b. 1927, Constantine, Algeria; d. 1978, Algeria
novelist and poet
Promoting the notion of an Algerian homeland while concurrently expressing profound unease over cultural identity, novelist and poet Malek Haddad's writings describe the struggles of a generation of writers to create a literature that was truly Algerian. In Sadness in Danger (Le Malheur en Danger) (1956), arguably his most prominent collection of poetry, Haddad's work displays its militancy in its revalorization of Algerian history and celebration of human liberty. The themes expressed in the collection reflect the author's political efforts during the Algerian war and his involvement in the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). Concurrently, however, Haddad's texts betray both a profound despair over the violence of war and a pervasive sense of cultural alienation, manifest at the level of language. For Haddad, the French language could not adequately represent thoughts and concepts that were Arab-Berber in origin. As his fiction and his essay Zeros Turn Round (Les Zéros tournent en Rond) (1961) describe it, the French language became, for Haddad, an emblem of the disjuncture between a nascent Algerian national identity and a rich Arab-Berber cultural history.
b. 1909, Gojjam Province, Ethiopia
Haddis Alemayyehu is Ethiopia's most popular and widely read author, first of all due to three monumental novels published between 1965 and 1985 and set against a historical background: Fiqr iske meqabir (Love unto the Grave), Wenjelennyaw dannya (The Criminal Judge), and Yelm-izyat (Plenty in a Dream, or Pie in the Sky). He went to church and modern schools and trained as a teacher. For his classes he wrote plays, thus becoming one of Ethiopia's earliest playwrights. His anger at Italy's aggression against Ethiopia in the 1930s was expressed in his early writings, and he also joined the patriotic war until captured and sent to Italy as a POW; later he published his war memoirs. After the war, he worked for the government in Addis Ababa, holding important ministerial posts and becoming a senator. He was ambassador to Jerusalem, Washington (where he also studied law), the United Nations in New York (where he made efforts to ban the use of nuclear weapons), and London. After the 1974 revolution, he declined the offer to be president. He valued his