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Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo

Author, French
Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo was the first major French-language poet in Africa. He was born in Tananarive, Madagascar, in 1901 during French colonial rule, and took his own life at the age of thirty-six. During his short life, he published nine collections of poetry, in addition to several short stories, plays, and journal articles, published in his own country, in Mauritius, and in Europe. In the early 1930s, Rabéarivelo launched his own journal, Capricorne, and was accepted into the Académie Malgache. Despite his successes, he was often restricted by the French colonial government, which forbade writing of any kind in the Malagasy language. Although Rabéarivelo wrote in French, his writing was deeply influenced by Malagasy subject matter. (Photo credit: image courtesy of WIkipedia)