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

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
11.4k votes 1.8k voters 43.1k views 94 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!

1
452 212
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
258 167
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
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 Philip Roth - Died May 22, 2018 Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral, The Plot Against America

4
268 145
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Haruki Murakami The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84

5
470 277
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, The Dark Tower

6
190 170
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, The Blind Assassin

7
194 114
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Don DeLillo White Noise, Underworld, Falling Man

8
235 210
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
152 122
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
162 120
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
137 104
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
143 109
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
118 73
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
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 Tom Wolfe - Died May 15, 2018 The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff

The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today

15
122 82
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

16
289 227
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
127 120
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
100 115
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Zadie Smith White Teeth, NW, On Beauty

19
158 161
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
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 Umberto Eco - Died Feb. 19, 2016 Foucault's Pendulum, The Prague Cemetery, Baudolino

21
97 63
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot

The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
64 37
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Mollevangsvagen added Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

23
108 89
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
72 96
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Isabel Allende Ripper, Eva Luna, Daughter of Fortune

25
80 54
David Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
David Mitchell Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, number9dream

26
68 69
Martin Amis is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Martin Amis London Fields, Time's Arrow, Lionel Asbo: State of England

27
80 57
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
76 71
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Marilynne Robinson Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam

The Best Novelists of All Time

29
63 43
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

30
94 91
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Joyce Carol Oates The Gravedigger's Daughter, The Accursed, The Falls

31
103 88
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
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 E. L. Doctorow - DIED July 21, 2015 Ragtime, Daniel, Billy Bathgate

33
46 45
Wendell Berry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Wendell Berry Jayber Crow, Hannah Coulter A Place on Earth

34
67 89
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible, Flight Behavior, The Bean Trees

35
50 52
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 Books Written Under Pen Names

36
56 49
Richard Russo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Richard Russo Empire Falls, Straight Man, That Old Cape Magic

37
44 39
Günter Grass is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Günter Grass The Tin Drum, Crabwalk, Cat and Mouse

38
51 23
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
72 88
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
65 80
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Alice Walker The Color Purple, Everyday Use, Possessing the Secret of Joy

41
65 69
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
49 63
Anne Tyler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Breathing Lessons

The Greatest Female Novelists Ever

43
37 51
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

44
36 52
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
34 42
Louise Erdrich is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
Louise Erdrich The Round House, Love Medicine, The Plague of Doves

46
26 10
George Saunders is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
43 56
A. S. Byatt is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
16 23
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
32 26
James Lee Burke is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked
KenCarroll added James Lee Burke Black Cherry Blues, Cimarron Rose, Cadillac Jukebox

50
34 22
Christian Kracht is listed (or ranked) 50 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