16. Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
Author: James Baldwin
Baldwin was a man who knew who he was at a young age, and whose artistic tastes were shaped early on. After befriending Beauford Delaney, an African-American artist who become his mentor, in New York's Greenwich Village during his teenage years, Baldwin quickly began to develop as an artist and thinker.
While the cliché American writer moves to Greenwich Village, Baldwin left Manhattan for Paris, where he could find what he viewed to be a better life both as an African-American and a homosexual. There he would get deeply involved in politics and pen his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, which examined racism in the country he'd left behind.