Authors' Birthdays/January

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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 31st


Sorted by Year born.

1st

  • Kristijonas Donelaitis (1714 - 1780): Lithuanian poet
  • Maria Edgeworth (1767 - 1849): Anglo-Irish novelist (born Oxfordshire), whose work, including Castle Rackrent (1800) and Ormond (1817) presented lively tales of Irish life
  • Arthur Hugh Clough (1819 - 1861): English poet, whose first and best-known poem was The Bothie of Toberna-Vuolich
  • Sir James [George] Frazer (1854 - 1941): Scottish classicist and anthropologist, who wrote The Golden Bough, 2 vols. 1890/12 vols. 1911-15)
  • Mariano Azuela (1873 - 1952): Mexican novelist
  • E[dward] *M[organ] Forster (1879 - 1970): English novelist and Ivory-Merchant film muse, whose novels, including A Room with a View (1908), Howard's End (1910), and A Passage to India (1924), pit honest emotion against the acceptable conventions of society
  • J[erome] D[avid] Salinger (1919): NYC-born recluse, best known for The Catcher in the Rye
  • Barbara Williams (1925)
  • Jean Ure (1943): British children's book author
  • Marilyn Hirsh (1944)

2nd

  • Philip Morin Freneau (1752 - 1832): American poet and political gazette editor (born NYC of French Huguenot family), the first poet to use themes from American nature, anticipating the English romantics
  • Robert Nathan (1894 - 1985): NYC poet and novelist, wrote Portrait of Jennie (1940)
  • William Scott (1914): Wisconsin-born novelist and poet
  • John Hope Franklin (1915): Oklahoma native, African American historian, biographer, and essayist, whose From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans (1947) is still considered the standard text on African American history
  • Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992): Russian-born scientist and sci-fi writer
  • Crosby Bonsall (1921 - 1995)
  • Jan[ice] Slepian (1921): NYC-born writer of young adult novels
  • Jean Little (1932)
  • Leonard Michaels (1933): NYC-born novelist, and short story writer
  • Alma Flor Ada (1938)
  • Leonard B. Scott (1948): German-born novelist

3rd

  • [Marcus Tullius] Cicero (106 B.C. - 43 B.C.): Roman author, essayist, and poet
  • Douglas William Jerrold (1803 - 1857): London author and playwright
  • James Bridie (1888 - 1951): Scottish dramatist
  • J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel] Tolkien (1892 - 1973): South African fantasy writer
  • Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (1893 - 1945): French novelist and essayist
  • Carolyn Haywood (1898 - 1990)
  • Morten Nielsen (1922 - 1944): short-lived Danish poet and resistance fighter
  • Joan Walsh Anglund (1926)
  • Patricial Lee Gauch (1934)
  • J. Otto Seibold (1960)
  • Chris K. Soentpiet (1970)

4th

  • Jakob Ludwig Carl Grimm (1785–1863): German librarian and philologist, and, with his brother Wilhelm, collector of Grimm's fairy tales (1812–1815)
  • Marsden Hartley (1877–1943): Maine native, painter and writer
  • A[lfred] E[dgar] Coppard (1878): English poet and short story writer
  • Phylllis Reynolds Naylor (1933)
  • Fernando Krahn (1935)
  • Robert Burleigh (1936)
  • Etienne Delessert (1941)

5th

  • Count Miklos Zrinyi (1620): Hungarian poet
  • Khristo Botev (1848 – 1876): short-lived Bulgarian poet and revolutionary
  • Friedrich Durrenmatt (1921): Swiss playwright and novelist
  • Celestino Piatti (1922)
  • W[illiam] D[e Witt] Snodgrass (1926): won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959
  • Umberto Eco (1932): Italian novelist and critic
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1938) aka James T. Nguhi: Kenyan novelist, dramatist, and critic; a significant East African writer
  • Lynn Cherry (1952)
  • Carol Purdy (1943)
  • Betsy Maestro (1944)

6th

  • Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1967)
  • Khalil Gibran (1883 – 1931): Lebanese mystic poet (birthdates also listed as Dec. 6 and April 10)
  • Tomas Gudmundsson (1901): Icelandic poet
  • Benedict Wallet Vilakazi (1906): South African Zulu poet, novelist, and educator
  • Wright Morris (1910 – 1998): Nebraska-born novelist, short story writer, and photographer, who wrote Love Among Cannibals
  • Alan Watts (1915 – 1973): English writer and interpreter of Zen Buddhism
  • Vera Cleaver (1919 – 1993)
  • E[dgar] L[awrence] Doctorow (1931): NYC novelist, authored Ragtime
  • Don Bolognese (1934)
  • Linda Williams (1948)

7th

  • James Harrington (1611): English political author, wrote The Commonwealth of Oceana
  • Charles Peguy (1873 – 1914): French Roman Catholic socialist writer and poet, authored essay "Sinners and Saints"
  • Zora Neale Hurston (1891 - 1960), Harlem Renaissance folklorist and author, best known for novel Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Eleanor Clymer (1906 - 2001)
  • Ethel Kessler (1922)
  • Gerald Malcolm Durrell (1925 – 1995): British zoologist and writer; brother of Lawrence Durrell
  • Rosekrans Hoffman (1926)
  • William Peter Blatty (1928), NYC-born author of The Exorcist
  • Kay Chorao (1937)
  • Minfong Ho (1951)

8th

  • Wilkie [William] Collins (1824 – 1889): Scottish novelist; most popular works are a mystery, The Woman in White (1860), and The Moonstone (1868), forerunner of the modern detective novel
  • [Margaret] Storm Jameson (1891): English novelist
  • Lee J. Ames (1921)
  • Sembene Ousmane (1923): Senegalese novelist and screenwriter, renowned for his films and novels addressing social wrongs in post-colonial Africa
  • Stephen [William] Hawking (1942): English physicist and author, whose 1988 A Brief History of Time: From Big Bang to Black Holes was a bestseller
  • Nancy Bond (1945)
  • Stephen Manes (1949)
  • Floyd Cooper (1956)
  • Marjorie Priceman (1958-)

9th

  • Thomas Warton (1728): English poet and author of the first history of English poetry
  • Thomas William Robertson (1829): English comedic playwright
  • Henry B[lake] Fuller (1857): Chicago realistic novelist
  • Giovanni Papini (1881-1956), Italian writer
  • Karel Capek (1890): Czech novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and essayist, authored the play "R.U.R."
  • Simone de Beauvoir (1908): French writer
  • Clyde Robert Bulla (1914)

10th

  • Aubrey Thomas Hunt de Vere (1814): Irish poet, critic, and essayist
  • John Robinson Jeffers (1887 – 20 Jan 1962): American poet, known for his work about the central California coast
  • Philip Levine (1928): Detroit-born poet
  • Remy Charlip (1929)
  • Mary Peace Finley (1942)
  • Lloyd Bloom (1947)

11th

  • William James (1842): NYC native, philosopher, psychologist, and older brother of novelist Henry James; penned The Principles of Psychology (1890)
  • Alice Caldwell Hegan Rice (1870): Kentucky-born novelist; wrote the bestselling Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1901)
  • Bernard Augustine De Voto (1897): Utah-born novelist, historian, critic, known for works on Mark Twain and histories of the U.S. west
  • Alan Paton (1903), South African writer, authored Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Manfred B. Lee (1905), co-creator, with his cousin Frederic Dunnay, of Ellery Queen
  • Helen Howe (1905): American performer and novelist; born Boston
  • Robert C. O'Brien (1918–1973)
  • Ann Tompert (1918)
  • Berniece Rabe (1928)
  • Mary Rodgers (1931)
  • Steven Otfinoski (1949-)

12th

  • Andreas Alicati (1492): Italian author
  • Charles Perrault (1628-1703): French lawyer and writer of Mother Goose tales, such as "Puss in Boots" and "Little Red Riding Hood"
  • Edmund Burke (1729): Irish politician, orator, philosopher, author of many political pamphlets and essays
  • Laura Adams Armer (1874–1963)
  • Jack London (1876–1916): San Francisco writer and socialist
  • Clement Hurd (1908–1988)
  • Margaret Danner (1915): Kentucky-born African-American poet; many of whose poems focus on Africa, which she visited in 1966
  • Margaret Rostkowski (1945)
  • William Munoz (1949)
  • Haruki Murakami (1949): Japanese novelist (born Kyoto); wrote Hear the Wind Sing and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, among others
  • Walter Mosley (1952): Los Angeles-born detective writer

13th

  • Eduard von Bauernfeld (1802), Viennese comedic playwright
  • Massachusetts-born rags-to-riches author Horatio Alger Jr (1834)
  • David Wiseman (1916)
  • N. M. Bodecker (1922)
  • New Jersey native Carolyn Heilbrun (1926), aka Amanda Cross, non-fiction author and mystery writer
  • British children's writer and Paddington Bear creator [Thomas] Michael Bond (1926);
  • Nigerian novelist and short story writer Flora Nwapa (1931–1993), one of the first African women to publish in English
  • California-born mystery and sci-fi writer Ron[ald Joseph] Goulart (1933)
  • Bright Lights, Big City author Jay McInerney (1955)

14th

  • Zacharias Topelius (1818–1898), Finnish historic novelist
  • French writer Pierre Loti (1850; site in German)
  • Dr. Dolittle-creator Hugh Lofting (1886-1947), born Berkshire, England
  • Thornton Waldo Burgess (1874-1965), children's writer
  • Chicago-born novelist John dos Passos (1896–1970), whose first novel was One Man's Initiation (1917) but who is best known for his U.S.A. trilogy (1930–1936)
  • St. Louis native, author and New Yorker essayist Emily Hahn (1905)
  • Nebraska-born novelist and non-fiction writer Tillie Olsen (1913)
  • African American publisher, editor, and poet, and the first Poet Laureate of Detroit, Dudley [Felker] Randall (1914), whose Broadside Press provided a forum for unknown black writers
  • Georgia native, novelist, essayist, playwright, and co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild John Oliver Killens (1916–1987)
  • Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima (1925)
  • American sci-fi/horror novelist and actor Thomas Tryon (1926)
  • Washington, D.C.-born novelist and short story writer Mary Robison (1949)
  • Patricia Rhoads Mauser (1943)
  • H. W. Van Loon (1882–1944)

15th

  • Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere (baptised on this date, 1622), French satirical dramatist
  • gloomy Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872), who perpetuated the German classic and romantic traditions and influenced later playwrights Hauptmann and Maeterlinck
  • Russian novelist and satirist Mikhail Evgrafovich Yevgrafovich] Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826; birthdate is 27 Jan. in new calendar)
  • Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu (1850)
  • Warsaw-born poet Osip Mandelstam (1891; poem "Ill Day")
  • Louisiana-born novelist Ernest J. Gaines (1933), who wrote The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, among other novels
  • NYC native, writer Frank Conroy (1936)
  • Peter J. Asbjornson (1812–1885)
  • Satomi Ichikawa (1949)

16th

  • Canadian poet Robert W. Service (1874)
  • Ukranian novelist and playwright Valentin Katayev (1897; birthdate is 28 Jan. in new calendar)
  • author and editor Norman Podhoretz (1930)
  • Andrew Glass
  • Robert Lipsyte (1938)

17th

  • Spanish poet and dramatist Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600–1681;), known for plays including the fantasy, "La Vida es sueno" (Life is a dream) and "El Magico prodigioso" (The Wonderful Magician), based on the life of St. Cyrian;
  • Boston-born Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), American statesman, philosopher, scientist, printer, writer, whose Autobiography, published 1867, reveals him to be imbued with genius and with the American spirit of idealism, practicality, and optimism
  • American novelist and editor (born and died in Philadelphia), Charles Brockden Brown (1771–1810), "Father of the American novel" (Gothic novel Wieland; or the Transformation, 1798)
  • English novelist Anne Bronte (1820–1849), aka Acton Bell
  • Anton Chekhov (1860; birthdate is 29 Jan. in new calendar–1904), Russian playwright and short-story writer, one of the great exponents of Russian realism
  • Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972), British writer
  • London novelist Ronald Firbank (1886)
  • British-born Australian novelist Nevil Shute [Norway] (1899)
  • John Bellairs (1938)
  • Robert Cormier (1925-2000)
  • Janet Stevens (1953)

18th

  • British thesaurus developer and physician Peter Mark Roget (1779)
  • English poet, critic, and biographer [Henry] Austin Dobson (1840; poem "In After Days")
  • Ruben Dario (1867), born Felix Ruben Garcia-Sarmiento, Nicaraguan poet and short-story writer (page in Spanish)
  • Winnie-the-Pooh creator and mathematician A[lan] A[lexander] Milne (1882–1956);
  • Spanish poet and critic Jorge Guillen (1893)
  • William Sansom (1912), British writer of novels, short stories, and travel books
  • Catherine Anholt (1958)
  • Raymond Briggs (1934)
  • Arthur Ransome (1884–1967)
  • Alan Schroeder (1961)

19th

  • French writer Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737; Studies of Nature)
  • Boston-born horror story writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809; "The Raven")
  • Alexander Woolcott (1887), NJ short-story writer and critic, and member of the famed Algonquin Round Table
  • Texas-born mystery writer Patricia Highsmith née Mary Patricia Plangman (1921);
  • Scottish/British poet George Mann MacBeth (1932–1992)
  • English writer Julian Barnes (1946)
  • Nina Bawden (1925)
  • Susan Dodson (1941)
  • Pat Mora (1942)
  • Edgar Allen Poe (1809–1849)

20th

  • Maine native Nathaniel P. Willis (1806–1867), writer and editor of American Monthly Magazine
  • English writer Richard Le Gallienne (1866–1947)
  • Johannes V. Jensen (1873–1950), Danish novelist, poet, essayist, and 1944 Nobel Prize winner
  • Abram Hill (1910), American playwright, wrote "On Striver's Row"
  • Joy Adamson (1910–1980), naturalist, friend of lions, and writer of the Born Free books
  • Japanese writer Sawako Ariyoshi (1931), wrote The Doctor's Wife
  • Mary Anderson (1939)
  • Tedd Arnold (1949)

21st

  • Icelandic poet, novelist, playwright, and librarian David Stefansson (1895)
  • Richard P. Blackmur (1904–1965), Massachusetts poet and critic
  • Carol Beach York (1928)
  • Huck Scarry (1953)

22nd

  • Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626), English essayist, philosopher, historian, and statesman
  • German critic and dramatist Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781)
  • Rene Charles Guilbert de Pixerecourt (1773), prolific French dramatist
  • George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale (1788–1824), aka Lord Byron, English romantic poet
  • August Strindberg (1849–1912), Swedish dramatist and novelist
  • poet, playwright, and long-time New Yorker poetry editor Howard Moss (1922–1987), who wrote the satirical and epigrammic Instant Lives (1974)
  • Sheila Gordon (1927)
  • Blair Lent (1930)
  • Brian Wildsmith (1930)
  • Pittsburgh-born crime writer Joseph Wambaugh (1937)
  • Rafe Martin (1946)

23rd

  • French writer [Marie-Henri Beyle] Stendhal (1783–1842)
  • NYC-born experimental poet Louis Zukofsky (1904–1978)
  • Thomas B. Allen (1928)
  • West Indies-born (St. Lucia) poet and playwright Derek [Alton] Walcott (1930), who won the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Katharine Holabird (1948)
  • Susan Mathias Smith (1950)

24th

  • British comedic playwright and poet of the Restoration Age William Congreve (1670–1729), who wrote The Way of the World (1700)
  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732–1799), French dramatist who authored "The Marriage of Figaro," "The Barber of Seville"
  • NYC-born novelist Edith Wharton (1862–1937), who won the 1920 Pulitzer Prize
  • Swedish author and poet Sigfrid Siwertz (1882-1970)
  • British zoologist, author, and artist Desmond [John] Morris (1928), who wrote The Naked Ape (1967) and The Human Zoo (1969), among over 50 books
  • John Beatty (1922)

25th

  • Scotland's national poet Robert Burns (1759–1796)
  • W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, English novelist and poet (1874–1965), wrote Of Human Bondage
  • English modernist novelist and Bloomsbury member Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)
  • NYC-born novelist Gloria Naylor (1950), whose novel The Women of Brewster Place (1982) won the American Book Award for best first fiction
  • Debbi Chocolate (1954)
  • James Flora (1914)
  • Roy Gerrard (1935)
  • Nicki Weiss (1954)
  • Hilma Wolitzer (1930)

26th

  • Marie Joseph Sue (1804–1857), aka Eugene Sue, French novelist;
  • Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905), NYC writer of Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates
  • NYC cartoonist and author Jules Feiffer (1929)
  • Alabama-born political activist, essayist, and autobiographer Angela Yvonne Davis (1944)
  • playwright Christopher Hampton (1946), born on Fayal Island in the Azores, whose adaptation of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses won him an Oscar in 1988
  • Charles Mikolaycak (1937)
  • Ashley Wolff (1956)

27th

  • Russian novelist and satirist Mikhail Evgrafovich [Yevgrafovich] Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826–1889; birthdate is 15 Jan. in old calendar)
  • Lewis Carroll (1832–1898), born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, English poet and author of children's books, including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865);
  • NYC native, songwriter and composer Jerome Kern (1885–1945)
  • Ukranian writer Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967)
  • Montreal-born novelist, journalist, and scriptwriter Mordecai Richler (1931–2001)
  • English novelist D[onald] M[ichael] Thomas (1935)
  • Missouri-born musician, political activist, folklorist, educator, novelist, and children's author Julius [Bernard] Lester (1939)
  • Harry Allard (1928)
  • Susan Guevara (1956)
  • Jean Merrill (1923)
  • Janice VanCleave (1942)

28th

  • Japanese novelist, essayist, and haiku poet Ozaki Koyo (1869);
  • French novelist [Sidonie-Gabrielle Claudine] Colette (1873–1954), France's foremost female writer in her time
  • Ukranian novelist and playwright Valentin Katayev (1897–1986; birthdate is 16 Jan. in old calendar)
  • NYC author and film director Susan Sontag (1933; note that the New York Times says she was born 16 Jan 1933)
  • English novelist David Lodge (1935)
  • Ann Jonas (1932)
  • Vera B. Williams (1927)

29th

  • Political essayist Thomas Paine (1737–1809);
  • Anton Chekhov (1860; birthdate is 17 Jan. in old calendar), Russian playwright
  • French writer and 1915 Nobel winner Romain Rolland (1866–1945)
  • Spanish (Valencian) novelist Vicente Blasco Ibanez (1867–1928);
  • Edward Abbey (1927), environmentalist U.S. writer
  • Sylvia Cassedy (1930–1989)
  • Christopher Collier (1930)
  • Bill Peet (1915-2002)
  • Rosemary Wells (1943)

30th

  • English politician and writer of restoration comedies, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (1628–1687)
  • English critic and writer Walter S[avage] Landor (1775–1864), known for his hot temper and his reverence for classical writers
  • Boston-born nonsense poet Gelett Burgess (1866)
  • Saul David Alinsky (1909–1972), Chicago writer, who wrote Reveille for Radicals
  • NYC-born historian and popular history writer Barbara [Wertheim] Tuchman (1912–1989), winner of two Pulitzer prizes
  • Shirley Hazzard (1931), Australian/American novelist and short story writer
  • Richard Brautigan (1935–1984), Washington-born Beat poet and novelist, who wrote Trout Fishing in America (1967)
  • Kentucky-born novelist Michael Dorris (1945–1997), who wrote A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987), among other books
  • Lloyd Alexander (1924)
  • Allan W. Eckert (1931)
  • Tony Johnston (1942)

31st

  • French-American essayist J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur (1735–1813), born Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur, famous for Letters from an American Farmer (1782), drawing on his experience as a farmer in Orange County, N.Y.
  • Ohio-born American western writer Zane Grey (1872-1939)
  • Pennsylvania novelist and short-story writer John O'Hara (1905-1970)
  • French-born American Trappist monk, essayist, and poet Thomas Merton (1915), who wrote—among many other works of autobiography and non-fiction—the memoir The Seven Storey Mountain (1948)
  • New Jersey-born novelist Norman Mailer (1923)
  • Japanese novelist and 1994 Nobelist Oe Kenzaburo (1935)
  • Gerald McDermott (1941)
  • Denise Fleming (1950)