 – Tugelbay Sydykbekov, award-winning Kyrgyzstani writer, poet, politician, and artist who was known as the “patriarch of Kyrgyz literature.”

1913 – Victor Stafford Reid, influential Jamaican author who is credited with writing the first West Indies novel to be written throughout in a dialect; his work is an attempt to break away from Victorianism and to embrace the Jamaican independence movement.

1915 – Khin Myo Chit (born Khin Mya), award-winning Burmese author, short-story writer, editor, poet, travel writer, autobiographer, and journalist.

1916 – Marguerite Lazarus (née Jackson), award-winning British writer who wrote children’s fiction as Marguerite J. Gascoigne and romance novels as Anna Gilbert.

1917 – Elizabeth Marie Pope, Newbery Honor-winning U.S. author and young-adult writer who wrote both fiction and nonfiction, most of it based in the Elizabethan age.

1921 – Vladimir Colin, award-winning Romanian writer, poet, translator, essayist, journalist, publisher, children’s writer, linguist, translator, comic-book writer, fantasy author, and science-fiction writer who is one of the most important fantasy and science-fiction authors in Romanian literature.

1923 – Joseph Heller, U.S. novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and playwright whose satirical novel Catch-22 is a classic of war fiction; its title has become synonymous with an absurd or contradictory choice.

1927 – Morio Kita, pen name of Sokichi Saito, Japanese novelist, essayist, screenwriter, children’s writer, and psychiatrist.

1927 – Akira Yoshimura, Japanese writer, screenwriter, and novelist.

1929 – Tamar Bornstein-Lazar, Israeli children’s writer who is best known for her book series featuring the monkeys Kofiko and Chipopo.

1931 – Jamshid Giunashvili, award-winning Iranian-born Georgian writer, academic, linguist, Iranologist, researcher, author, and diplomat who served as the first ambassador of Georgia to Iran.

1931 – Elsie Gunborg Johansson, Swedish writer and children’s author who is sometimes considered a proletarian writer.

1939 – María Victoria Moreno, Spanish writer and teacher who was a pioneer of literature for children and young people in Galician.

1940 – Bobbie Ann Mason, U.S. novelist, short-story writer, essayist, memoirist, and literary critic whose memoir was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

1945 – Yoko Aki, Japanese novelist, essayist, lyricist, songwriter, and actress.

1947 – Marilar Aleixandre, Spanish Galician writer, translator, children’s author, and biologist.

1947 – Adame Ba Konaré, Malian writer, author, publisher, historian, and professor who is the former First Lady of Mali and an outspoken feminist who wrote The Dictionary of Famous Women of Mali and other books about African history, and founded one of the few women’s museums in Africa.

1948 – Terry Goodkind, U.S. writer known for the epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth as well as the contemporary suspense novel The Law of Nines.

1949 – Vishakha N. Desai, Indian-born U.S. scholar of Asian studies whose work focuses on art, culture, policy, and women’s rights.

1950 – Werewere Liking, award-winning Cameroon-born writer, novelist, playwright, and performer based in Côte d’Ivoire; she established the Ki-Yi Mbock theatre troupe and founded the Ki-Yi village for the artistic education of young people.

1951 – Omar Abdul-Kafi, Egyptian islamic scholar, writer, and biologist.

1951 – Kerttu Maarit Kirsti Vuolab, Finnish Sámi author, illustrator, translator and songwriter, who has made it her life mission to ensure that the Sámi oral tradition, language, and culture are passed on to future generations of Sámi.

1956 – Aravind Malagatti, prominent, award-winning Indian Dalit poet, novelist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, and folklorist who writes in Kannada.

1958 – Jelka Godec Schmidt, Slovenian writer, illustrator, and children’s author.

1959 – Yasmina Reza, French screenwriter, playwright, novelist, translator, linguist, and actress; many of her brief, satiric plays reflect on contemporary middle-class issues.

1962 – Yoon Dae-nyeong, award-winning South Korean novelist, short-story writer, and poet who captures the ethos and sensibilities of Korean people during the 1990s.

1963 – Laura Mary Catherine Beatty (née Keen), award-winning British writer, novelist, and biographer.

1970 – Cylin Busby, U.S. author, journalist, screenwriter, memoirist, and children’s writer.

1970 – Priscilla Gilman, U.S. writer, professor, and advocate for autistic people; she has written about about literature, parenting, education, and autism and is best known for her book, The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy, which was inspired by her autistic son Benjamin.

1973 – Susane Colasanti, bestselling U.S. author of realistic, contemporary teen novels.

1989 – Khrystyna Koslovska, Ukrainian writer, poet, and journalist.

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