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
396 176
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

2
234 141
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
234 146
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
421 238
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
165 142
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin

6
171 97
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Don DeLillo White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man

7
226 126
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Haruki Murakami The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84

8
210 188
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Toni Morrison Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

9
147 102
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
134 111
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
124 95
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
129 97
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

13
106 65
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
113 74
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

Famous People with the Same Real Name

15
118 102
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
249 195
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
112 109
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
141 148
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Neil Gaiman American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book

20
60 30
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

21
86 106
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

The Greatest Female Novelists Ever

22
98 79
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
69 87
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
65 60
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
85 59
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
72 49
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
67 48
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
86 82
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

The Best Novels Written by Famous Actors

29
67 64
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Marilynne Robinson Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam

30
55 38
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
45 31
E. L. Doctorow is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
E. L. Doctorow Ragtime, Daniel, Billy Bathgate

32
93 80
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club, Choke, Survivor

33
63 78
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
39 40
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
44 46
William Gibson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
William Gibson Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country

The Best Biographical Novels Ever Written

36
38 33
Günter Grass is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Günter Grass The Tin Drum, Crabwalk, Cat and Mouse

37
66 76
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
60 70
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
61 62
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
45 45
Richard Russo is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Richard Russo Empire Falls, Straight Man, That Old Cape Magic

41
46 58
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
40 19
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 42 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

The Best Cheap and Inexpensive Coffee Table Books

43
35 45
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
35 44
Wally Lamb is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
34 17
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
31 15
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
29 36
Louise Erdrich is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Louise Erdrich The Round House, Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves

48
15 18
Herta Müller is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
19 6
George Saunders is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
JWTucker added George Saunders Pastoralia, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, In Persuasion Nation

50
38 26
E. Annie Proulx is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
damalrooney added E. Annie Proulx The Shipping News, Fine Just the Way It Is, Brokeback Mountain