Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) is one of the most important and influential fiction writers of the early 20th century; a novelist and writer of short stories whose works, only after his death, came to be regarded as one of the major achievements of 20th century literature. He was born to middle-class German-speaking Jewish parents in Prague, Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Gabriel José de la Concordia "Gabo" García Márquez (born March 6,1927) is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. García Márquez, affectionately known as "Gabo" throughout Latin America, is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism.
Italo Calvino (15 October 1923 – 19 September 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter's night a traveler (1979). Lionised in Britain and America, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer at the time of his death, and a noted contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (November 21, 1902 – July 24, 1991) was a Polish-born Jewish American author noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1978.
William Robertson Davies, CC, O. Ont, FRSC, FRSL (born August 28, 1913, at Thamesville, Ontario, and died December 2, 1995 at Orangeville, Ontario) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best-known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is variously said to have gladly accepted for himself and to have detested.
Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, KBE (born 19 June 1947) is a British-Indian novelist and essayist. He achieved notability with his second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), which won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.
Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov was a Soviet Russian novelist and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which The Times of London has called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931) is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved.
José de Sousa Saramago, (born 16 November 1922) is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998. He founded the National Front for the Defense of Culture (Lisbon, 1992) with Freitas-Magalhães among others. He currently lives on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain.
Günter Wilhelm Grass (born 16 October 1927) is a Nobel Prize-winning German author and playwright. He was born in the Free City of Danzig. In 1945, he came as a refugee to West Germany, but in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood. He is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum, a key text in European magic realism and the first part of his Danzig Trilogy.
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (31 March 1809, – 4 March 1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian novelist, humorist, and dramatist. He is considered the father of modern Russian realism. His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were heavily influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing and identity. His more mature writing satirised the corrupt bureaucracy of the Russian Empire, leading to his exile. On his return, he immersed himself in the Orthodox Church.
Magic realism, or magical realism, is an aesthetic style in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting. It has been widely used in relation to literature, art, and film. As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Matthew Strecher has defined magic realism as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something 'too strange to believe'.
Isabel Allende Llona (born 2 August 1942) is a Chilean writer. Allende, whose works sometimes contain aspects of the "magic realist" tradition, is one of the best-known women writers in Latin America. She is largely famous for novels such as The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus) (1982) and City of the Beasts (La ciudad de las bestias) (2002), which have been commercially very successful. Allende has been described as "the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author.
Joanne Michèle Sylvie Harris is a British author. Born to a French mother and an English father in her grandparents' sweet shop, her family life was filled with food and folklore. Her great-grandmother was a known witch and healer. All of this was an environment that would play a key role as an adult in the development of her novels. She was educated at Wakefield Girls High School, Barnsley Sixth Form College, and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where she read Modern and Medieval Languages.
Janet Paterson Frame, ONZ, CBE (28 August 1924 - 29 January 2004) was a New Zealand writer. She published eleven novels in her lifetime, together with four collections of short stories, a book of poetry, an edition of juvenile fiction, and three volumes of autobiography. Since her death, a twelfth novel, a second volume of poetry, and a handful of previously unpublished short stories have been posthumously released.
Kōbō Abe, pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe (Abe Kimifusa, March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993) was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor. His name is romanized as Kobo Abe in Vintage International's English-language editions of his book, while Columbia University Press offers Three Plays by Kōbō Abe.
Adolfo Bioy Casares (September 15, 1914 – March 8, 1999) was an Argentine fiction writer. Bioy Casares was born in Buenos Aires, the grandson of a wealthy landowner and dairy processor, and the descendant of Patrick Lynch, a successful Irish emigrant. He wrote his first story ("Iris y Margarita") at the age of 11. He was a friend and frequent collaborator of Jorge Luis Borges and wrote many stories with him under the pseudonym of H. Bustos Domecq.
Haruki Murakami (村上春樹, Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer and translator. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered him critical acclaim, and he is the sixth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize for his novel Kafka on the Shore. He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature, and The Guardian praised him as one of the "world's greatest living novelists."
Juan Rulfo (16 May 1917/1918 – 7 January 1986) was a Mexican author and photographer. One of Latin America's most esteemed authors, Rulfo's reputation rests on two slim books, the novel Pedro Páramo (1955), and El Llano en llamas (1953,15 of the 17 short stories translated into English The Burning Plain and Other Stories), a collection of short stories that includes his admired tale "¡Diles que no me maten!" ("Tell Them Not to Kill Me!").
Yasunari Kawabata (川端 康成, Kawabata Yasunari, 14 June 1899 – 16 April 1972) was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. His works have enjoyed broad international appeal and are still widely read.
Kenzaburō Ōe (大江 健三郎, Ōe Kenzaburō, born January 31, 1935) is a major figure in contemporary Japanese literature. His works, strongly influenced by French and American literature and literary theory, engage with political, social and philosophical issues including nuclear weapons, social non-conformism and existentialism.
Miguel Ángel Asturias Rosales (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Nobel Prize–winning Guatemalan poet, novelist, and diplomat. Asturias helped establish Latin American literature's contribution to mainstream Western culture, and at the same time drew attention to the importance of indigenous cultures, especially those of his native Guatemala.
Carlos Fuentes Macías (born November 11, 1928) is a Mexican writer and one of the best-known living novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. Fuentes has influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.
Victor Olegovich Pelevin is a Russian fiction writer. His books usually carry the outward conventions of the science fiction genre, but are used to construct involved, multi-layered postmodernist texts, fusing together elements of pop culture and esoteric philosophies. Some critics relate his prose to the New Sincerity and New Realism literary movements.