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 clichĂ© 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.