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irish The Best Irish Authors  

Ranker Books
721 votes 162 voters 8.4k 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
47 5
William Butler Yeats is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Authors
William Butler Yeats Sandymount, Ireland

2
61 9
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Authors
James Joyce Rathgar, Ireland

3
50 9
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Oscar Wilde Dublin, Ireland

4
30 7
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Jonathan Swift Dublin, Ireland

5
31 8
Samuel Beckett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Samuel Beckett Foxrock, Ireland

6
31 8
George Bernard Shaw is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Authors
George Bernard Shaw Dublin, Ireland

7
35 13
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Authors
C. S. Lewis Belfast, Ireland

8
28 9
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Bram Stoker Clontarf, Dublin

9
23 7
Seamus Heaney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Seamus Heaney Castledawson, U.K.

10
13 5
Seán O'Casey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Seán O'Casey Dublin, Ireland

11
13 5
Brendan Behan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Brendan Behan Dublin, Ireland

12
8 2
Frank O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Frank O'Connor Cork, Republic of Ireland

13
9 3
Edna O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Edna O'Brien Tuamgraney, Republic of Ireland

14
13 7
Roddy Doyle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Roddy Doyle Kilbarrack, Ireland

Famous Irish American Writers

15
14 8
Maeve Binchy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Maeve Binchy Dalkey, Ireland

16
12 7
William Trevor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Authors
William Trevor Mitchelstown, Ireland

17
8 4
Patrick Kavanagh is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Patrick Kavanagh Inniskeen, Ireland

18
5 1
John Millington Synge is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Authors
John Millington Synge Rathfarnham, Republic of Ireland

19
10 7
Brian O'Nolan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Brian O'Nolan Strabane, U.K.

20
10 7
Colm Tóibín is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Colm Tóibín Enniscorthy, Ireland

21
8 6
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Authors
John Banville Wexford, Ireland

The Best Novels About World War 2

22
7 5
Joseph O'Connor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Joseph O'Connor Dublin, Ireland

23
6 4
Emma Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Emma Donoghue Dublin, Ireland

24
7 6
George Moore is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Authors
George Moore County Mayo, Ireland

25
7 6
Colum McCann is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Colum McCann Dublin, Ireland

26
10 10
Frank McCourt is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Frank McCourt Brooklyn, New York

27
6 7
Sebastian Barry is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Sebastian Barry Dublin, Ireland

28
5 6
Anne Enright is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Anne Enright Dublin, Ireland

29
4 6
Maria Edgeworth is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Maria Edgeworth Black Bourton, U.K.

30
5 8
Marian Keyes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Marian Keyes Limerick, Ireland

31
2 6
John Connolly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Authors
John Connolly Dublin, Ireland

32
6 14
Cecelia Ahern is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Authors
Cecelia Ahern Dublin, Ireland