Flora Nwapa Flora Nwapa has been called the mother of Nigerian writing, and she was the first African woman novelist to be published in English in Britain. She is best known for recreating the life and customs of the Igbo from a woman's viewpoint. She also worked with orphans and refugees who were displaced after … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Flora Nwapa
Jane Porter Jane Porter is known as one of the earliest historical novelists. She is best known for The Scottish Chiefs, about William Wallace, which is still popular with British children, and her work was highly regarded by Walter Scott. Porter was born in Durham, England, but after her father's death, the family moved to … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Jane Porter
Statue of Sun Tzu Probably the most interesting thing about Sun Tzu is that it is not even known whether he actually existed. Although he is famous for having written The Art of War, in recent years, some historians have begun to wonder if he wasn't a made-up descriptor. That is because he isn't mentioned … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Sun Tzu
Dorothy B. Hughes I decided to write about Dorothy B. Hughes after reading her noir suspense novel In a Lonely Place. It is an excellent, dark novel that was made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart in 1950, in which unfortunately they changed the ending. Sadly, Hughes's life wasn't as exciting as her novels. She … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Dorothy B. Hughes
Kamala Markayanda One of the difficulties I've found with trying to introduce more female writers from cultures other than European is that once I've identified some of them, I can't find out anything about them. A classic example is Kamala Markandaya, who is cited as one of the best-known Indian authors. Yet, on all the … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Kamala Markandaya
Dante Alighieri A 13th and 14th century poet and philosopher, Dante Alighieri is, of course, known for his famous poem The Divine Comedy. His literary achievements go further than that, though, for before his time, poetry in Italy was written in Latin. His writings were in the vernacular Italian, making them accessible to more than … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Dante Alighieri
Maria Edgeworth Maria Edgeworth was an 18th and early 19th century Anglo-Irish writer who wrote novels of Irish life and also was the first realistic writer of children's books. She was considered a significant figure in the evolution of European fiction. Edgeworth was born in England and lived there until she was fifteen, when her … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Maria Edgeworth
Tove DitlevsenA writer in many genres, including poetry, Tove Ditlevsen was one of Denmark's most famous authors at the time of her death. Ditlevsen was born in a working class area of Copenhagen. She led a difficult life, and her work often reflects the loneliness of living in the poorer regions of the city. Not … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Tove Ditlevsen
Franz KafkaFranz Kafka is identified as a German-speaking Bohemian writer because he was born and lived in Prague, now part of the Czech Republic but then the capital of Bohemia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He is considered one of the major figures of 20th century literature, writing works that combined realism and fantasy, surrealism and … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Franz Kafka
Ida M. TarbellI haven't written many Classic Author Focus posts about nonfiction writers yet, but I thought it would be interesting to write about Ida Tarbell, who was a ground-breaking investigative journalist. She was the author of many muck-raking articles and books and is particularly famous for an exposé about the Standard Oil Company and … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Ida Tarbell
I don't think we hear much about George Sand anymore, but she was one of the most popular novelists of her time, more renowned than her peers Victor Hugo or Honoré de Balzac, and her popularity never flagged during her lifetime. She was one of the most notable writers of the Romantic period, which emphasized … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: George Sand
Naguib Mafouz was a prolific Egyptian writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He wrote 34 novels, more than 350 short stories, movie scripts, and hundreds of op-ed newspaper columns. Many of his works have been made into films. Mafouz was the youngest child of a Muslim family in Cairo that was so strict … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Naguib Mafouz
Last month's discussion about what a classic book was very interesting and provoked a lot of response, I thought, so I figured I would suggest another topic, this one much more subjective. When you read classic literature, what's your preference, or will you read anything? Do you prefer the "literary" authors, like Dickens, Hugo, Austen, … Continue reading Monthly Meme: What Kinds of Classic Books Do You Prefer?
Christa WolfChrista Wolf was a literary critic, novelist, and essayist who was born into a pro-Nazi family in an area of Germany that now belongs to Poland, Gorzów Wielkopolski. After World War II, being German, they crossed into Germany, and ended up living in East Germany. After university, while working as an editor for two … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Christa Wolf
I know that the Classics Club has addressed this topic before, but it's one that I've struggled with, first when I made up my first list, and more recently as I post our club reviews. That activity more than any other has convinced me that members must have different definitions of a classic. I began … Continue reading Monthly Meme: A Topic Revisited: What Makes a Classic?
Amrita PritamWith over 100 books of poetry, fiction, biography, and essays, Amrita Pritam is beloved on both sides of the India-Pakistan border. She is considered the first major woman Punjabi poet and wrote in both Punjabi and Hindi. Born in the Punjab to a father who was schoolteacher and a preacher of the Sikh faith … Continue reading Classic Author Focus: Amrita Pritam