Literature

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

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated May 6, 2020 14.8k votes 2.5k voters 61.9k views 109 items

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
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Road, Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men
2
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Inherent Vice, Gravity's Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49
3
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Shining, The Stand, The Dark Tower
4
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Harry Potter series
5
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #3 Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral, The Plot Against America
6
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin
7
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, A Most Wanted Man
8
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book
9
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules
10
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans
11
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Joke
12
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84
13
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man
14
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #9 Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon
15
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Disgrace, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K
16
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir
17
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #14 The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff
18
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Atonement, The Children Act, Sweet Tooth
19
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Fight Club, Choke, Survivor
20
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Jonathan Franzen The Corrections, Freedom, How to Be Alone
21
James Lee Burke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
KenCarroll added Black Cherry Blues, Cimarron Rose, Cadillac Jukebox
22
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
23
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Gravedigger's Daughter, The Accursed, The Falls
24
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World
25
E. L. Doctorow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #32 Ragtime, Daniel, Billy Bathgate