Don Quixote de la Mancha - Miguel de Cervantes
In a 2002 survey, of the world's leading writers (including Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie, Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka, Seamus Heaney, Carlos Fuentes and Norman Mailer), representing nearly every continent, selected Don Quixote as 'the most meaningful book of all time'. Nigerian-born Ben Okri said, 'If there is one novel you should read before you die, it is Don Quixote, it has the most wonderful and elaborated story, yet it is simple.' Beyond such consistent contemporary accolades, the author's influence is so deeply rooted in Spanish Literature that one cannot write in Spanish without having Cervantes? influence in mind. Don Quixote de la Mancha is in fact the first modern novel (Volume one was published in 1605, and Volume II, was published ten years later, in 1615) and holds the honor of being published literary work in the world after the bible. So as one can imagine it's influence today stretches far beyond Spanish having significantly influenced the works of Nabokov to Borges, Fielding to Garcia Marquez.