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

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
11.9k votes 1.9k voters 45.9k views 95 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
471 223
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
260 180
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
496 292
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
278 153
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
197 180
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
198 121
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man

8
160 127
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
242 221
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

10
168 129
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
139 109
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
121 76
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
311 235
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Harry Potter series

14
147 117
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Joseph Anton: A Memoir

15
123 107
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
131 123
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
123 87
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
162 165
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
104 120
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
101 65
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
66 39
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

23
108 92
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

24
74 100
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
81 57
David Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, number9dream

26
85 62
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
69 72
Martin Amis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
London Fields, Time's Arrow, Lionel Asbo: State of England

28
78 72
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam

29
64 44
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River, Miguel Street

30
95 94
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Gravedigger's Daughter, The Accursed, The Falls

31
107 92
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Fight Club, Choke, Survivor

32
50 37
E. L. Doctorow is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
voting closed at #32 Ragtime, Daniel, Billy Bathgate

33
47 46
Wendell Berry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter A Place on Earth

34
54 54
William Gibson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country

35
61 50
Richard Russo is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Empire Falls, Straight Man, That Old Cape Magic

36
69 90
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Poisonwood Bible, Flight Behavior, The Bean Trees

37
46 40
Günter Grass is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Tin Drum, Crabwalk, Cat and Mouse

38
74 90
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Drown, This Is How You Lose Her

39
66 82
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Color Purple, Everyday Use, Possessing the Secret of Joy

40
51 25
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
TommyLobotomy added The Moons of Jupiter, Lives of Girls and Women, The Love of a Good Woman: Stories

41
51 64
Anne Tyler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons

42
66 71
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, Run River

43
38 53
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Endangered Species, The Citadel of the Autarch, Caldé of the Long Sun

44
38 52
Wally Lamb is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
She's Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, We Are Water

45
34 43
Louise Erdrich is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Round House, Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves

46
28 11
George Saunders is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
JWTucker added Pastoralia, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, In Persuasion Nation

47
43 57
A. S. Byatt is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
The Little Black Book of Stories, On histories and stories, Possession: A Romance

48
34 27
James Lee Burke is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
KenCarroll added Black Cherry Blues, Cimarron Rose, Cadillac Jukebox

49
17 24
Herta Müller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
RazvanPop added The Fox Has Always Been The Hunter, Nadirs, The Appointment

50
35 23
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten, Finsterworld, Faserland