Authors' Birthdays/August

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  • Richard Henry Dana (1815;d.1882): U.S. writer of Two Years Before the Mast
  • Herman Melville (1819): American writer
  • Anne Hébert (1916;): French-Canadian novelist, poet, playwright, and short-story writer, noted for her examination of the Quebeçois; London-born Australian paperback writer Carter Brown (1923) aka Allan Geoffrey Yates and Caroline Farr, who wrote 150 crime stories, all set in the U.S; poet Walter Griffin (1937), born in Delaware; Brooklyn-born poet Hugh Seidman (1940; a poem by Seidman)
  • Amy Friedman (1952): Cleveland native, now living in Canada, novelist and journalist, author of Kick the Dog and Shoot the Cat and others
  • Madison Smartt Bell (1957): Nashville native and novelist and short-story writer


  • Ernest [Christopher] Dowson (1867; d.1900): English poet, influenced by Latin erotic poetry and French aesthetes
  • Irving Babbitt (1869): Ohio-born critic, teacher, leader of the New Humanism movement
  • Ethel M. Dell (1881-1939), English romance novelist
  • Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969): Venezuelan novelist and president
  • John Kieran (1892), columnist and author of a natural history of NYC
  • James (Arthur) Baldwin (1924): Harlem-born novelist, playwright, and essayist, whose first novel was Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953)
  • Stephen Sandy (1934): Minneapolis-born poet, Bennington College professor
  • Mitchell Smith (1935): U.S. writer of thrillers and westerns
  • Isabel Allende (1942): Peruvian writer
  • Beverly Coyle (1946): Miami-born novelist
  • Bei Dao (1949): Beijing-born poet, aka Zhao Zhengkai, one of the few Chinese writers to have an international audience.


  • Rupert Brooke (1887; d.1915): English WWI poet
  • Ernie Pyle (1900): Indiana-born war correspondent
  • P[hyllis] D[orothy] James (1920): British mystery writer
  • Hayden Carruth (1921): Connecticut-born poet, critic, and novelist
  • Leon Uris (1924; Exodus, QBVII): U.S. novelist, born Baltimore
  • Annette Sanford (1929): Romance novelist, born in Texas, whose pen names include Mary Carroll, Meg Dominique, Lisa St. John, and others
  • Marvin Bell (1937): NYC-born poet (Iowa Poet Laureate)
  • Diane Wakoski (1937): poet born in Whittier, California
  • Walter Kirn (1962): Ohio native, writer and literary reviewer


  • Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792): Romantic English poet
  • William Henry Hudson (1841; d.1922): English naturalist and novelist (born Argentina of American parents), best known for Green Mansions (1904), a romantic novel set in Venezuela
  • Knut Hamsun (1859; d.1952): Norwegian author and 1920 Nobel literature prize winner, born Knut Pedersen, best known for realistic rural novel Growth of the Soil (1917)
  • Robert Hayden (1913; d.1980): Detroit poet, born Asa Bundy Sheffey
  • Assia Djebar (1936): Algerian (now lives U.S.) novelist, translator, poet, playwright, short-story writer, and filmmaker, aka Fatima-Zohra Imalayen.


  • Conrad Aiken (Aug. 5, 1899 - 1973): American poet (Pulitzer 1930)
  • Guy de Maupassant (1850): French short story writer
  • Per Wahlöö (1926): Swedish writer and journalist, who with his wife Maj Sjöwall created the detective character Martin Beck
  • Wendell Berry (1934): Kentucky-born rural conservationist and poet


  • Francois Fenelon (1651): French writer
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809): English poet
  • Paul (Louis Charles Marie) Claudel (1868; d.1955): French poet, playwright, essayist, and diplomat, whose conversion to Catholicism in 1890 became an important element in his writing
  • Scott Nearing (1883): pacifist and author of many books on economics
  • Norma Farber (1909): Children's author, born in Boston, best known for As I Was Crossing the Boston Common, a 1976 National Book Award winner
  • Janet Asimov (1926): Pennsylvania native, science columnist, and children's sci-fi writer
  • Piers Anthony (1934): British-born, American sci-fi/fantasy writer, author of the Xanth series


  • Georg Stiernhielm (1598): The Father of Swedish poetry
  • Laurence Eigner (1927): prolific Massachusetts-born poet and short story writer
  • Ann Beattie (1947): Washington, D.C. born novelist and short story writer


  • Sara Teasdale (1884): U.S. poet
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896): U.S. writer, author of The Yearling
  • Valerie Sayers (1952): South Carolinian comic novelist
  • Elizabeth Ann Tallent (1954): Washington, D.C. native and short-story writer/novelist


  • Izaak Walton (1593): Compleat Angler writer
  • John Dryden (1631; d.1700): England's first poet laureate, also dramatist and man of letters
  • Philip Larkin (1922): English writer
  • Jonathan Kellerman (1949): NYC-born mystery writer and creator of Dr. Alex Delaware,
  • Jeanne Larsen (1950): novelist, born Washington, D.C., whose novels take place in historical China


  • Lawrence Binyon (1869): Austrian poet and playwright
  • Witter Bynner (1881): Brooklyn-born poet, playwright, and translator
  • Jorge Amado (1912-2001): Brazilian writer


  • Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823): English writer
  • Hugh MacDiarmid (born Christopher Murray Grieve) (1892): Scottish poet
  • Louise Bogan (1897): Maine writer and poet
  • Enid Blyton (1897; d.1968): prolific British children's writer
  • Sir Angus Wilson (1913): English writer
  • Alex (Murray Palmer) Haley (1921): New York-born biographer, scriptwriter, and novelist (Roots)
  • Carl (Thomas) Rowan (1925): Tennessee-raised African American journalist, public affairs commentator, and biographer
  • Andre Dubus (1936): Louisiana-born short story writer


  • Robert Southey (1774): English poet and biographer
  • Katharine Lee Bates (1859): The author of America the Beautiful
  • Jacinto Benavente y Martinez (1866): Spanish dramatist and 1922 Nobel prize winner
  • Edith Hamilton (1867): U.S. mythology writer
  • Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876): U.S. mystery writer, author of The Circular Staircase
  • Frank Swinnerton (1884): English novelist and literary critic
  • Zerna Sharp (1889): born in Indiana and the creator of the Dick and Jane readers for children
  • Wallace Markfield (1926; d. 23 May 2002): Brooklyn-born satirical novelist
  • William Goldman (1931): Chicago native, novelist and screenwriter, who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Walter Dean Myers (1937): West Virginia native (raised Harlem), African American young adult novelist and picture book writer, who received a Newbery Honor Award for his book Scorpions (1988)
  • Gail Parent (1940): NYC-born writer, author of Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1972) and a comedy writer for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"
  • J.D. McClatchy (1945): Pennsylvania-born poet and essayist


  • Nikolaus Lenau (1802; d.1850): Hungarian/German/Austrian poet, born Nikolaus Niembsch von Strehlenau


  • Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802): English poet and novelist
  • Ernest T. Seton (1860): author and naturalist
  • John Galsworthy (1867; d.1933): English novelist, playwright, and 1932 Nobel prize winner, who wrote The Forsyte Saga (1906-1922), made into a BBC film in 1968; two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Russell Baker, born in Virginia, editorial writer for the New York Times, and author of the memoir Growing Up
  • William Kittredge (1932): westerns writer, born in Portland, Oregon
  • Alfred Corn (1943): Georgia-born poet


  • Luigi Pulci (1432): Italian poet
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771): Scottish novelist and poet
  • Thomas De Quincey (1785; d.1859): English writer whose Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822) is his most popular work
  • Edna Ferber (1887): Michigan writer
  • T[homas] E[dward] Lawrence (1888; d. 1935): Welsh soldier and writer, "Lawrence of Arabia"
  • Louise Shivers (1929): novelist and librarian, born in North Carolina
  • Garry Disher (1949): Australian/American writer, best known for his children's book, The Bamboo Flute
  • Mary Jo Salter (1954): Michigan-born poet


  • Jules Laforgue (1860; d.1887 of tuberculosis): French symbolist poet and short story writer (born Montevideo, Uruguay)
  • Hugo Gernsback (1884): sci-fi writer
  • Georgette Heyer (1902): British Regency novelist
  • Wallace Thurman (1902): Harlem Renaissance writer (born Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • William Maxwell (1908): Illinois-born novelist, short story writer, and editor at The New Yorker
  • Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (1914): prolific children's author , born in Indiana and winner of the 1965 Caldecott Award
  • Charles Bukowski (1920): German-born American poet


  • Charlotte Lottie Forten (1837/1838?; d.1914): Philadelphia-born African-American diarist, poet, and essayist aka Miss C.L.F., best known for her posthumously published The Journal of Charlotte L. Forten: A Free Negro in the Slave Era (1953)
  • Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840): English writer
  • Marcus (Moziah) Garvey [Jr.] (1887; d.1940): Jamaican essayist, editor, journalist, and poet, who founded the back-to-Africa movement among African and West Indian Americans
  • John Hawkes (1925): Connecticut-born poet, playwright, and writer of avant garde novels
  • (Edward James) Ted Hughes (1930): English poet laureate
  • V[idiadhar] S[urajprasad] Naipaul (1932): Trinidad-born British novelist and essayist, who won the 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature


  • Elsa Morante (1916): Italian history writer
  • Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922): French novelist, film writer, and film director
  • Sonia Levitin (1934): Berlin-born American children's author
  • Paula Danziger (1944): Washington, D.C. native and children's author (The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, the Amber Brown books, others)


  • Samuel Richardson (1689): English novelist
  • Charles Montagu Doughty (1843; d.1926): traveler and English writer in the Elizabethan style, whose observations on Arabia and Arab life are the subject of his Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888)
  • Minna Canth (1844): Finnish novelist and dramatist
  • Edith Nesbit (1858): British children's writer
  • Ogden Nash (1902): American light verse writer
  • James Gould Cozzens (1903): novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Josephine Jacobsen (1908): Canadian writer
  • Ring Lardner, Jr. (1915; d.2000): American screenwriter, publicist, and journalist, son of well-known humorist Ring W. Lardner, Sr.


  • H[oward] P[hillips] Lovecraft (Aug. 20, 1890 - Mar. 15, 1937): U.S. Gothic (or supernatural) novelist
  • Salvatore Quasimodo (Aug. 20, 1901 - 1968): Italian poet/critic/translator and winner of Nobel Prize 1959
  • Edgar A. Guest (1881): Poet and newsman from Michigan (born Birmingham, England)
  • Jacqueline Susann (1921; d.1974): popular novelist, who wrote the immensely popular Valley of the Dolls; Arizona-born children's author Sue Alexander (1933)
  • Lionel G. Garcia (1935): Mexican-American novelist, playwright, and short story writer
  • Heather McHugh (1948): California native and poet
  • Kevin Baker (1958): New Jersey-born novelist
  • Deidre Madden (1960): Irish novelist, whose first book, Hidden Symptoms won Ireland's literary award, the Rooney Prize.


  • X.J. Kennedy (1929): New Jersey native and poet, aka Joseph Charles Kennedy
  • Gennady Nikolaevich Aygi (1934; d. 2006): Russian (born Chuvash) poet
  • Mart Crowley (1935): Mississippi-born playwright, best known for his play Boys in the Band
  • Robert Stone (1937): Brooklyn native, whose novel Dog Soldiers (1974) won the National Book Award


  • Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), American short story writer/poet/critic and wit
  • Ray Bradbury (1920-), U.S. Science Fiction Writer
  • E. Annie Proulx (1935): Connecticut-born novelist, short story writer, and how-to writer
  • Colm Tóibín (1955): Dublin-born novelist


  • Blei, Norbert (1935): essayist and poet, Chicago-born
  • Cunningham, J. V. (1911): Maryland poet
  • Geikie, James (1839–1915): Scottish geologist
  • Henley, William Ernest (1849; d.1903): English poet, critic, and editor, famous for the poem "Invictus" (in Book of Verses, 1888)
  • Irwin, Robert (1946): British novelist, author of the comic novel, The Limits of Vision (1986), in which a London housewife holds imaginary conversations with Da Vinci, Dickens, and Darwin, on the subject of dust balls and dirt
  • Masters, Edgar Lee (1869): Kansan poet, playwright and novelist, author of Spoon River Anthology
  • Russell, Willy (1947): English playwright, who wrote Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita, among others
  • Thon, Melanie Rae (1957): novelist and short story writer from Montana


  • Beerbohm, Sir Max (1872; d.1956): English essayist, novelist, caricaturist, critic, and wit, born London of Lithuanian parents
  • Borges, Jorge Luis (Aug. 24, 1899 - June 14, 1986): Argentine fiction writer and essayist
  • Cowley, Malcolm (1898): U.S. literary critic, historian, editor, poet and essayist
  • Drabble, Antonia Susan (1936): British novelist A.S. Byatt born , who won Britain's Booker Prize in 1991
  • Hal G. Evarts (1887-1934), American writer
  • Garvice, Charles (1850 - 1 March 1920): British romance writer
  • Herrick, Robert (1591): English poet
  • Rhys, Jean (1890): West Indian writer aka Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams
  • Williams, Mason (1938): U.S. poet, scriptwriter, and Smothers Brothers show comedy writer (and the composer of "Classical Gas")


  • Bret Harte (1839; d.1902): New York-born journalist, editor and poet, born Francis Brett Hart, whose tales and ballads are noted for their humour and Western color
  • Brian Moore (1921): Irish novelist
  • Charles Wright (1935): Tennessee-born poet, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection Black Zodiac
  • Charles Ghigna aka Father Goose (1946): poet and children's author


  • Sir John Buchan (1875): Scottish writer
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880): French poet and movie critic (born in Rome)
  • Earl Biggers (1884): creator of Charlie Chan, Ohio-born
  • Jules Romains (1885): French novelist/dramatist/poet
  • Christopher Isherwood (1904): English novelist and playwright
  • Julio Cortázar (1914): Argentine novelist and poet, born Brussels,
  • Elizabeth Brewster (1922): prolific Canadian novelist, short-story writer, and poet, born in New Brunswick
  • Barbara Ehrenreich (1941): Montana-born political journalist, essayist, historian


  • Confucius (551 BC) aka K'ung-fu-tzu: Chinese philosopher and writer (born in Lu), who wrote the Analects (Lun Yu) and other Chinese classics
  • Theodore Dreiser (1871; d.1945): American novelist and newspaper writer (born Indiana), who wrote Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925), considered his finest novel
  • C.S. Forester (1899): Horatio Hornblower creator
  • Ira Levin (1929): novelist
  • Antonia Fraser (1932): mystery writer, historian, and biographer
  • William Least Heat Moon (1939): born in Kansas City as William Lewis Trogdon, author of Blue Highways and other books about place;


  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749; d.1832): German dramatist, poet, and novelist, and author of "Faust," (1770 and 1831)
  • Leo Tolstoy (1828): Russian author, wrote War and Peace, Anna Karenina, others
  • Bruno Bettelheim (1903; d.1990): U.S. sociologist and writer
  • Sir John Betjeman (1906): British poet
  • Janet Frame (1924): New Zealand novelist
  • Rita Dove (1952): Ohio native and poet, winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize


  • Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809; d.1894): Massachusetts physician, essayist, poet, and novelist, whose poem "Old Ironsides" (1830) is responsible for saving the historic ship Constitution, and who co-founded the Atlantic Monthly magazine
  • Anna Ella Carroll (1815): Maryland-born writer, propagandist, and author of Lincoln's "War Powers of the President"
  • Maurice Maeterlinck (1862): Belgian poet and Nobel Prize winner Count
  • Valery Nicolas Larbaud (1881): French novelist and translator
  • Preston Sturges (1898): Chicago-born screenwriter, director and playwright
  • Thom Gunn (1929): English poet
  • Sue Harrison (1950): Michigan-born novelist, who's written a Native American trilogy


  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797): English writer and Frankenstein creator
  • Elizabeth Longford (1906): British biographer


  • (Pierre Jules) Théophile Gautier (1811; d.1872): French romantic poet, novelist, critic, and travel book writer
  • DuBose Heyward (1885): Novelist and author of Porgy, on which "Porgy and Bess" was based
  • William Shawn (1907): born in Chicago and one of the great editors of the The New Yorker (1952-1987)
  • William Saroyan (1908): U.S. novelist and playwright