Notable Maltese Writers and Literature

Notable Maltese Writers and Literature

Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean, southeast of Sicily, Italy. This tiny island has a rich literary history and has produced numerous talented writers. Maltese literature comprises various genres, including novels, poetry, and drama. It often reflects the country’s cultural and historical heritage, as well as its linguistic diversity.

In this article, we will explore some of the most distinguished Maltese writers and their literary contributions.

1. Francis Ebejer (1925-1993)

Francis Ebejer was a prominent Maltese playwright, novelist, and poet. He is hailed as one of Malta’s most celebrated literary figures and is best known for his play “L-Erba’ Pupa” (The Fourth Doll). The play is a satire of Maltese society, depicting the traditions, superstitions, and customs of the island during the 1950s. Ebejer’s works often highlighted social issues and political problems, and he was highly critical of the government’s policies.

Ebejer’s literary influence extends beyond Malta, and his works have been translated into various languages, including French, Italian, and Spanish.

Other notable works: “L’Gharusa tal-Maltin” (The Maltese Bride), “Is-Sriep Rebbieh” (The Mad Sheep), and “Ma’ l-Amerka Hemm Bieb” (With America, There’s a Door).

2. Ġużè Stagno (1940-2015)

Ġużè Stagno was a Maltese novelist, playwright, and journalist. He is often regarded as one of the most influential Maltese writers of the 20th century. Stagno’s works often dealt with social issues and political problems, and his style was often satirical and humorous.

One of his most famous works is “Il-Klassi tal-Helsien” (The Class of Freedom), a novel that satirically depicts the Maltese elite and their political power struggles in the aftermath of Malta’s independence in 1964.

Other notable works: “Ir-Reġina tal-Ħajja” (The Queen of Life), “Lejl Iż-Żgħożija” (A Night in Adolescence), and “Il-Ħajja Xejn Mhux Sħiħa ta’ Pawlu Boffa” (The Not Quite True Life of Paul Boffa).

3. Trevor Zahra (b. 1947)

Trevor Zahra is a Maltese writer of novels, children’s literature, and poetry. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to Maltese literature and is regarded as one of the most significant children’s authors in Malta. His works often deal with themes of the environment, Maltese traditions, and folklore.

One of his most famous works is “Il-Ħarsa ta’ Rumanz” (A Romance’s Roar), a novel about a love triangle set in 1950s Malta. The novel explores issues of tradition, class, and social expectations.

Other notable works: “Kumpanija fuq l-Għolja” (A Company on the Hill), “Milmorti Ruħi” (From Death My Soul), and “Ħrejjef Il-Ħrejjef” (Tales of Tales).

4. Immanuel Mifsud (b. 1967)

Immanuel Mifsud is a Maltese writer, poet, and translator. He has won numerous awards for his literary works, including the European Union Prize for Literature. Mifsud often deals with themes of identity, memory, and loss, and his works have been translated into several languages.

One of his most famous works is “Fl-Isem tal-Missier” (In the Name of the Father), a novel about a father and son’s relationship, set against the Maltese context of immigration, language, and cultural identity.

Other notable works: “Jutta Heim”, “Waqt li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl” (While I Was Shedding Light), and “L-Interdett taħt it-Tramuntana” (The Interdict Under the North Wind).

5. Clare Azzopardi (b. 1987)

Clare Azzopardi is a contemporary Maltese author, playwright, and lecturer. She is best known for her young adult novels and short stories, many of which focus on issues of identity, isolation, and adolescence. Azzopardi’s works have been translated into several languages and have won various awards.

One of her most famous works is “L-Għażla” (The Choice), a novel that explores issues of gender, sexuality, and patriarchy in a conservative Maltese society.

Other notable works: “Il-Ktieb tal-Missier” (The Father’s Book), “Iffriża” (Outburst), and “Li tkisser sewwi” (What You Break Sews).


What is the language of Maltese literature?

Maltese is the language of Maltese literature. However, many Maltese authors often write in other languages, mainly English and Italian.

Is Maltese literature only for Maltese readers?

No. Maltese literature has been translated into various languages, including Italian, French, and English. Additionally, many Maltese authors write in other languages, allowing their works to reach a more diverse readership.

What are some common themes in Maltese literature?

Maltese literature often deals with issues of national identity, tradition, and social problems. Other common themes include love, loss, and memory.

Who are some other notable Maltese writers?

Other notable Maltese writers include Walid Nabhan, Pierre Mejlak, and Victor Fenech.