Marjane Satrapi (Iran)
Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran and is a contemporary French graphic novelist, animated film director, illustrator as well as children’s book author. Her graphic novel, Persepolis is one of the most well-known graphic novels. It is a memoir about a coming-of-age story, telling the story of how she grew up in Iran while it was being torn apart at the time of the Islamic Revolution. She delves into her rebellious phase, her family as well as the lessons she learned throughout her journey. She returned to Iran to study after attending boarding school in France, but after her divorce, she came back to France for good. Some of her other graphic novels include Embroideries and Chicken with Plums. She has also gone into filmmaking and has made some of her books into movies.
Mo Yan (China)
Mo Yan, a Chinese author goes by his pen name, which actually means ‘don’t speak. However, his real name is Guan Moye and he is one of China’s most cherished contemporary authors. He is best known for his historical novels with inspiration for black humor and magical realism. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in literature in 2012. He most well-known novel is Red Sorghum, which covers three generations, tying together the stories of a family in China with their struggles of the times, as well as with one another during the Japanese and Chinese battle. Yan strongly believes that literature is the way to break barriers between countries and nations.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
You have probably heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because of her legendary speech on feminism that was tried out on Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’. Her speech was turned into a successful book and she is one of the most accredited young authors of African literature. Her most recent novel, ‘Americanah’ shows the challenges of a separated young couple and how they handle them. Her novel ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ won the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Isabel Allende (Chile)
Isabel Allende writes about magical realism in South America. She is known to be one the very first South American female authors to be so successful and has actually been referred to as the world’s most widely read Spanish author. The House of the Spirits was her first novel and is highly accredited. She delves into topics such as women and family and adds mythical elements into her stories. She continues to release novels and has been living in the United States since 1989.
Banana Yoshimoto (Japan)
Banana Yoshimoto also uses a pen name for his work and is a rather discrete Japanese author. Her works are simply breathtaking. ‘Kitchen’ was her first novel and was a popular hit. It contains two stories and touches on her two favorite themes, the exhaustion of young Japanese as well as heartbreak. ‘The Lake’ is her most recently translated novel and came partly from the Aum Shinrikyo cult.