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Culture

The Best French Authors 

Ranker Books
Updated June 14, 2019 4.5k votes 717 voters 13.1k views

List Rules Top French writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays

A list of the best French authors that have provided works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction that have become classics. Authors such as Victor Hugo, Albert Camus, and Alexandre Dumas may be familiar names of French authors that are added to the list, along with others that may not be as best-selling. This list of French writers includes playwrights and philosophers 

This list will answer the question, "who are the best French authors?" Whether someone is looking for classic writers, more contemporary writers, poets or a new author to add to their reading list, this is a perfect place to start.

The list is changed based on the ranking from voters, and since it does not include all French authors ever, you can add any that are missing.
list ordered by
1
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Authors
Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
2
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Authors
The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus
3
Honoré de Balzac ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Authors
Le Père Goriot, Eugénie Grandet, Cousin Bette
4
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Authors
The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers
5
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Authors
Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Spleen de Paris
6
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Authors
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth
7
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Authors
In Search of Lost Time
8
Louis-Ferdinand Cé... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean-marieGerard added Journey to the End of the Night, Death on Credit, Œuvres de Louis Ferdinand Céline
9
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Authors
Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin
10
Molière is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Authors
Tartuffe, The Miser
11
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Authors
Candide
12
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Authors
Madame Bovary
13
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Authors
Bel Ami, Une vie, Pierre et Jean
14
Stendhal is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Authors
The Red and the Black, The Charterhouse of Parma, Spicy food
15
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Authors
Illuminations
16
Antoine de Saint-Exup&ea... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Authors
The Little Prince
17
René Descartes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added Meditations on First Philosophy, Discourse on the Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind
18
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Authors
Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World
19
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Authors
The Counterfeiters, The Imoralist
20
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Authors
Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus
21
Jean Racine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Authors
Phèdre, Alexandre le Grand, Les Plaideurs
22
François-Ren&eacu... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Atala*, Travels in Greece, Palestine
23
François Villon ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Œuvres, Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder, Le grant testament Villon et le petit Son codicille. Le jargon. Les balades
24
Chrétien de Troye... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Erec and Enide
25
Marcel Pagnol is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Authors
The Well-Digger's Daughter, Manon Des Sources, Manon des sources