Authors' Birthdays/April

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Contents:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th


1st

  • Edmond Rostand (1868): French dramatist and poet, author of Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Augusta Baker (1911): Baltimore (MD)-born librarian, storyteller, and writer who worked for 35 years at the New York Public Library and developed comprehensive bibliographies of African American-based children's literature;
  • Anne McCaffrey (1926): fantasy/sci-fi writer
  • Samuel Ray Delany (1942): Harlem native, sci-fi novelist and short story writer, winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and Pilgrim Awards

2nd

  • Hans Christian Andersen (1805): Danish fairy tale writer, who penned over 160 fairy tales
  • Emile Zola (1840): French writer and insurgent
  • George MacDonald Fraser (1925): British historical novelist who wrote about the rogue and bully Flashman

3rd

  • George Herbert (1593; d.1633): English metaphysical poet (born Wales)
  • Washington Irving (1783; d.1859): American writer, author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Jane Goodall (1934): London-born animal behaviorist (chimps) and writer

4th

  • Rémy de Gourmont (1858; d.1915): French novelist and critic, best known as an apologist for the symbolists, in Le Livre des masques (1896; The Book of Masks)
  • Finnish Swedish-language poet Edith Södergran (1892);
  • Robert Emmett Sherwood (1896): U.S. playwright and historian who was a member of the Algonquin round table and Franklin Roosevelt's speechwriter in the 1940s;
  • Marguerite Duras (1914): Vietnamese novelist and screenplay writer, who wrote the screenplay for the film Hiroshima Mon Amor (1959);
  • Maya Angelou (1928): Missouri-born (Arkansas-raised) novelist, poet, dramatist, and performer, born Marguerite Johnson

5th

  • Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837): British poet, author of Poems and Ballads, and member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood that included William Morris
  • Booker T. Washington (1856; d. 1915): Virginia-born essayist, autobiographer, biographer, educator, and social thinker, born into slavery as Booker Taliaferro, well-known for the bestselling Up From Slavery (1901)
  • Robert Bloch (1917): American crime/suspense writer, aka Collier Young, penned Psycho

6th

  • Merle Haggard (1937): California-born country songwriter and singer.

7th

  • William Wordsworth (1770; d.1850): English romantic poet
  • William Ellery Channing (1780): Rhode Island author and clergyman, instrumental in founding the Unitarian church
  • Walter Winchell (1897): premier New Yorker gossip columnist

8th

  • E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (1888): Lyricist who penned the words to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" (1932) and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (1939), among others
  • John Fante (1911): Denver native (lived in L.A.) and depression-era novelist
  • Seymour Hersh (1937): Chicago-born journalist who broke the My Lai massacre story
  • Barbara Kingsolver (1955): Annapolis (MD)-born novelist who wrote The Bean Trees (1988), Animal Dreams (1990), and The Poisonwood Bible (1998), among others

9th

  • Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (1821; d.1867): French poet, essayist, and art critic;
  • Paule Marshall (1929): Brooklyn-born novelist and short story writer, one of the first writers to explore the psychological concerns of African American women

10th

  • William Hazlitt (1778; 1830): English critic and essayist whose style is appreciated for its plainness and vigor
  • Joseph Pulitzer (1847): Hungarian-born publisher and journalist
  • George William Russell (1867; d.1935): Irish poet, editor, and painter, aka AE
  • Clare Booth Luce (1903): New Yorker, journalist, playwright and politician, staff writer for Vanity Fair magazine and author of the play The Women, on which the movie is based
  • David Halberstam (1934): NYC-born historian
  • Paul Theroux (1941): Massachusetts native, travel writer, and novelist

11th

  • Wisconsin novelist and essayist Glenway Wescott (1901);
  • Leo Rosten (1908): born in Poland, grew up in the U.S., and best known for The Joys of Yiddish (1968)

12th

  • Beverly Cleary (1916): Children's book writer
  • Jack Gelber (1932): Chicago-born playwright
  • Sir Alan Ayckbourn (1939): British prolific playwright
  • Scott Turow (1949): Chicago native, writer of legal thrillers

13th

  • Thomas Jefferson (1743): America's Renaissance man, Virginia-born 3rd U.S. president, inventor, lawyer, architect, gardener, and writer, whose pamphlet A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774) pushed forward the American patriot cause;
  • Nella Larsen (1891; d.1964): Chicago native and novelist, regarded as an important writer of the Harlem Renaissance;
  • Marguerite Henry: author of Misty of Chincoteague and other kids' horse books (1902);
  • Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906): Irish playwright and novelist, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and is best-known for his play Waiting for Godot;
  • Eudora Welty (1909): American writer, winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize;
  • Seamus Heaney (1939): Irish poet and 1995 Nobel Prize winner

14th

  • James Branch Cabell (1879): Richmond, Virginia native and novelist
  • Arnold Toynbee (1889): British historian, known for his twelve-volume collection, A Study of History (1934-1961)

15th

  • Henry James (1843; d.1916): American novelist (born New York), whose novels include The American (1877), The Europeans (1878), Daisy Miller (1879), and The Portrait of a Lady (1881), and whose older brother was philosopher William James (1828-1910);
  • Waverly Root (1903): food writer, born in Providence, RI, author of The Food of France (1958)

16th

  • Gertrude Chandler Warner (1890; d.1979), creator of the Boxcar Children
  • Anatole France (1844; d.1924): French novelist, poet, political satirist, and 1921 Nobel Prize winner, born Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault
  • John Millington Synge (1871; d.1909): Irish playwright, who wrote Playboy of the Western World
  • Garth Williams (1912): classic children's book illustrator
  • Sir Kingsley Amis (1922): British novelist, poet, and short story writer

17th

  • C[onstantine] P[eter] Cavafy (1863; d.1933): Modern Greek poet (born and died in Egypt), aka Konstantinos Patrou Kabaphes
  • Karen Blixen (1885; d.1962): Danish writer and traveller, aka Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa (1937) and Shadows on the Grass (1961)
  • Thornton Niven Wilder (1897): Wisconsin-born playwright and novelist, author of every amateur stage company's favourite play, Our Town
  • Cynthia Ozick (1928): NYC-born novelist and essayist

18th

  • George Henry Lewes (1817): British writer, known for nurturing and encouraging the writing talent of lover Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)
  • Richard Harding Davis (1864): War-time journalist and fiction writer

19th

  • Sarah Kemble Knight (1666): New England diarist
  • Etheridge Knight (1931; d.1991): African American poet, one of the most popular poets of the black arts movement in the 1960s

20th

  • Marcus Aurelius [Antoninus] (121 A.D): Roman philosopher, humane emperor, and author of The Meditations
  • Michael Leiris (1901): French surrealist writer, anthropologist, and autobiographer

21st

  • Charlotte Bronte (1816; d.1855): English novelist, author of Jane Eyre (1847), sister to Anne and Emily, sometimes writing under the name Currer Bell
  • Josh Billings (1818): Massachusetts native, humorist, auctioneer, and realtor, born Henry Wheeler Shaw
  • Elaine May (1932): Philadelphia-born comedienne, writer, and director, nee Elaine Berlin, who wrote Heaven Can Wait and adapted the script for The Birdcage, among others
  • Thomas McMahon (1943): Ohio native and novelist
  • Kolo Omotoso (1943): Nigerian playwright and novelist
  • Barbara Park (1947): Junie B. Jones creator

22nd

  • Henry Fielding (1707; d.1754): English novelist and playwright, author of Joseph Andrews (1742) and The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), and cousin to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  • Ellen [Anderson Gholson] Glasgow (1874; d.1945): Richmond, Virginia-born novelist, whose novels, including In This Our Life (1941; won 1942 Putlizer Prize), present an unsentimental social history of Virginia
  • James Norman Hall (1887): Iowa-born (ended up in Tahiti) novelist and essayist, who with war buddy Charles Nordhoff wrote Mutiny on the Bounty (1932) and others
  • Paula Fox (1923)
  • Louise Glück (1942): NYC-born poet, author of Wild Iris (1992), which won the Pulitzer Prize

23rd

  • William Shakespeare (1564; d.1616)
  • Edwin Markham (1852): Oregon-born poet
  • Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh (1899): New Zealand mystery writer, creator of Police Inspector Roderick Alleyn
  • Vladimir Nabokov (1899): Russian novelist, poet, scholar, translator, and butterfly collector
  • Halldor Laxness (1902): Icelandic novelist and 1955 Nobel Prize winner
  • J[ames] P[atrick] Donleavy (1926): Brooklyn native (became Irish citizen 1967) and novelist
  • Victoria Glendinning (1937): Yorkshire native, famous for her biographies of Edith Sitwell and Vita Sackville-West, among others
  • Charles [Richard] Johnson (1948): African American novelist, short story writer, cartoonist, and reporter, whose 1990 book Middle Passage won the National Book Award

24th

  • Daniel Defoe (1659; other sources say Sept. 1660; d.1731): English journalist, essayist, political tract writer, and novelist, born Daniel Foe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722), among others
  • Anthony Trollope (1815): English novelist
  • Elizabeth Goudge (1900): English novelist and playwright
  • Robert Penn Warren (1905): Three-time Pulitzer Prize winning poet and novelist, and the first U.S. poet laureate
  • George Oppen (1908): American objectivist poet and political activist
  • Sue Grafton (1940): mystery writer, creator of sleuth Kinsey Millhone and the "A is for Alibi" series

25th

  • Walter De La Mare (1873; d.1956): English poet, essayist, novelist, and accountant, aka Walter Ramal
  • J(ay) Anthony Lukas (1933): NYC-born writer, journalist, and Pulitzer Prize winner, best known for reporting on controversial issues
  • Padgett Powell (1952): Southern novelist

26th

  • David Hume (1711; d.1776): Scottish philosopher and historian, who wrote A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40), Essays Moral and Political (1741-42), Political Discourses (1752), and an exhaustive History of England (1754-62), among others
  • Maud Hart Lovelace (1892): creator of the Betsy-Tacy series of children's books
  • A[braham] H[enry] Raskin (1911): Canadian and long-time New York Times writer, considered an authority on labor and industrial relations
  • Bernard Malamud (1914): NYC-born novelist and short-story writer

27th

  • Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882; d. 1961): New Jersey native, female African-American editor and novelist, who discovered and encouraged many writers during the Harlem Renaissance
  • Ludwig Bemelmans (1898): Madeline creator
  • C[ecil] Day Lewis (1904): Irish-born poet, critic, detective-story writer, British poet laureate in the 1960s, aka Nicholas Blake
  • August Wilson (1945): two-time Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright, born in Pittsburgh, PA

28th

  • (Nelle) Harper Lee (1926): Alabama-born author who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Bill Blackbeard (1926): Indianapolis-born editor and author of books on cartoons and comic strips
  • Lois Duncan (1934): teen writer
  • Terry [David John] Pratchett (1948): British sci-fi and fantasy writer, creator of Discworld
  • Carolyn Forche (1950): American poet (born Detroit)

29th

  • William Randolph Hearst (1863): San Francisco-born publisher and yellow-journalism practitioner
  • Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950), Italian-English writer
  • Gilbert La Rocque (1943): French-Canadian author and editor
  • Yusef Komunyakaa (1947): Louisiana-born Pulitzer Prize winning poet

30th

  • Alice B. Toklas (1877): Gertrude Stein companion and cookbook writer
  • John Crowe Ransom (1888): American poet, born in Tennessee
  • Harriet Sobol (1936): children's book writer
  • Laurence (Larry) Van Cott Niven (1938): L.A.-born science-fiction writer
  • Annie Dillard (1945): American author (born Pittsburgh), who won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek