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
373 169
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

Famous People with the Same Real Name The Greatest Female Novelists Ever

2
221 134
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
219 140
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
402 223
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
163 93
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
215 120
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Haruki Murakami The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84

7
145 95
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
150 137
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin

9
204 181
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Toni Morrison Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

10
126 108
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
117 92
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Ian McEwan Atonement, The Children Act, Sweet Tooth

12
117 95
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
102 61
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
124 94
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

15
107 71
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 15 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

Being a Novelist Is. . . The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

16
232 182
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
107 103
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
57 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
138 145
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
82 103
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Zadie Smith White Teeth, NW, On Beauty

22
95 75
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
65 84
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
60 57
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
82 58
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
68 47
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
62 44
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 27 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

28
84 79
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
53 36
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 29 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

Fantastic Sci-Fi Stories You Love That Were Ruined By Their Utterly Terrible Movie Versions The Very Best of the Berks Meme

30
65 63
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Marilynne Robinson Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam

31
91 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
42 30
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
62 77
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
37 39
Wendell Berry is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Wendell Berry Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter A Place on Earth

35
36 32
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
63 73
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
40 44
William Gibson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
William Gibson Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country

38
58 68
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Alice Walker The Color Purple, Everyday Use, Possessing the Secret of Joy

39
59 60
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
46 57
Anne Tyler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons

41
35 43
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
44 44
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
34 43
Wally Lamb is listed (or ranked) 43 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

The Greatest American Writers of All Time The Best Novels Ever Written

44
34 16
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
36 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 14
Botho Strauß is listed (or ranked) 46 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

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
17 3
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Guest_4892684a-2b7b-4091-820b-55233a7daacc added George R. R. Martin A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

49
28 36
Louise Erdrich is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Louise Erdrich The Round House, Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves

50
39 52
A. S. Byatt is listed (or ranked) 50 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