Writers The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today  

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45.3k votes 8.1k voters 199.8k views 151 items

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 contemporary authors 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
2,074 1,239
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

2
1,252 836
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
All the Pretty Horses, Child of God, No Country for Old Men

3
990 645
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

4
2,189 1,359
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Harry Potter series, The Casual Vacancy

5
709 528
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity's Rainbow

6
695 454
Margaret Atwood is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace

7
831 514
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
AdolfHitler added A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons

8
634 447
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

9
613 429
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Stardust, The Graveyard Book, American Gods

10
531 438
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Midnight's Children, Shame, Fury

11
409 273
Kazuo Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Saddest Music in the World, The White Countess, The Unconsoled

12
428 333
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
White Noise, Libra, Mao II

13
462 331
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
hunterwlee added The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Red Pyramid

14
378 291
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke

15
171 57
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
26ht added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

16
342 290
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Saturday, The Innocent, Atonement

17
334 273
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Cider House Rules, A Son of the Circus, A Prayer for Owen Meany

18
327 249
Alice Munro is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Friend of My Youth, Open Secrets, The Love of a Good Woman

19
258 206
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Tailor of Panama, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

20
209 183
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
voting closed at #20 The Last American Hero, Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff

21
298 236
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Age of Iron

22
232 238
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
electrofab added Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

23
219 203
Donna Tartt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
desideriospring added The Secret History, The Little Friend, The Goldfinch

24
237 226
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Wonder Boys, Summerland, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

25
271 188
Khaled Hosseini is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Angel Wild added The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Cometas En El Cielo / The Kite Runner