André Aciman (born January 2, 1951) - Italian-Egyptian-American memoirist, professor of literature - Out of Egypt: A Memoir (1995)
Read an excerpt from "Monsieur Kalashnikov" by André Aciman
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (born January 2, 1873) French Roman Catholic nun - L'Histoire d'une Âme (The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)
Isaac Asimov (born January 2, 1920) - Russian-American science fiction writer - Foundation (1951)
Lynda Barry (born January 2, 1956) - U.S. cartoonist, writer
Watch this excellent 1 minute biography of Lynda Barry: here
Read an interview with Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry: When I work on a book, I usually start with a question. ...for Picture This, the question I had was “Why do we start drawing, and why do we stop? And why do we start up again?”
I was at a conference here in Chicago a couple years ago, the Cusp Conference, and there were all these designers, these really fancy designers who had done the interior of like the Chevy Volt, or they had designed the Segway… just these fancy, fancy designers. We’re having drinks. I always set up my little gear, my rig. And I usually just start painting. And if I do that, people come over and talk to me. And then I’ll hand them a brush. I’m interested in being able to teach painting someday. But the only way I could teach it is to watch how people naturally take the brush, and what they naturally want to do.
The designers were all freaked out. I’d hand one the brush. They go “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Mary, you do it!” “No! Hey, come on, Bruce!” “No, no, no!” I thought “This is sort of interesting. What I could do to get them to try it?”
And I made up this game. The game is actually in Picture This. You draw a square and divide that in half, and then you divide that in quarters, and you keep going to see how close you could get. But if the lines touch, you get electrocuted.
As soon as I said that, they wanted to do it. So I thought “What just happened? What changed this from ‘I can’t touch this brush in front of other people’ to ‘If I’m going to get electrocuted, I absolutely will do it’?”
So my theory was, here were these designers all looking at this blank piece of paper, and each one was going to have to make a thing to show that they really were as good as their reputations. As soon as that was removed and we made the paper a place, for this game, we were ready to play.
Visit Lynda Barry's teaching blog The Nearsighted Monkey
Kate (Kathryn) Holmquist (born January 2, 1957) - U.S./Irish journalist, novelist, memoirist