The Most Famous

WRITERS from Madagascar

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This page contains a list of the greatest Malagasy Writers. The pantheon dataset contains 7,302 Writers, 2 of which were born in Madagascar. This makes Madagascar the birth place of the 104th most number of Writers behind Kenya, and Guadeloupe.

Top 2

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

Photo of Claude Simon

1. Claude Simon (1913 - 2005)

With an HPI of 70.33, Claude Simon is the most famous Malagasy Writer.  His biography has been translated into 82 different languages on wikipedia.

Claude Simon (French: [klod simɔ̃]; 10 October 1913 – 6 July 2005) was a French novelist and was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Photo of Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

2. Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (1901 - 1937)

With an HPI of 53.36, Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo is the 2nd most famous Malagasy Writer.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (4 March 1901 or 1903 – 22 June 1937), born Joseph-Casimir Rabearivelo, was a Malagasy poet who is widely considered to be Africa's first modern poet and the greatest literary artist of Madagascar. Part of the first Malagasy generation raised under French colonization, Rabearivelo grew up impoverished and failed to complete secondary education. His passion for French literature and traditional Malagasy oral poetry (hainteny) prompted him to read extensively and educate himself on a variety of subjects, including the French language and its poetic and prose traditions. He published his first poems as an adolescent in local literary reviews, soon obtaining employment at a publishing house where he worked as a proofreader and editor of its literary journals. He published numerous poetry anthologies in French and Malagasy as well as literary critiques, an opera, and two novels. Rabearivelo's early period of modernist-inspired poetry showed skill and attracted critical attention, but adhered strictly to traditional genre conventions. The surrealist poetry he composed beginning in 1931 displayed greater originality, garnering him strong praise and acclaim. Despite increasing critical attention in international poetry reviews, Rabearivelo was never afforded access to the elite social circles of colonial Madagascar. He suffered a series of personal and professional disappointments, including the death of his daughter, the French authorities' decision to exclude him from the list of exhibitors at the Universal Exposition in Paris, and growing personal debt worsened by his opium addiction and philandering. Following Rabearivelo's suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1937, he became viewed as a colonial martyr. The death of Rabearivelo occurred just prior to the emergence of the Négritude movement, by which time the poet had established an international reputation among literary figures such as Léopold Sédar Senghor as Africa's first modern poet. The Government of Madagascar named Rabearivelo the national poet upon the establishment of national independence in 1960. His works are a focus of ongoing academic study. Modern Malagasy poets and literary figures including Elie Rajaonarison have cited him as a major inspiration. A street and a high school in Antananarivo have been named after him, and Rabearivelo has a dedicated room in the National Library of Madagascar.


Pantheon has 2 people classified as Malagasy writers born between 1901 and 1913. Of these 2, none of them are still alive today. The most famous deceased Malagasy writers include Claude Simon, and Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo.

Deceased Malagasy Writers

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