Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer and feminist. She is popular for writing novels, such as Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. She is credited with popularizing African literature among a new generation of readers, especially in the United States. In 2015, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People.
Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian poet, novelist, professor, and critic. Often described as Africa's greatest storyteller, Achebe is widely regarded as the father of modern African writing. He was the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Man Booker International Prize 2007. His novel Things Fall Apart is one of the most read books in Africa.
Claude McKay was a poet who played an influential role in the Harlem Renaissance. Remembered for his work If We Must Die, a poem written in response to mob attacks on African-American communities by white Americans, McKay was named the national poet of Jamaica in 1977. For his contribution to literature, he was posthumously honored with the Order of Jamaica.
Keorapetse Kgositsile was a South African Tswana journalist, poet, and political activist. During the 1960s and 1970s, Kgositsile played an important role in the development of the African National Congress. Keorapetse Kgositsile helped bridge the gap between black poetry in the United States of America and African poetry. He was inaugurated as the nation's National Poet Laureate in 2006.
Distinguished Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri OBE FRSL is counted among the leading African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions. His 1991 novel The Famished Road led him to become the youngest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Other notable works of Okri includes A Way of Being Free, A Time for New Dreams and Starbook.
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was a Brazilian novelist, playwright, poet, and short-story writer. Hailing from a family of freed slaves, he had a difficult childhood that he overcame to become a famous writer. He founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters and became the organization’s first president. He is credited with having shaped the realism movement in Brazil.
Rui de Noronha was a Mozambican poet best remembered as the forefather of modern Mozambican poetry. His dream of publishing a book of poems was never realized during his lifetime as he died at the age of 34. However, Dr. Domingos Reis Costa collected and revised 60 of his poems and published a posthumous edition titled Sonetos in 1946.
David Diop was a French West-African poet best remembered for his role in the Négritude literary movement. Diop's poems, which have been featured in popular magazines like Présence Africaine, are viewed as a criticism of colonialism. David Diop, who worked for the independence of Africa, died at the age of 33 in an air crash.