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Irish

The Best Irish Authors 

Ranker Books
Updated January 5, 2020 955 votes 204 voters 9.2k views

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

The best Irish authors, ranked by fans of Irish literature. This list includes George Moore, who is considered the first great modern Irish novelist, as well as names like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, famous writers of classic Irish literature. The names on this list are considered to be some of the best Irish writers and the list includes the birthplace of the authors, along with additional biographic information.

The list asks the question, "who are the best Irish authors?" and includes poets, novelists and nonfiction writers from all genres and eras for a comprehensive list. These writers from Ireland have contributed to not only Irish literature, but the international canon of some of the greatest novels, essays, short stories, poems, and plays of all time. 

The best Irish authors list can be voted on and is open, so please add any great Irish writers that are missing and vote up your favorites.
list ordered by
1
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Rathgar, Ireland
2
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
3
William Butler Yeats is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Sandymount, Ireland
4
Samuel Beckett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Foxrock, Ireland
5
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
6
George Bernard Shaw is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
7
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Belfast, Ireland
8
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Clontarf, Dublin
9
Seamus Heaney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Castledawson, U.K.
10
Seán O'Casey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
11
William Trevor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Mitchelstown, Ireland
12
Edna O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Tuamgraney, Republic of Ireland
13
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Wexford, Ireland
14
Brendan Behan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
15
Brian O'Nolan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Strabane, U.K.
16
Frank O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Cork, Republic of Ireland
17
Roddy Doyle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Kilbarrack, Ireland
18
Colm Tóibí... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Enniscorthy, Ireland
19
John Millington Synge is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Rathfarnham, Republic of Ireland
20
Maeve Binchy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dalkey, Ireland
21
Patrick Kavanagh is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Inniskeen, Ireland
22
Joseph O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
23
Emma Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
24
Colum McCann is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Dublin, Ireland
25
Frank McCourt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Brooklyn, New York