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

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
12.7k votes 2k voters 50k views 98 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
492 243
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
271 197
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
248 159
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
524 310
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Shining, The Stand, The Dark Tower

5
293 164
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84

6
207 197
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
165 134
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
248 233
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

9
200 131
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man

10
178 138
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
147 115
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Atonement, The Children Act, Sweet Tooth

12
130 81
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
337 260
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Harry Potter series

14
123 107
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
156 129
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

16
140 131
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Corrections, Freedom, How to Be Alone

17
126 92
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Disgrace, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K

18
174 175
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book

19
108 127
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
White Teeth, NW, On Beauty

20
64 40
Umberto Eco is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #14 Foucault's Pendulum, The Prague Cemetery, Baudolino

21
103 71
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot

22
93 65
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
71 47
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

24
76 106
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Ripper, Eva Luna, Daughter of Fortune

25
110 98
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh