writers The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today  

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List Rules Authors and writers who are still alive. Vote up the best, most talented, living writers.

If you consider yourself a bibliophile, this list of the absolute best living authors should be of great interest to you. It features writers who have forever shaped the literary world, producing many books that will go down in history as classics. The art form of literature and writing usually attempts to depict the changing world around us in one aspect or another. It's important to understand the times in which we live and forever record that for the next generation to read. Who are the best living writers attempting this feat?

The novelists on this list are some of the most famous writers in history, not just in modern times. Many of the books these authors have written have been made into blockbuster films, while others are simply modern day literary classics, that need to be read to be truly appreciated. These writers, and their works, will be remembered for generations to come.

This list features the best living writers who are producing some of the world’s best written work including, Philip Roth, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephen King, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and Tom Wolfe. Vote up the best living authors below and see how the writers you think are the best rank!

list ordered by

1
1,005 587
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Stephen King The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

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2
638 446
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Cormac McCarthy All the Pretty Horses, Child of God, No Country for Old Men

3
994 675
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
J. K. Rowling Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy

4
467 342
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Haruki Murakami A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

5
406 311
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Thomas Pynchon V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow

6
308 182
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
AdolfHitler added George R. R. Martin A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

7
355 244
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace

8
293 224
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children, Shame, Fury

9
347 256
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Toni Morrison Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

10
331 227
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Neil Gaiman Stardust, The Graveyard Book, American Gods

11
320 247
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Philip Roth American Pastoral, The Human Strain

12
194 135
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John Irving The Cider House Rules, A Son of the Circus, A Prayer for Owen Meany

13
248 190
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Don DeLillo White Noise, Libra, Mao II

14
165 130
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Tom Wolfe The Last American Hero, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff

15
232 172
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke

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16
194 158
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Ian McEwan Saturday, The Innocent, Atonement

17
199 147
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Alice Munro Friend of My Youth, Open Secrets, The Love of a Good Woman

18
194 144
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Kazuo Ishiguro The Saddest Music in the World, The White Countess, The Unconsoled

19
196 148
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
J. M. Coetzee Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Age of Iron

20
145 99
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
1472130938060 added Rick Riordan The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Red Pyramid

21
143 129
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
electrofab added Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

22
148 126
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Michael Chabon Wonder Boys, Summerland, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

23
108 76
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
FedericoOyola added Ursula K. Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, A Wizard of Earthsea

24
129 98
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John le Carré The Tailor of Panama, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

25
112 104
Donna Tartt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
desideriospring added Donna Tartt The Secret History, The Little Friend, The Goldfinch

26
114 79
Khaled Hosseini is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Angel Wild added Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Cometas En El Cielo / The Kite Runner

27
89 75
Mario Vargas Llosa is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
FranzKafka added Mario Vargas Llosa The Feast of the Goat, The Way to Paradise, The Cubs and Other Stories

28
124 116
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Joan Didion Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, The Year of Magical Thinking

29
79 80
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
V.S. Naipaul A Bend in the River, A House for Mr Biswas, In a Free State

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30
117 114
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Joyce Carol Oates Snowfall, Love and Its Derangements and Other Poems, The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates

31
58 56
Julian Barnes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
FranzKafka added Julian Barnes Flaubert's Parrot, The Porcupine, The Lemon Table

32
159 138
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club, Choke, Rant

33
105 105
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jeffrey Eugenides The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot, Middlesex

34
128 112
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, This is How You Lose Her

35
133 118
Anne Rice is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Mayfair Witches

36
96 99
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Vegetable Miracle, The Bean Trees

37
123 109
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Dean Koontz Phantoms, Demon Seed, Reino de Las Tinieblas

38
120 129
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Zadie Smith Piece of Flesh, White Teeth, On Beauty

39
56 64
Sherman Alexie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
sweatyinhofe added Sherman Alexie Smoke Signals, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Reservation Blues

40
146 140
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jonathan Franzen The Twenty-Seventh City, How to Be Alone, Freedom

41
39 31
Diana Gabaldon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Diana Gabaldon Outlander, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Voyager

42
56 57
Bill Bryson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Cluggee added Bill Bryson A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, A Short History of Nearly Everything, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir

43
135 133
John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
John Grisham The Firm, The Chamber, Mickey

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44
107 102
John Green is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Angel Wild added John Green The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines

45
61 65
Tobias Wolff is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Tobias Wolff This Boy's Life: A Memoir, Old School, The Barracks Thief

46
44 43
Orhan Pamuk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Shushan added Orhan Pamuk My Name Is Red, Snow, Istanbul: Memories and a City

47
49 55
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
cglanovsky added John Banville Albert Nobbs, The Book of Evidence, The Sea

48
29 29
Irvine Welsh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
bbbccc added Irvine Welsh The Acid House, Trainspotting, The Wedding

49
50 57
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Tunde Kasali added Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, La Flor Purpura

50
92 93
Marilynne Robinson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping, Gilead, Home