October 6 Writer Birthdays

1565 – Marie de Gournay, French writer, poet, novelist, editor, translator, philosopher, essayist, alchemist, and feminist who often wrote about equality between women and men and the necessity for women to be educated.

1648 – Henrietta Catharina (Baroness von Gersdorff, maiden name von Friesen auf Roetha), German Baroque religious poet who was an advocate for Pietism and a supporter of the beginnings of the Moravian Church.

1836 – Allen Raine, pseudonym for bestselling Welsh novelist Anne Adalisa Beynon Puddicombe.

1862 – Albert J. Beveridge, Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer and historian and U.S. Senator from Indiana.

1872 – Alexandru Cazaban, award-winning Romanian writer, novelist, schoolteacher, draftsman, veterinarian, civil servant, and editor, best known for his satirical sketches and short stories; his writings evoked provincial life and cast a somewhat harsh light on the rural environment.

1889 – Maria Dabrowska, four-time Nobel Prize-nominated Polish writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, diarist, translator, and playwright who was author of the popular Polish historical novel Noce i dnie (Nights and Days), which was made into a film.

1893 – Sergo Kldiashvili, Soviet Georgian writer, poet and playwright who was part of both the Realist and Symbolist literary movements.

1895 – Caroline Ferguson Gordon, award-winning American novelist and literary critic who was part of the Southern Agrarian movement.

1902 – Elizabeth Gray Vining, Newbery Award-winning American children’s novelist and librarian who was English language tutor to the emperor of Japan.

1908 – Mohammad Modabber, award-winning Bangladeshi journalist and writer.

1914 – Lina Flor (full name Carolina Flores-Trinidad), Filipina author, columnist, essayist, radio scriptwriter, biographer, cartoonist, teacher, actress, and lyricist.

1914 – Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian ethnographer, zoologist, botanist, and adventurer whose books chronicled his exploits. He is best known for his 1947 voyage from Peru to French Polynesia with five other adventurers in a pae-pae raft that they had constructed from balsa wood and other native materials, christened the Kon-Tiki; the expedition was inspired by old reports and drawings of Inca rafts, and by native legends and archaeological evidence suggesting contact between South America and Polynesia.

1914 – Joan Littlewood, British playwright and theatre director who has been called the Mother of Modern Theatre.

1916 – Stanley Ellin, three-time Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning American mystery writer; several episodes of the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents were based on Ellin short stories, and three of his novels were adapted into feature films.

1922 – Luís Romano de Madeira Melo, Cabo Verdean writer, poet, novelist, and folklorist who wrote in both Portuguese and the Creole of the Cape Verde islands.

1924 – Sabeena Rafi, award-winning Indian essayist, philosopher, autobiographer, and historian of Malayalam literature and operatic dance.

1950 – David Brin, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American scientist and science-fiction author, many of whose novels are set in the Uplift Universe.

1952 – Ayten Mutlu, Turkish poet, author, translator, and critic.

1955 – Ellen Kushner, award-winning American fantasy author, editor, and radio host; she started by writing Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books before branching out with her own novels.

1958 – Ariane Dreyfus, French poet, professor, and literary critic.

1958 – Joseph Finder, American author of business thrillers, several of which have been made into movies.

October 5 Writer Birthdays

1703 – Jonathan Edwards, American theologian, educator, philosopher, scholar, and journalist whose writings helped shape the course of Protestantism; he is best known for his sermon about “sinners in the hands of an angry God.”

1713 – Denis Diderot, French philosopher, art critic, encyclopedia editor, and Enlightenment Era writer.

1817 – Catherine Cooper Hopley (also known by her pen name, Sarah L.
Jones), British author, naturalist, herpetologist, artist, and governess known for her books on the American Civil War and her nature books for general audiences, including the first popular book on snakes in the English language.

1840 – John Addington Symonds, British historian and writer.

1840 – Vilhelm Christian Sigurd Topsøe, Danish novelist, short-story writer, and journalist who is remembered in particular for his novels Jason Ned Det Gyldne Skind (Jason and the Golden Fleece) and Nutidsbilleder (Images of Today).

1848 – Catherine Mary MacSorley, Irish writer and children’s book author who specialized in books for girls and books of a religious nature.

1857 – Smaranda Gheorghiu, Romanian poet, novelist, essayist, nonfiction writer, playwright, educator, feminist, and travel writer; she wrote under various pseudonyms but is perhaps best known under the moniker Maica Smara (Mother Smara). An early Romanian feminist, she wrote both fiction and nonfiction works with a feminist slant, arguing against the prevailing views of the time, which held women to be intellectually inferior to men. For her work as a teacher and her efforts to reform the education system, she is sometimes called ”Educator of the People.”

1859 – Helen Churchill Candee, American novelist, nonfiction author, and journalist who survived the sinking of the Titanic.

1862 – Thomas Henry Mahy, Guernsey poet, writer, and columnist.

1865 – Fukuda Hideko, Japanese author, educator, magazine founder, and activist for feminism and socialism.

1880 – Ze’ev Jabotinsky, influential Ukrainian-born writer, screenwriter, poet, translator, local historian, Jewish leader, journalist, orator, activist, military officer, and Jewish leader.

1889 – Teresa de la Parra, award-winning Venezuelan novelist, short story-writer, and lecturer. Her groundbreaking novel Iphigenia: Diary of a Young Lady Who Wrote Because She Was Bored was controversial, because some of the characters in the novel were maliciously close to caricatures of people who were well known in Caracas society; the government of dictator Juan Vicente Gómez would not allow it to be published in Venezuela, but the book was popular in France.

1892 – Richard Leslie Brohier, (commonly known as Dr. R.L. Brohier), Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) surveyor and author of nonfiction books about history, geography, and culture.

1895 – Edith Justine Øberg, Swedish-born Norwegian singer and popular novelist.

1900 – Xie Wanying, one of China’s most prolific writers of the 20th century; many of her works were written for young readers; she is better known by her pen name, Bing Xin (or Xie Bingxin), which translates literally as, “ice heart” but means “morally pure heart,” and is taken from a line in a Tang Dynasty poem by Wang Changling.

1903 – Yao Kitabatake, award-winning Japanese poet, novelist, and children’s literature writer.

1911 – Flann O’Brien, Irish novelist whose work combines folklore, poetry, and humor.

1916 – Stetson Kennedy, American folklorist and author whose most famous work is an expose of the Ku Klux Klan.

1917 – Magda Szabó, Hungarian writer who is considered one of Hungary’s foremost novelists; she also wrote dramas, essays, studies, memoirs, and poetry.

1919 – Charles Bertin, Belgian poet, writer, playwright, lawyer, and trade unionist.

1922 – Bil Keane, American cartoonist best known for his long-running comic strip, “The Family Circus.”

1924 – Frederic Morton (pen name Fritz Mandelbaum), Austrian Jewish writer who emigrated to the U.S.

1928 – Louise Fitzhugh, American author and illustrator of children’s literature, notably Harriet the Spy.

1930 – Madhurantakam Rajaram, award-winning Indian author who is one of the foremost modern writers of short stories in the Telugu language.

1932 – John Arthur Mogale Maimane (better known as Arthur Maimane), South African journalist, writer, editor, novelist, and playwright.

1933 – Ágnes Gergely (born Ágnes Guttmann), award-winning Hungarian writer, poet, novelist, educator, journalist, and translator.

1933 – Zina Mahjoub (literally translated to The Snake), Sudanese poet and songwriter who became the mistress and muse of poet Rashad Hashim, inspiring his famous poem “The One Who Makes The Sun Shine.”

1934 – Oktyabrina Vladimirovna Voronova (née Matryokhina), Russian writer and poet who was the first Soviet poet of Sámi origin and the first person to write a poetry collection in the Sámi language in Russia; she also wrote in Russian.

1936 – Václav Havel, Czech playwright who in 1989 became the president of Czechoslovakia, continuing on after the country became the Czech Republic.

1937 – Mohammad Yousf Azraq, Afghani historian and writer who wrote about Afghanistan’s history and as well as cultural and theological works about South Asia and the Middle East.

1943 – Michael Morpurgo, English author, poet, playwright, and librettist who is best known for his children’s novels; he was a British Children’s Laureate.

1946 – Zahida Hina, noted Pakistani Urdu columnist, essayist, short-story writer, novelist, columnist, television writer, and playwright.

1948 – Zoran Živković, Serbian author and professor who has written both fiction and nonfiction books; his fiction is known for fantasy and surrealism and has won him the World Fantasy Award.

1949 – Bill James, American baseball writer and statistician.

1951 – Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, best known for his book The Known World.

1951 – Harriet A. Washington, American writer, academic, and medical ethicist whose best known book is the award-winning Medical Apartheid, which has been described as the only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans.

1952 – Clive Barker, English author known for his fantasy and horror fiction.

1956 – Fahrettin Çiloglu, Turkish writer, poet, journalist, editor, nonfiction author, explorer, opinion journalist, and translator.

1958 – Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, television personality, and science popularizer who has written books about space.

1959 – David Shannon, American author and illustrator of children’s books; his bestselling Caldecott Honor-winning picture book, No, David! was based on one he wrote when he was five years old in which every page showed a picture of him misbehaving and contained the only words he knew how to spell at the time: “No, David!”

1963 – Nick Robinson, British political journalist and editor.

1968 – Ketmani Kouanchao, Laotian-born American writer, columnist, and educator.

1970 – Laura Borràs i Castanyer (born 5 October 1970) is a Spanish Catalan writer, university teacher, philologist, and politician who writes books and articles on contemporary literature, theatre, and cinema.

1983 – Jesse Eisenberg, American actor and playwright.

1992 – Rupi Kaur, bestselling Canadian poet, writer, illustrator, and performer of Indian descent; her work deals with themes of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

Patron Saint of Petrinis

Today is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. While technically I am Catholic, I’m not at all religious, so I don’t claim that the day has deep theological meaning for me. But it does have genealogical meaning: the Petrini side of my family is from Assisi. So I’m calling St. Francis’s feast day an excellent reason for sharing a picture I took in Assisi a few years back. Not that I ever need an excuse to post photos of Italy.

This is quite close to the view from my hotel window in Assisi. Assisi is a Medieval hill town that still looks very much like it did when Francis lived here. The view out over the valley, on the other hand, has changed a bit. The large cathedral you can see in the middle distance was constructed around the tiny, rustic chapel that St. Francis built. As far as we know, my great-grandparents lived near it.

October 4 Writer Birthdays

1737 – Fanny de Beauharnais (née Marie-Anne-Françoise Mouchard), French writer, poet, playwright, novelist, woman of letters, and salon-holder whose descendants include the former royal families of Romania and Yugoslavia and the present royal families of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Monaco.

1836 – Juliette Adam, French novelist, political author, autobiographer, journal editor, and feminist activist.

1854 – María Luisa Dolz y Arango, Cuban writer, essayist, educator, and women’s rights crusader who was the first woman in her country to earn a doctorate in the natural sciences.

1862 – Edward Stratemeyer, American publisher and writer of children’s fiction who created such well-known series as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins.

1867 – Alice Matilda Langland Williams (more commonly known as Alys Mallt and Y Fonesig Mallt), Welsh novelist and political writer who was an activist for Welsh home rule.

1879 – Marie Le Franc, award-winning French-born novelist, poet, and short-story writer who found much of her inspiration in Canada.

1880 – Damon Runyon, American newspaperman and author, best known for his short stories about New York City.

1885 – Yehudit Harari (née Eisenberg), Belarusian-born Israeli memoirist, short-story writer, and educator who was one of the founders of Tel Aviv.

1890 – András Révész (also known as Andrés Révész Speier), Hungarian biographer, journalist, and writer.

1892 – Robert Lawson, American author and illustrator of children’s books, best known for his illustrations of other author’s works.

1892 – Anica Savic-Rebac, Serbian writer, essayist, nonfiction book author, classical philologist, translator, and professor who wrote about Goethe, Sophocles, Spinoza, Thomas Mann, Plato, and Greek mystical philosophers.

1896 – Dorothy Lawrence, British journalist, war reporter, and author who posed as a male soldier in order to report from the front line during World War I.

1898 – Mireille Havet, French poet, diarist, novelist, and lyricist; she was friends with writers Jean Cocteau and Colette, who referred to her as “la petite poyétesse.”

1904 – Rene (Mable Neighbour) Cloke, British children’s book illustrator and author.

1910 – Cahit Sitki Taranci (born Hüseyin Cahit, Turkish poet, author, and translator.

1914 – Brendan Gill, American journalist and author whose best known work details his job at the New Yorker magazine.

1915 – Silvina Bullrich, bestselling Argentine novelist who was also a translator, screenwriter, journalist, critic, and academic; she was known as la gran burguesa (“the great bourgeois lady.”)

1915 – Uldis Germanis, Latvian historian, writer and publicist who specialized in modern Latvian history.

1916 – Julia Woolfook Cunningham, American children’s book author who was a finalist for the National Book Award.

1917 – Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval, Chilean writer, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, painter, sculptor, ceramicist, and singer-songwriter who pioneered the Nueva Canción Chilena (The Chilean New Song), a renewal and a reinvention of Chilean folk music that would extend its sphere of influence outside Chile. She is acknowledged as “the Mother of Latin American folk,” and her birthday was chosen as “Chilean Musicians’ Day.”

1919 – René Marqués, Puerto Rican playwright, short-story writer, essayist, and activist who was part of Puerto Rico’s “La generación del 50” (The Generation of the 50s) artistic and literary movement. His play La Carreta (The Oxcart), considered to be his best work, secured his reputation as a leading literary figure; the drama traces a rural Puerto Rican family as it moved to the slums of San Juan and then to New York in search of a better life, only to be disillusioned and to long for their island.

1922 – Adam Hollanek, Polish novelist, poet, and science-fiction writer.

1923 – William Neville “Bill” Scott, award-winning Australian author, folklorist, songwriter, poet, children’s writer, and collector of bush ballads and Australian folk history.

1924 – Donald J. Sobol, American children’s book author, best known for the “Encyclopedia Brown” boy detective novels.

1926 – U Thaung (born Aung Bala), Burmese author and journalist who founded a prominent newspaper; in 2000, he was named one of the International Press Institute’s 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past half-century.

1929 – John E. Mack, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, psychiatrist, and biographer.

1930 – Svava Jakobsdóttir, prominent, award-winning Icelandic novelist, playwright, poet, short-story writer, and politician whose writing was characterized by “unique brand of surreal feminism.” She was also a member of the Icelandic parliament.

1934 – Vaidya Bhagwan Dash, Indian author, doctor, and scholar in the field of Ayurvedic and Tibetan Medicine; he also worked as a bibliographer and cataloguer for the U.S. Library of Congress office in Delhi.

1936 – Cynthia McLeod, Surinamese author, historical novelist, writer, children’s author, and historian. Her debut novel, the bestselling Hoe duur was de suiker? (The Cost of Sugar), about the sugar cane industry in the 18th century, made her the most famous Surinamese novelist overnight; it was later turned into a movie and broadcast as a television miniseries.

1937 – Jackie Collins, English novelist who was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins. All 32 of her novels made the New York Times Bestseller list.

1941 – Roy Blount Jr., American writer and humorist, and frequent panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

1941 – Karen Cushman, American author of children’s and young-adult historical novels; she who won the Newbery Medal for The Midwife’s Apprentice; her book The Ballad of Lucy Whipple was made into a television film.

1941 – Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien), bestselling American author of gothic fiction, Christian literature, and erotic literature; she is best known for her series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles, revolving around the central character of Lestat; two of her vampire novels and another of her books were adapted for film. She has also written under the pen names Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure.

1941 – Zacharie Tshimanga Wa Tshibangu, Congolese historian and writer.

1944 – Lucky de Chickera, Sri Lankan novelist, short-story author, and corporate executive who is best known for his award-winning novel Sarasu…Amidst Slums of Terror.

1946 – Alvard Petrossyan, award-winning Armenian writer, opinion journalist, editor, philologist, and publicist.

1949 – Godfrey Mwakikagile, Tanzanian author, scholar, biographer, and journalist who specializes in African studies; he experienced apartheid and racial segregation in Tanganyika, what is now mainland Tanzania, and wrote extensively about it in some of his works, as he did about the political climate of Tanganyika during the colonial era.

1949 – Luis Sepúlveda, Chilean writer and political prisoner; he who wrote children’s books, travel stories, and novels, and best known for his novel The Old Man Who Read Love Stories.

1951 – Bakhytzhan Musakhanuli Kanapyanov, Kazakhstani poet, writer, lyricist, screenwriter, film director, linguist, translator, publisher, and boxer who won Kazakhstan’s boxing cup for two consecutive years.

1951 – Willem Jan Otten, Dutch prose writer, playwright, poet, and translator.

1951 – Bina Štampe Žmavc, Slovene writer, poet, children’s author, translator, and theatrical director.

1957 – Elchin Shikhly, Azerbaijani writer, journalist, and newspaper editor.

1961 – Kazuki Takahashi, Japanese manga artist and writer, best known as the creator of the Yu-Gi-Oh! book series.

1962 – Manasi Pradhan, Indian author, poet, and women’s rights activist; she has been named by a New York-based magazine as one of the 20 most inspiring Feminists, Authors, and Activists. Her inspiring life story has been adopted for film in both the United States and Israel.

1963 – Kōji Ishikawa, Japanese children’s book author and illustrator.

1964 – Iva Klestilová, Czech playwright, screenwriter, writer, educator, and actress; her dramatic work is known for its social commentary on issues such as consumerism and the decline of social values.

1967 – Miloš Urban, award-winning Czech novelist and horror writer who has also written under the name Josef Urban, and who is known as the “dark knight of Czech literature”; he is best known for his bestselling novel Sedmikostelí (The Seven Churches), a Gothic crime horror set in Prague. He is also an acclaimed translator.

1968 – Tim Wise, American anti-racism activist and writer.

1975 – Sandra Barneda Valls, Spanish journalist, writer,novelist, actress, and television presenter.

1975 – Andrei Alekseyevich Soldatov, Russian writer, investigative journalist, nonfiction author, and news editor who is a regular commentator on terrorism and intelligence issues.

1976 – Mia Skäringer, Swedish writer, comedian, actress, and television presenter.

1977 – Isabel Olid Báez, award-winning Spanish Catalan writer, novelist, essayist, translator, and educator.

1979 – Aurora Stewart de Peña, Canadian author, playwright, and theatrical director.

1983 – Andrea Priscila Crespo Granda, award-winning Ecuadorian author and poet.

1984 – Marie Kondo (also known as Konmari), bestselling Japanese nonfiction author, organizational expert, and television presenter who is known worldwide for her Konmari method of home organization.

1993 – Park Yeon-mi, North Korean defector, writer, memoirist, and human rights activist; she escaped to China as a teenager and settled in South Korea.

Pepino’s Penthouse

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that we have occasionally spotted a mouse in our house. It’s not a lot of mice; we’ve caught four or five since we moved into the house two-and-a-half years ago. And it’s just one mouse in here at a time. After we catch it, it’s months before we see signs of another one on the loose.

I call them all Pepino, after the homeowner’s petite antagonist in the song “Pepino the Italian Mouse.” (You can hear it at this link.)

Of course, we’ve searched and searched for the place where Pepino was getting in. In fact, we’ve found the place. Several times. Each time, we block the route, and after a few months, an enterprising mouse maps out a new route.

In the back of a kitchen cabinet, we sealed a plumbing access panel that Pepino was slipping in through (it can be unsealed, when we need access). That worked for a while, and then we saw the mouse again. We blocked up a hole behind the stove. Ditto. We filled in a hole behind the refrigerator.

After that, we stopped seeing mice in the kitchen; they were now more likely to be spotted in the family room, or in my son’s room, which is nearby. We put screening inside the decorative heating grates, and again, the problem seemed to be solved. For a while. After a few months, I spotted a mouse in the family room, and we’ve been trying hard to catch this one. But Pepino keeps ignoring our traps. Last week, we figured out why. We were looking in the wrong direction. We should have been looking up.

A few days ago, my husband Bob spotted Pepino on a ledge over the television set, eight-and-a-half feet up! This mouse just adores a penthouse view. Today Bob dragged the ladder up from the garage so he could investigate that ledge. Sure enough, there were a whole lot of mouse droppings. And several holes.

Inside the wall, the mouse was climbing up along the outside edge of the chimney and emerging on the ledge, way up over the TV, through a couple of holes up there by the chimney and windows. We’ve also seen crickets up there, and two tiny slugs on the ceiling! Climbing down into the room must have been fun for Pepino, but I don’t think it climbed down often; that’s why we weren’t seeing it. And when it was up in its penthouse apartment above the television, the crown molding usually hid the mouse from view. Bob saw it last week only because he happened to glance up when it was near the edge.

Bob has blocked the holes with a quick fix for now, but he has plans for something more permanent. Until the mouse finds a new route. Someday we will figure out how Pepino is getting into the house in the first place.

Until then, we’re playing Whack-a-Mouse.

October 3 Writer Birthdays

1554 – Fulke Greville (1st Baron Brooke), English poet, dramatist, biographer, and statesman who was one of the principal courtly writers of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras; he is remembered chiefly for his dark, thoughtful, and distinctly Calvinist views on art, literature, beauty, and other philosophical matters.

1814 – Mikhail Lermontov, influential Russian romantic poet, novelist, and painter whose prose began the tradition of the Russian psychological novel.

1853 – Stephan G. Stephansson, Icelandic, poet, essayist, letter writer, and farmer who lived for decades in the U.S. but wrote only in Icelandic; he was greatly influenced by transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson.

1885 – Sophie Anita Treadwell, American playwright and journalist who is best known for her play Machinal, which is often included in drama anthologies as an example of expressionism or modernism.

1886 – Alain-Fournier (pseudonym for Henri Alban-Fournier), French author whose one novel, Le Grand Meaulnes, is considered a classic of French literature.

1897 – Louis Aragon, French poet, novelist, and editor who was one of the founders of the Surrealist movement; he once described his love of literature: “I like beautiful poems, moving poetry, and all the beyond of that poetry. I am extraordinarily sensitive to those poor, marvelous words left in our dark night by a few men I never knew.”

1897 – Ilya Ilf (pseudonym of Iehiel-Leyb Arnoldovich Faynzilberg), popular Soviet journalist, writer, novelist, science-fiction author, screenwriter, and satirist who often worked in collaboration with writer Yevgeni Petrov during the 1920s and 1930s under the joint byline “Ilf and Petrov”; together they published two popular comedy novels, The Twelve Chairs and The Little Golden Calf , as well as a satirical book Odnoetazhnaya Amerika (often translated as Little Golden America) that documented their journey through the United States in 1935 and 1936.

1900 – Thomas Wolfe, influential American novelist known for mixing highly original, poetic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing; after Wolfe’s death, author William Faulkner said that Wolfe may have had the best talent of their generation.

1905 – Taiko Hirabayashi (pen name of Hirabayashi Tai), award-winning Japanese novelist, short-story writer, essayist, and social commentator who sometimes based her writings on her own life but who also wrote fiction about organized crime; she was known for her socialist views.

1906 – Natalie Savage Carlson, Newbery Honor-winning American children’s book author who published her first story at age eight on the children’s page of the Baltimore Sunday Sun; her heritage was French-Canadian, and she worked many old family stories and folktales into some of her books, including The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada.

1907 – Mansukhlal Maganlal Jhaveri, Indian Gujarati-language language writer, poet, litlerary critic, and literary historian who was deeply interested in classical Sanskrit poetry and authored The History of Gujarati Literature; he had several pen names, including Devaki Ayodhya, Punarvasu, Madilant, Samintiyajak, and Siddhartha.

1916 – James Herriott, pen name for British veterinarian James Alfred Wight, who wrote the autobiographical book, All Creatures Great & Small and its sequels.

1925 – Gore Vidal, National Book Award-winning American novelist, nonfiction author, essayist, screenwriter, playwright, politician, and political commentator.

1928 – Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution.

1931 – Kwasi Wiredu, Ghanaian philosopher, writer, author, and professor whose work challenges outsiders’ preconceived ideas about African belief systems.

1937 – Jesús Martín-Barbero, Spanish and Colombian author, philosopher, and professor who is a specialist in culture and media; he has also published under the name Jesús Martin B.

1948 – Amnon Jackont, Israeli writer, historian, literary editor, and author of bestselling thrillers.

1950 – John Patrick Shanley, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and director; he won an Oscar for writing the film Moonstruck.

1950 – Zelda Jongbloed (née Erasmus), South African journalist and politician.

1954 – Julie Elizabeth McCrossin, Australian radio broadcaster, journalist, comedian, political commentator, and activist for women’s and gay rights; she is best known for her role as a team captain on news-based television comedy quiz show.

1961 – Bang Hyeon-seok, award-winning South Korean writer, editor, and professor, much of whose work explores Korea’s troubled past, including the plight of laborers and factory workers.

1962 – Simon Scarrow, bestselling Nigerian-born author who is now based in the U.K.; he is known for historical fiction series, including the Eagles of the Empire books, set in 1st Century Roman Europe.

1970 – Sara Zarr, American novelist whose first book, Story of a Girl, was a National Book Award finalist.

1978 – Inger Bråtveit, award-winning Norwegian novelist, writer, and children’s author.

1978 – Yusaku Igarashi, Japanese writer of light novels.

1980 – Lindsey Kelk, British novelist, children’s writer, journalist, blogger, and children’s book editor; she said she was inspired to write her own series when she read the Sweet Valley High books as a teen.

1984 – Japheth Omojuwa, Nigerian columnist, journalist, blogger, public speaker, political commentator, and social media expert.

1991 – OluTimehin Adegbeye, Nigerian writer, editor, and activist; her work focuses on questions of gender, sexuality, poverty, and feminism.

Art Festival, Pandemic-Style

Today was Art on the Avenue, usually my favorite neighborhood event of the year.

This year was difficult. I love this art festival and really wanted to go. Most years I volunteer there, and spend the whole day. But we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and I’ve been avoiding crowds. So I felt that attending would not be a good idea. But I was really torn.

In the end, I decided on a compromise. I volunteered last night to help with setup, instead of today during the festival. And in the end I did decide to go to the festival, but with some precautions. I headed over in the morning, before the crowds grew as thick as I knew they would later in the day. I double-masked, stayed for only a short time, and remained mostly outside the festival foot traffic. I was pleased to see that most people wore masks, even though this is an outdoors event.

Art on the Avenue takes place along several blocks of Mt. Vernon Avenue, with booths lining the street, and attendees walking in the street, between the two rows of booths. I decided I would mostly stay out of the street, walking instead on the sidewalk along the backs of the booths, where few people were.

I knew where the festival store’s booth would be set up, and entered the street at that block, went straight to the booth for a t-shirt and program, and then headed back outside the festival to look at the program. I determined that there was one artist whose work I particularly wanted to see. So I walked along the sidewalk again, not the street, until I reached the right area, and then went straight to that booth. I even bought a painting!

That was it. I cut back over to the sidewalk and continued walking past the festival, before heading home.

The weather was perfect, but the festival was not without its problems this year. In fact, there was a major problem that really was disastrous for some businesses. Some problem with a transformer caused a power outage that lasted much of the day in a large part of the neighborhood. The Avenue is a commercial district filled with mostly locally owned businesses, all of whom have been struggling since covid began. And for many of them, Art on the Avenue is the single most lucrative day of the year. But this year, some of those shops and restaurants had to remain closed, while thousands of people walked by their darkened windows. It must be heartbreaking for those business owners, who have been through so much since March 2020.

I didn’t even know that when I was there this morning. I wasn’t there long enough to try to buy a meal, and I stayed a block south of the area that was still out of power at the time.

Later in the day, in the final hour of the event, my husband asked if I wanted to take a walk. I suggested we go back over to the festival, now that I knew it would be much less crowded, and do the same thing as before, staying off the street when possible and only venturing onto it if there was a specific booth we wanted to see. We bought a little hummingbird print and some cards, and said hi to a few friends.

This time we went a few blocks farther north of where I’d been in the morning, and we saw the power company trucks working on the problem (they must have had to displace some of the artist booths, which I hope were relocated). And we noticed restaurants with signs up saying they were closed because they had no electricity. How sad. We’ve decided to make a point of getting takeout from one of them tomorrow.

Inexplicable power outage aside, I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I usually do at Art on the Avenue. I always love strolling the Avenue, popping into every booth, speaking with the artists, and admiring their work. I hated not feeling that I could take my time and see it all. And I felt bad about not volunteering today. But I’m glad I was able to buy some art and help support some of the artists in our region.

There’s a pandemic on, and my abbreviated, as-distanced-as-I-could-make-it visit was as far as I was willing to go. Even so, I still wonder if I should have just stayed home.

October 2 Writer Birthdays

1682 – Birgitte Christine Kaas Huitfeldt, Norwegian poet and translator of hymns; much of her original work was lost when her house burned down in 1746.

1710 – Françoise-Nicole Gravillon Hus, French playwright, writer, and actress.

1718 – Elizabeth Montagu, British social reformer, patron of the arts, literary critic, and writer.

1754 – Louis Gabriel Ambroise (Vicomte de Bonald), French writer, essayist, politician, and counter-revolutionary philosopher who is remembered for developing a set of social theories that influenced French sociology.

1755 – Hannah Adams, American author of books on comparative religion and early United States history; she is the first woman in the U.S. known to have worked professionally as a writer, and also wrote an autobiography.

1800 – Lili Parthey (real name Elisabeth Parthey), German author whose vivid diaries are regarded as important historical testimonies of the times.

1808 – Marcos Sastre, Uruguayan-born Argentine writer and journalist who was one of the founders of the Salón Literario, which was the start of the Generation of ’37 literary movement.

1817 – Gunnar Wennerberg, Swedish writer, poet, composer, minister, and politician.

1824 – Amalie Struve (born Amalie Siegrist, also called Amalie Düsar), German author, feminist, and revolutionary who took part in the 1848 March Revolution; during her time in prison for insurrectionist activities, she wrote about French revolutionary hero Manon Roland; she later published a piece based on those sketches. While living abroad after fleeing Germany, she wrote memoirs, as well as novels and articles about topics including women’s rights and education, political uprisings, the Protestant Reformation, and the plight of immigrants.

1840 – Dmitry Pisarev, Russian journalist, writer, essayist, and social and literary critic.

1856 – Ángel Rivero Méndez, Puerto Rican author, journalist, engineer, soldier, and businessman who invented the “Kola Champagne” soft drink.

1857 – Arthur Edward Waite, American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote about the occult and co-created the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

1866 – Isabelle Kaiser, award-winning Swiss writer and poet who produced works in French and German.

1867 – Božena Slancíková, Slovak novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who also wrote under the pen names “Aunt Polichna” and “Timrava”; the latter was taken from the name of a popular small lake with a fountain, where she liked to sit while writing.

1869 – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Indian lawyer, prolific writer, anti-colonial nationalist, activist, and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to gain India’s independence from British rule; in turn, he inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. One of his earliest publications, Hind Swaraj, published in the Gujarati language in 1909, became the intellectual blueprint for India’s independence movement; he also wrote books and essays on topics including politics, religion, vegetarianism, social reforms, and diet and health, and also wrote autobiographical works and edited a newspaper. (He is often referred to as Mahatma Gandhi; Mahatma is an honorific meaning “venerable” or “great-souled.”)

1877 – Toni Rothmund, German writer, biographer, novelist, journalist, and short-story writer.

1879 – Louis Notari, Monégasque writer, poet, and politician who wrote in the French and Monégasque languages. (Monégasque is the native language of Monaco.)

1879 – Wallace Stevens, Pulitzer Prize-winning American modernist poet and playwright.

1881 – Antón Villar Ponte, Spanish writer, journalist, and politician who was one of the most important advocates of his time for the autonomy of Galicia.

1886 – Majid Qodiri (Kadyrov), Uzbeki literary scholar, author, publicist, and textbook writer who was the author of the first Uzbek textbooks about literature, history, and mathematics.

1900 – Kim Dong-in, Korean writer who wrote literary short stories that combine exquisite aesthetic sensibilities with succinct prose style, but turned to more lucrative popular serialized historical novels when he needed money.

1900 – Hyun Jin-geon, Korean journalist, literary journal founder, and author of realistic contemporary fiction and historical novels.

1904 – Graham Greene, acclaimed British novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and literary critic.

1905 – Fumiko Enchi (pen name of Fumiko Ueda), award-winning Japanese writer, playwright, and novelist who was one of the most prominent Japanese writers of her time; many of her novels and short stories explored female psychology and sexuality, but the theme of shamanism and spiritual possession also appears repeatedly.

1906 – Willy Ley, German-born science writer, spaceflight advocate, and historian of science who helped popularize rocketry, spaceflight, and natural history.

1909 – Margita Figuli, Czechoslovak writer, poet, translator, and children’s author who is a key representative of the Slovak school of naturalism and often wrote about love, compassion, and social problems.

1909 – Jordán Bruno Genta, Argentine writer and educator who was widely considered the ideologue of the Argentine extreme right wing.

1910 – Yoshimi Takeuchi, Japanese writer, translator, and university teacher whose area of expertise was Chinese Studies.

1910 – Kasymbek Yeshmambetov, award-winning Kyrgyzstani writer, playwright, and translator.

1911 – Jack Finney (real name Walter Braden Finney), American author of science fiction and thrillers, including the The Body Snatchers, on which the movie was based.

1920 – Giuseppe Colombo, Italian writer, astronomer, engineer, mathematician, and astrophysicist who made significant contributions to the study of Mercury and the rings of Saturn.

1923 – Judith Hemmendinger, German-born Israeli researcher and author whose work focuses on child survivors of the Holocaust; she has authored books and papers on the Holocaust experiences and later lives of child survivors.

1923 – Sitor Situmorang, Indonesian poet, essayist, journalist, and short-story writer whose work was deeply influenced by French existentialism of the early 1950s.

1925 – José Cardoso Pires, award-winning Portuguese author of short stories, novels, plays, and political satire; many of his works have been made into films.

1925 – Kim Sok-pom (also spelled Kim Suok-puom), Japanese-born ethnic Korean novelist who writes in Japanese; major themes in his work include imperialism, notions of home, nationalism, identity politics, and state genocide.

1926 – Jan Morris, Welsh historian and travel writer; she is best known for her history of the British empire, the Pax Brittanica trilogy.

1927 – Uta Ranke-Heinemann, German author, theologian, and professor; she is especially known for her book Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, which criticized the Catholic Church’s stance on women and sexuality. In 1999 she was a candidate for President of Germany.

1930 – Mehrdad Bahar, prominent Iranian linguist, mythologist, lexicographer, and Persian historian.

1933 – Enn Nõu, Estonian writer, novelist, short-story author, and physician who was one of the leading organizers of the Estonian exile community in Sweden and was politically active against the Soviet occupation of Estonia; as a writer, he was known for his naturalistic and richly detailed prose.

1933 – Shankar Shesh, award-winning Indian novelist and playwright who wrote in Hindi; one critic said his work brought out “the anomalies and agony of life embedded in social and individual predicaments.”

1935 – Paul Goma, Moldovan-born Romanian novelist, essayist, diarist, and dissident.

1938 – Rex Reed, American film critic, columnist, and television personality.

1939 – Otto R. Salassi, American professor and author of books for young adults; his books were set in the South.

1939 – Göran Sonnevi, Swedish writer, poet, translator, and linguist.

1941 – Jeanne Betancourt, American TV screenwriter and author of children’s books; best known for her “Pony Pals” book series, she is also an accomplished painter.

1941 – Jennifer Owings Dewey, American author and illustrator of natural history books for adults and children.

1943 – Pierre Veilletet, award-winning French journalist, newspaper editor, and novelist who has also helped to launch a magazine about bullfighting.

1943 – Dirk Zimmer, German-born author and illustrator of children’s books, known for his highly detailed etchings and drawings.

1944 – Vernor Vinge, American mathematics, computer scientist, and science-fiction author who has won many Hugo Awards.

1946 – Rosie Swale-Pope, British author, adventurer, and marathon runner who successfully completed a five-year around-the-world run to raise money for charity; she also sailed single-handed across the Atlantic in a small boat, trekked 3,000 miles alone through Chile on horseback, and taken part in many marathons and other athletic events; she has written several books about her experiences and about the places she has traveled to.

1948 – Achmat Dangor, award-winning South African novelist, short-story writer, and poet who also headed up the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

1948 – Mehmet Eroglu, award-winning Turkish novelist whose best known work is Issizligin Ortasinda (In the Midst of Solitude).

1948 – Anna Mitgutsch, Austrian novelist, writer, translator, professor, and literary critic whose fiction deals with individuals who face difficulties in becoming part of a society that is indifferent or antagonistic to them; her work also explores the connections between the present and the past.

1959 – Bruce Balan, American children’s book writer, technical writer, and multimedia script writer.

1959 – Isabelle Jarry, French writer, essayist, memoirist, biographer, and children’s author.

1959 – Thierry Laget, award-winning French novelist, essayist, literary critic, and translator.

1959 – Sharon Rotbard, award-winning Israeli architect, writer, historian, author, publisher, and educator.

1960 – Orlaith Carmody, Irish nonfiction author, news reporter, and businesswoman.

1960 – Joe Sacco, Maltese-born American cartoonist and journalist.

1960 – Veena Verma, Indian Punjabi-language poet and short-story writer who is now based in the U.K.; she writes mostly about the problems of Asian women. Some of her work has been adapted for television and the stage.

1962 – Trần Vũ, Vietnamese short-story author who is now living in France; he arrived in Paris as a teenager via a “boat people” camp in the Philippines.

1976 – Mehdi Mousavi (also known as Mehdi Moosavi and as Seyed Mahdi), Iranian poet, writer, activist, and pharmacist whose poems are on social issues and who is a leading force in postmodern poetry in Iran.

World Postcard Day!

Happy World Postcard Day! This is celebrated October 1, which is considered the anniversary of the invention of the postcard (by the Austrian postal service in 1869).

You may have seen my other posts about sending and receiving postcards to and from correspondents around the world, through the Postcrossing program.

Today, in honor of World Postcard Day, I sent four. Two went to the United States (Nashville and Cedar Rapids). The others were to Stuttgart, Germany, and Taipei City, Taiwan. Postcrossing members don’t choose where to send a card; we request an address of a Postcrosser anywhere in the world and the site gives us one at random. Then we choose a card — the recipient’s profile might include some ideas about what kind of cards he or she prefers, or we can send whatever we want — and write and mail it. When the card is received, the recipient registers it with the site, which puts the sender’s name back in the rotation to receive another card from a different Postcrosser.

Normally I post images of postcards I receive from Postcrossers around the world. For World Postcard Day, here are the cards I wrote and mailed today:

From left: This card in the “Darth Vader & Son” series shows Darth and little Luke happily eating ice cream; I chose it for a Star Wars fan in Nashville, Tennessee. Next, this lovely portrait of actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr is on its way to a Postcrosser in Stuttgart, Germany, who collects postcards of 1940s and 1950s movie stars. Third, this offbeat painting, “Witch on a Pig,” by J.B. Monge, adorns a postcard heading to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And last, my only “tourist card” of the day, a stunning view of a Maine lighthouse, by photographer Christopher Arndt, is for a Postcrosser in Taiwan.

October 1 Writer Birthdays

0086 – Gaius Sallustius Crispus (usually called Sallust), Roman writer, poet, historian, and politician who is the earliest known Roman historian with surviving works to his name.

1550 – Ana García Manzanas (better known as Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew), Spanish Roman Catholic Carmelite nun and writer who was known for being a companion to Saint Teresa of Ávila; she led the establishment of new monasteries of in France and the Lowlands. Her writings include letters, a biography, an autobiography, and treatises on spiritual matters.

1611 – Mathias Jansz Balen, Dutch writer, poet, and historian who published a description of the Dutch city of Dordrecht in two volumes.

1734 – Étienne-François de Lantier, French writer, poet, and playwright.

1780 – Göran Wahlenberg, Swedish naturalist, writer, botanist, mycologist (fungi scientist), artist, pteridologist (fern scientist), and professor.

1790 – Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna, popular Victorian English writer, novelist, and memoirist who wrote under the pseudonym Charlotte Elizabeth; her work focused on promoting women’s rights and evangelical Protestantism. Writer Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote of Tonna’s memoir Personal Recollections, “We know of no piece of autobiography in the English language which can compare with this in richness of feeling and description and power of exciting interest.”

1791 – Sergey Aksakov, Russian novelist who is remembered for his semi-autobiographical tales of family life, as well as his books on hunting and fishing; a crater on the planet Mercury has been named in his honor.

1796 – Louise Swanton Belloc (née Anne-Louise Chassériau Swanton), award-winning French writer, encyclopedia contributor, and translator of Irish descent who is best known for introducing several important works of English literature to France, and as a strong proponent of women’s education; she was once referred to as “a young person of brilliant talents.”

1814 – Josefina (Josephine) Deland, Swedish feminist writer and teacher who wrote in French.

1819 – Maria Louisa Charlesworth, English author of children’s books and religious tracts.

1834 – Mary Mackellar (née Cameron), prominent Highland Scottish poet, writer, Gaelic-English translator, and campaigner for the Gaelic language and culture.

1847 – Annie Besant, important British writer, editor, social reformer, philosopher, women’s rights activist, orator, and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule; she was put on trial for obscenity (and acquitted) after publishing a pamphlet on birth control.

1859 – Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen, African-American who was born a slave and went on to become an educator and author who wrote fictional stories about wealthy African-American families in the American South; her seminal work, the novel, Treading the Winepress, or, A Mountain of Misfortune, was groundbreaking in its frank depictions of racism, classism, poverty, and violence in the post-Emancipation South.

1865 – Ane Gurli Linder (née Peterson), Swedish writer and feminist who was a strong supporter of libraries and reading; she played an important role in pioneering the promotion and development of children’s literature.

1869 – Stefania Sempolowska, Polish educator, writer, textbook author, journalist, magazine editor, and activist for the rights of children.

1878 – Huang Yanpei, Chinese educator, writer, magazine editor, and politician.

1879 – Hasegawa Shigure, major Japanese writer, playwright, and literary journal editor who was the only woman writer to be featured in three volumes of the Meiji bungaku zenshu (“Collected Works of Meiji Literature”).

1886 – Ahmad Amin, Egyptian historian and writer who was known for his series of books on the history of the Islamic civilization, his autobiography, and a dictionary of Egyptian folklore.

1893 – Faith Baldwin, popular American author of romance fiction who published more than 100 novels, often focusing on women juggling career and family; many of her books were made into popular movies.

1899 – Ernest Haycox, American author of western fiction.

1899 – Matsutaro Kawaguchi, award-winning Japanese novelist, playwright, screenwriter, short-story writer, and film producer.

1901 – Stanislawa Przybyszewska, Polish writer, playwright, and screenwriter who wrote almost exclusively about the French Revolution; her play The Danton Case, which examines the conflict between Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton, is considered to be one of the most exemplary works about the Revolution, and has been adapted for film.

1901 – Thakur Srinath Singh, renowned Indian poet, writer, magazine editor, novelist, and children’s writer who is best known for his poems for children.

1911 – Fletcher Knebel, American author of popular political fiction.

1911 – Rinzo Shiina, Japanese writer, novelist, short-story writer, and playwright; his writing focused on the spiritual poverty of post-occupation Japan.

1912 – Kathleen Mary Ollerenshaw, British mathematician, astronomer, and politician who was Lord Mayor of Manchester and an advisor on educational matters to Margaret Thatcher’s government; she published at least 26 mathematical papers, her biggest contribution being in the area of pandiagonal “magic” squares. From the age of eight she was almost completely deaf.

1914 – Daniel J. Boorstin, Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian who served as Librarian of Congress.

1914 – Donald Allen Wollheim, American science-fiction author, editor, publisher, and fan who has written under his own name and several pseudonyms, including David Grinnell.

1916 – Debora Vaarandi, award-winning Estonian writer, poet, and translator who is considered a leading literary figure in post-World War II Estonia; her work celebrates values such as the love of nature, the importance of family, and the beauty of small things.

1918 – Gloria Jasmine Rawlinson, New Zealand poet, novelist, short-story writer, and editor.

1919 – Majrooh Sultanpuri (Asrar Hussain Khan), Indian poet who writes in Urdu and was also a Bollywood film lyricist.

1920 – David Herbert Donald, American historian, Lincoln biographer, and two-time Pulitzer winner.

1924 – Jimmy Carter (full name James Earl Carter, Jr.), Nobel Prize-winning American politician and U.S. President who has written 23 books on topics that include humanitarian work, aging, religion, and human rights; he has also written memoir, poetry, and a children’s book (illustrated by his daughter Amy).

1926 – Gao Mang (also known by his pen name Wulanhan), award-winning Chinese translator and painter who was one of the main translators into Chinese of the works of the Russian poets Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Bunin, Mikhail Lermontov. and Anna Akhmatova.

1928 – Zhu Rongji, prominent Chinese politician who was mayor of Shanghai and Premier of the People’s Republic of China, and has written several books since retiring from office; he is also known as a philanthropist, and once acted in an opera.

1933 – Ozod Muhiddinovna Aminova, award-winning Tajikistani poet, writer, and newspaper editor who is sometimes known by the mononym Ozod; her work explores the themes of patriotism, love, loyalty, and the freedom of Soviet women.

1933 – Fernando Soto Aparicio, award-winning Colombian poet, storyteller, playwright, novelist, television screenwriter, short-story writer, professor, and librettist.

1935 – Julie (Andrews) Edwards, English children’s book author who is better known (using her maiden name, Julie Andrews) as the iconic actress and singer who starred in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins; her books are written as Julie Edwards and include the beloved novel, Mandy.

1935 – Eiko Kadono, Japanese author of children’s literature, picture books, nonfiction, and essays; her most famous work, Kiki’s Delivery Service, was made into an anime film and spawned a series of sequel novels.

1936 – Obaidullah Baig, Pakistani scholar, writer, novelist, columnist, media expert, and documentary filmmaker who wrote in Urdu.

1940 – Michael Gruber, American author and ghostwriter who also has written magazine articles on biology and a children’s book; he has a PhD in marine sciences, has studied octopus behavior, and has worked as a chef, a rock band roadie, a White House environmental policy expert, and a speechwriter.

1940 – Aud Korbøl, award-winning Norwegian sociologist and novelist.

1942 – Wolf-Dieter Storl, German anthropologist and author who studies shamanism and healing in traditional societies; his books have shamanistic and ethnobotanic themes.

1943 – Nay Myo Thant, award-winning Burmese writer, novelist, and short-story author.

1944 – Gay Courter, bestselling American screenwriter, author, and novelist.

1946 – Tim O’Brien, American journalist, novelist, memoirist, and professor, best known for writing about the Vietnam War.

1946 – Jury Rupin, Ukrainian photographer, artist, and writer.

1949 – Isaac Bonewits, American Druid who published books on Neopaganism and magic.

1949 – Aurelian Silvestru, award-winning Moldovan writer, journalist, radio editorialist, psychologist, and activist.

1953 – Veerabhadrappa Kumbar (popularly known by the pen name KumVee), award-winning Indian Kannada novelist, poet, short-story writer, critic, biographer, autobiographer, and translator; he uses the local Ballary dialet of Kannada in his writings.

1955 – Debbie Ford, bestselling American author of self-help books.

1959 – Brian P. Cleary, American author of humorous books for children about grammar and math.

1959 – Tohti Tunyaz (pen name: Tohti Muzart) Chinese ethnic Uyghur historian and writer who specializes in Uyghur history and ethnic relations.

1962 – Mohammad Al-Habash, Syrian Islamic scholar, writer, and politician who is the principal figure of the Islamic revivalist movement in Syria.

1964 – Cristina Rivera Garza, Mexican award-winning novelist, writer, and professor who is best known for her fictional work.

1967 – Sarah Quigley, award-winning New Zealand writer, bestselling novelist, biographer, poet, and short-story writer who has also written a creative-writing manual.

1970 – Hamdy el-Gazzar, award-winning Egyptian writer, screenwriter, novelist, playwright, and short-story writer.

1973 – Nicola Yoon, bestselling Jamaican-American young-adult novelist and short-story writer; her book The Sun Is Also a Star has been adapted for film. She is also associated with the We Need Diverse Books organization, which promotes the representation of diversity in literature.

1974 – Mohamed Yousri Salama, Egyptian writer, activist, politician, and dentist.

1992 – Kevin Martens Wong, award-winning Singaporean novelist, short-story writer, civil servant, linguist, magazine founder, and director of an organization to protect the critically endangered Kristang language in Singapore.