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The Most Famous

WRITERS from Azerbaijan

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This page contains a list of the greatest Azerbaijani Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 5,755 Writers, 25 of which were born in Azerbaijan. This makes Azerbaijan the birth place of the 40th most number of Writers behind Serbia and Latvia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Azerbaijani Writers of all time. This list of famous Azerbaijani Writers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Azerbaijani Writers.

Photo of Nizami Ganjavi

1. Nizami Ganjavi (1141 - 1209)

With an HPI of 71.97, Nizami Ganjavi is the most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 60 different languages on wikipedia.

Nizami Ganjavi (Persian: نظامی گنجوی, romanized: Niẓāmī Ganjavī, lit. 'Niẓāmī of Ganja'; c. 1141–1209), Nizami Ganje'i, Nizami, or Nezāmi, whose formal name was Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī, was a 12th-century Muslim poet. Nezāmi is considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic. His heritage is widely appreciated and shared by Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Iran, the Kurdistan region and Tajikistan.

Photo of Zecharia Sitchin

2. Zecharia Sitchin (1920 - 2010)

With an HPI of 67.59, Zecharia Sitchin is the 2nd most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Zecharia Sitchin (July 11, 1920 – October 9, 2010) was an author of a number of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributed the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he stated was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He asserted that Sumerian mythology suggests that this hypothetical planet of Nibiru is in an elongated, 3,600-year-long elliptical orbit around the Sun. Sitchin's books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages. Sitchin's ideas have been resoundingly rejected by scientists, academics, historians (including Sumerologists, Orientalists and Assyriologists) and anthropologists who dismiss his work as pseudoscience and pseudohistory. His work has been criticized for flawed methodology, ignoring archaeological and historical evidence, and mistranslations of ancient texts as well as for incorrect astronomical and scientific claims.

Photo of Imadaddin Nasimi

3. Imadaddin Nasimi (1369 - 1417)

With an HPI of 66.59, Imadaddin Nasimi is the 3rd most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Seyid Ali Imadaddin Nasimi (Azerbaijani: Seyid Əli İmadəddin Nəsimi, سئید علی عمادالدّین نسیمی; c. 1369/70 – c. 1418/19), commonly known as Nasimi (Nəsimi, نسیمی), was a 14th- and 15th-century Hurufi poet who composed poetry in his native Azerbaijani, as well as Persian and Arabic languages. He is regarded as one of the greatest Turkic poets of his time and one of the most prominent figures in Azerbaijani literature. Born around 1369–70, Nasimi received a good education and was drawn to Sufism at an early age. After becoming a faithful adherent of the Hurufism movement, Nasimi left Azerbaijan to spread Hurufism in Anatolia and later Aleppo following the execution of its founder and Nasimi's teacher, Fazlallah Astarabadi. In Aleppo, he gained followers as a Hurufi sheikh but faced resistance from Sunni circles who eventually convinced the Mamluk sultan to order his death for his religious beliefs around 1418–19. Nasimi was executed and buried in a takkah (Sufi lodge) in Aleppo. His surviving works include two dīvāns (collections of poems) in Azerbaijani and Persian, along with some poems in Arabic. Nasimi's poems mainly centre around Hurufism and contain many references to Islamic texts. His poetry combines harmonious melodies and easily understood expressions with more complex topics related to religion. Nasimi had great influence on Turkic literature and influenced many major future poets such as Habibi, Haqiqi (pen name of Jahan Shah), Khatai (pen name of Ismail I), among others. He is also considered the founder of Azerbaijani classical 'arūz̤ poetry (poetry using quantifying prosody) and ghazal poetry (a form of love poetry), as well as the first lyric poet in Oghuz Turkic classic literature.

Photo of Mirza Fatali Akhundov

4. Mirza Fatali Akhundov (1812 - 1878)

With an HPI of 61.42, Mirza Fatali Akhundov is the 4th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 34 different languages.

Mirza Fatali Akhundov (Azerbaijani: Mirzə Fətəli Axundov; Persian: میرزا فتحعلی آخوندزاده), also known as Mirza Fatali Akhundzade, or Mirza Fath-Ali Akhundzadeh (12 July 1812 – 9 March 1878), was a celebrated Iranian Azerbaijani author, playwright, atheist, philosopher, and founder of Azerbaijani modern literary criticism, "who acquired fame primarily as the writer of European-inspired plays in the Azeri Turkic language".Akhundzade singlehandedly opened a new stage of development of Azerbaijani literature. He was also the founder of the materialism and atheism movement in the Republic of Azerbaijan and one of forerunners of modern Iranian nationalism. He also advocated switching the Azerbaijani writing system from the Perso-Arabic script to the Latin alphabet. According to the historian and political scientist Zaur Gasimov, the entirety of Akhundzadeh's intellectual landscape was "densely entangled with Persian thought". Akhundzadeh defined his kinsmen as Turki, but at the same time considered Iran his fatherland.

Photo of Khaqani

5. Khaqani (1126 - 1199)

With an HPI of 59.57, Khaqani is the 5th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Afzal al-Dīn Badīl ibn ʿAlī ibn ʿOthmān (Persian: افضل‌الدّین بدیل بن علی بن عثمان), commonly known as Khāqānī (Persian: خاقانی, IPA: [xɒːɣɒːˈniː], c. 1120 – c. 1199), was a major Persian poet and prose-writer. He was born in Transcaucasia in the historical region known as Shirvan, where he served as an ode-writer to the Shirvanshahs. His fame most securely rests upon the qasidas collected in his Divān, and his autobiographical travelogue Tohfat al-ʿErāqayn. He is also notable for his exploration of the genre that later became known as habsiyāt ("prison poetry").

Photo of Banine

6. Banine (1905 - 1992)

With an HPI of 56.33, Banine is the 6th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Umm-El-Banine Assadoulaeff (Umm El-Banu Äsâdullayeva; 18 December 1905 – 23 October 1992) was a French writer of Azerbaijani descent who wrote under the penname of Banine.

Photo of Samad Vurgun

7. Samad Vurgun (1906 - 1956)

With an HPI of 54.88, Samad Vurgun is the 7th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Samad Vurgun (Azerbaijani: Səməd Vurğun [sæˈmæd vuɾˈɣun]; born Samad Yusif oghlu Vekilov; March 21, 1906 – May 27, 1956) was an Azerbaijani and Soviet poet, dramatist, public figure, first People's Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR (1943), academician of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (1945), laureate of two Stalin Prizes of second degree (1941, 1942), and member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1940.The Azerbaijan State Academic Russian Drama Theatre and streets in Baku and Moscow, and formerly the city of Hovk in Armenia, are named after him. Samad Vurgun is the first poet in the literature history of Azerbaijan who was given the title “The Poet of Public”.

Photo of Molla Panah Vagif

8. Molla Panah Vagif (1717 - 1797)

With an HPI of 54.42, Molla Panah Vagif is the 8th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Molla Panah (Azerbaijani: Molla Pənah), better known by his pen-name Vagif (Arabic: واقِف‎, lit. 'The Learned One'), was an 18th-century Azerbaijani poet, statesman and diplomat. He is regarded as the founder of the realism genre in Azerbaijani poetry. He served as the vizier—the minister of foreign affairs—of the Karabakh Khanate during the reign of Ibrahim Khalil Khan.

Photo of Mirza Shafi Vazeh

9. Mirza Shafi Vazeh (1794 - 1852)

With an HPI of 54.26, Mirza Shafi Vazeh is the 9th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Mirza Shafi Vazeh (Azerbaijani: Mirzə Şəfi Vazeh; میرزا شفیع واضح) was an Azerbaijani poet and teacher. Under the pseudonym "Vazeh", which means "expressive, clear", he wrote in both Azerbaijani and Persian, developing the traditions of poetry in both languages. He compiled the first anthology of Azerbaijani poetry and a Tatar-Russian dictionary for the Tiflis gymnasium with Russian teacher Ivan Grigoriev. He has written multiple ghazals, mukhammases, mathnawis and rubais. His poems were mostly intimate, lyrical and satirical. The main theme of Vazeh's works is the glorification of romantic love and the joy of life, but in some of his poems, he denounces the vices of feudal society and opposes slavery and religious fanaticism. The German poet Friedrich von Bodenstedt, who took oriental language lessons from Vazeh, published translations of Vazeh's poems in his book A Thousand and One Days in the East in 1850. Bodenstedt's book, titled Songs of Mirza Shafi, was published in 1851.

Photo of Mahsati

10. Mahsati (1089 - 1181)

With an HPI of 54.03, Mahsati is the 10th most famous Azerbaijani Writer.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Mahsati (Persian: مهستی, romanized: Mahsati) was a medieval Persian female poet who was reportedly one of the first poets to compose ruba'iyat (quatrains) in her native language.

Pantheon has 25 people classified as writers born between 1089 and 1960. Of these 25, 3 (12.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living writers include Anar Rzayev, Chingiz Abdullayev, and Vagif Sultanli. The most famous deceased writers include Nizami Ganjavi, Zecharia Sitchin, and Imadaddin Nasimi. As of April 2022, 7 new writers have been added to Pantheon including Molla Panah Vagif, Bakhtiyar Vahabzadeh, and Mirza Alakbar Sabir.

Living Writers

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Deceased Writers

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Newly Added Writers (2022)

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Which Writers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 16 most globally memorable Writers since 1700.