May 13 Writer Birthdays

1611 – Jacques Moisant de Brieux, French poet, writer, and historian.

1786 – Anna Ehrenström (née Gråberg), Swedish poet and writer who has been called the first female poet of Gotland, Sweden’s largest island.

1795 – Pavel Jozef Šafárik, Slovak poet, linguist, writer, science writer, literary historian, educator, publicist, journalist, and translator.

1809 – Giuseppe Giusti, Italian poet, writer, and satirist who is best known for his witty satires about public figures and for his light, playful verses.

1840 – Alphonse Daudet, French novelist of the naturalist movement.

1845 – Emily Matilda Manning (pen name Australie), Australian writer, journalist, poet, and essayist.

1869 – H. Isabel Graham, Canadian poet whose work was often religious or patriotic in theme, and which sometimes incorporated the vocabulary, spelling, and other features of her parents’ native Scottish dialect.

1885 – Hideo Nagata, Japanese Modernist poet, novelist, and playwright.

1901 – Murilo Monteiro Mendes, Brazilian Modernist poet who is considered a forerunner of the Surrealist movement in Brazil.

1904 – Gilberto Owen Estrada, Mexican writer, poet, journalist, translator, and diplomat.

1905 – Roestam Effendi, Indonesian writer, playwright, and poet who was also a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands; in his written work, he was known for experimenting with the Malay language.

1907 – Daphne du Maurier (Lady Browning), English author and playwright whose stories have been described as “moody and resonant,” with overtones of the paranormal; much of her work was set in Cornwall. Her book Rebecca won the U.S. National Book Award, and has never gone out of print.

1914 – Shareef Kunjahi, Pakistani writer, poet, translator, literary critic, and linguist.

1916 – Sachidananda Routray, award-winning Indian Odia poet, novelist, and short-story writer; he was popularly known as Sachi Routray.

1916 – N.V. Krishna Warrier, prolific, award-winning Indian poet, journalist, scholar, academic, and political thinker whose works spanned the genres of poetry, drama, travelogue, translation, children’s literature, and science.

1927 – Clive Barnes, British-born theater and dance critic.

1929 – Rigoberto López Pérez, Nicaraguan poet, journalist, and composer who was declared a national hero for his assassination of dictator Anastasio Somoza García.

1935 – Manuel José Leonardo Arce Leal, award-winning Guatemalan poet and dramatist who was considered one of the most relevant national writers of the second half of the 20th century.

1935 – Taku Miki (pen name for Tomita Miki), Japanese poet, novelist, translator, and literary critic.

1936 – Jemal Karchkhadze, award-winning Georgian novelist, short-story writer, poet, playwright, and essayist.

1937 – Roger Zelazny, U.S. poet and author of science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He often portrayed characters from myth, set in the modern or future world, with tension between the ancient and the contemporary, and the surreal and the familiar; his style was also influenced by that of wisecracking hardboiled detective stories.

1938 – Norma Klein, U.S. author of popular young-adult novels, middle-grade books, and picture books; her work often deals with controversial subjects such as racism, homosexuality, teen sexuality, adoption, and death, leading to many of her books being challenged for exclusion in school libraries.

1938 – Francine Pascal, U.S. author of young-adult novels, best known as creator of the Sweet Valley High series.

1940 – Bruce Chatwin, English novelist, journalist, and travel writer, best known for his book, In Patagonia; he is ranked among The Times‘s list of “50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945.”

1940 – Rachel Holmes Ingalls, British-based U.S. author of short-stories, novellas, and novels.

1940 – Mircea Sandu, Romanian poet, writer, biographer, editor, translator, and essayist who is best remembered for his two volumes of interviews with King Michael I of Romania, which offers the most complete insight available into the King’s political and personal way of thinking.

1944 – Armistead Maupin, U.S. writer known for his series of novels set in San Francisco, Tales of the City.

1945 – Rajko Petrov Nogo, Serbian poet, children’s writer, literary critic, university teacher, and politician.

1946 – Anne Lee Tzu Pheng, award-winning Singaporean writer and poet.

1947 – Charles Baxter, U.S. author, essayist, and poet.

1947 – Stephen R. Donaldson, U.S. science-fiction and fantasy writer best known for his ten-novel series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

1947 – Alexander Keyssar, U.S. author, professor, and historian whose work explores historical problems that have contemporary policy implications.

1948 – Natasha Lako, Albanian writer, poet, politician, translator, screenwriter, and journalist.

1950 – Manning Marable, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. professor, historian, author, and Malcom X biographer.

1957 – Koji Suzuki, Japanese author whose Ring books were adapted into a manga series and a feature film; he has also written books about fatherhood.

1960 – Jen Bryant, U.S. poet, novelist, biographer, and children’s author.

1964 – Stephen Colbert, U.S. comedian, television personality, and author.

1967 – Masha Gessen, National Book Award-winning Russian and U.S. journalist, author, and translator.

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