fiction The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked  

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List Rules The best living novelists, writers, and writers of fiction.

These are the best living authors and novelists currently, according to Rankers and bibliophiles. If you’re looking for a book to read for a rainy day, you can’t go wrong by choosing a novel or short story written by someone on this list. After all, the greatest novelists alive consistently get onto bestseller lists and book club recommendation lists. But amongst all these writers currently alive, who are the best?

If you love reading, then vote for your favorite living authors and novelists below. They hail for a wide range of genres and literary styles, from playwrights to novelists. You’ll find your favorite science fiction writers as well as great dramatic novelists. Everyone on the list and everyone that you vote for must currently be alive. We all know that there are plenty of great writers that have left us, but this list is about the ones we still get to cherish.

Don’t see a great living author listed? Then add him or her so that others may vote and discover some excellent novels. If you’re curious where your favorite novelist currently alive is ranked, use the search box at the top of the list. Otherwise, get your votes on, book worms. Vote for who you think is the best living author (or best living authors) right now!

list ordered by

1
354 167
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Cormac McCarthy The Road, Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men

The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today The Best Biographical Novels Ever Written

2
215 129
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Thomas Pynchon Inherent Vice, Gravity's Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49

3
206 137
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Philip Roth Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral, The Plot Against America

4
390 217
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, The Dark Tower

5
159 91
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Don DeLillo White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man

6
199 174
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Toni Morrison Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

7
141 92
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
John Irving The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules

8
205 118
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Haruki Murakami The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84

9
143 135
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin

10
116 89
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Ian McEwan Atonement, The Children Act, Sweet Tooth

11
119 106
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans

12
115 93
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Tom Wolfe The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff

13
121 91
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

14
106 68
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
J. M. Coetzee Disgrace, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K

15
98 60
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Joke

The Best Novelists of All Time The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

16
225 178
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter series

17
102 102
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Jonathan Franzen The Corrections, Freedom, How to Be Alone

18
64 40
Umberto Eco is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #14 Umberto Eco - Died Feb. 19, 2016 Foucault's Pendulum, The Prague Cemetery, Baudolino

19
55 27
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

20
133 143
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Neil Gaiman American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book

21
93 74
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

22
78 102
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Zadie Smith White Teeth, NW, On Beauty

23
64 83
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Isabel Allende Ripper, Eva Luna, Daughter of Fortune

24
59 56
Martin Amis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Martin Amis London Fields, Time's Arrow, Lionel Asbo: State of England

25
77 56
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot

26
66 45
David Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
David Mitchell Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, number9dream

27
64 60
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Marilynne Robinson Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam

28
81 78
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Joyce Carol Oates The Gravedigger's Daughter, The Accursed, The Falls

29
59 44
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
John le Carré Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, A Most Wanted Man

The Greatest American Novels Crimes You'd Commit (If You Could Get Away With It)

30
51 36
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
V.S. Naipaul A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River, Miguel Street

31
88 76
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club, Choke, Survivor

32
40 29
E. L. Doctorow is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
E. L. Doctorow Ragtime, Daniel, Billy Bathgate

33
60 76
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible, Flight Behavior, The Bean Trees

34
62 69
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Drown, This Is How You Lose Her

35
35 31
Günter Grass is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Günter Grass The Tin Drum, Crabwalk, Cat and Mouse

36
39 43
William Gibson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
William Gibson Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country

37
56 65
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Alice Walker The Color Purple, Everyday Use, Possessing the Secret of Joy

38
33 39
Wendell Berry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Wendell Berry Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter A Place on Earth

39
58 59
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Joan Didion Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, Run River

40
35 42
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Gene Wolfe Endangered Species, The Citadel of the Autarch, Caldé of the Long Sun

41
44 56
Anne Tyler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons

42
42 43
Richard Russo is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Richard Russo Empire Falls, Straight Man, That Old Cape Magic

43
33 15
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Christian Kracht Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten, Finsterworld, Faserland

The Best Novels Written by Famous Actors The Best Teriyaki Sauce Brands

44
31 14
Botho Strauß is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Botho Strauß The Distant Land, Theaterstücke 3. 1993 - 1999, Schlußchor. Drei Akte

45
35 18
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
TommyLobotomy added Alice Munro The Moons of Jupiter, Lives of Girls and Women, The Love of a Good Woman: Stories

46
31 42
Wally Lamb is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Wally Lamb She's Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, We Are Water

47
14 16
Herta Müller is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
RazvanPop added Herta Müller The Fox Has Always Been The Hunter, Nadirs, The Appointment

48
27 35
Louise Erdrich is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Louise Erdrich The Round House, Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves

49
39 52
A. S. Byatt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
A. S. Byatt The Little Black Book of Stories, On histories and stories, Possession: A Romance

50
20 30
Robert Coover is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Robert Coover Pricksongs & Descants, The Public Burning, The Universal Baseball Association