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 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
885 581
Haruki Murakami is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
A Wild Sheep Chase, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

2
1,897 1,151
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Shining, The Stand, Carrie

3
1,150 786
Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
All the Pretty Horses, Child of God, No Country for Old Men

4
2,011 1,235
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
668 492
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
634 426
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
745 474
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
501 403
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Midnight's Children, Shame, Fury

9
595 418
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

10
554 402
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Stardust, The Graveyard Book, American Gods

11
368 252
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
400 312
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
White Noise, Libra, Mao II

13
322 270
Ian McEwan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Saturday, The Innocent, Atonement

14
409 293
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
hunterwlee added The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Red Pyramid

15
346 271
Milan Kundera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke

16
312 256
John Irving is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
244 187
John le Carré is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
312 234
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
209 183
Tom Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
213 219
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
electrofab added Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

21
224 210
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Wonder Boys, Summerland, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

22
203 185
Donna Tartt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
desideriospring added The Secret History, The Little Friend, The Goldfinch

23
278 223
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Life & Times of Michael K, Foe, Age of Iron

24
111 38
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
26ht added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

25
239 174
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

26
161 145
Mario Vargas Llosa is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
FranzKafka added The Feast of the Goat, The Way to Paradise, The Cubs and Other Stories

27
297 238
John Green is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Angel Wild added The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines

28
232 209
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Twenty-Seventh City, How to Be Alone, Freedom

29
142 127
Bill Bryson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Cluggee added 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

30
189 188
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Snowfall, Love and Its Derangements and Other Poems, The Journals of Joyce Carol Oates

31
114 121
Julian Barnes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
FranzKafka added Flaubert's Parrot, The Porcupine, The Lemon Table

32
131 145
V.S. Naipaul is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
A Bend in the River, A House for Mr Biswas, In a Free State

33
182 190
Joan Didion is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, The Year of Magical Thinking

34
256 223
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Fight Club, Choke, Rant

35
276 247
John Grisham is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Firm, The Chamber, Mickey

36
239 216
Paulo Coelho is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Alchemist

37
105 99
Orhan Pamuk is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Shushan added My Name Is Red, Snow, Istanbul: Memories and a City

38
49 33
Larry McMurtry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
kholzinger added Brokeback Mountain, The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove

39
183 202
Zadie Smith is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Piece of Flesh, White Teeth, On Beauty

40
154 168
Jeffrey Eugenides is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot, Middlesex

41
218 210
Anne Rice is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Mayfair Witches

42
121 151
Isabel Allende is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Giving Birth, Finding Form, Eva Luna

43
75 71
Irvine Welsh is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
bbbccc added The Acid House, Trainspotting, The Wedding

44
187 188
Junot Díaz is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, This is How You Lose Her

45
247 327
Dan Brown is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Riji Romanov added The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, Deception Point

46
202 238
James Patterson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Clay Glenny added Michael Bennett, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride

47
119 140
Martin Amis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
Money, London Fields

48
87 69
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Way of Kings, Mistborn: The Final Empire, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages

49
77 100
John Banville is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
cglanovsky added Albert Nobbs, The Book of Evidence, The Sea

50
134 162
Barbara Kingsolver is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Living Writers & Most Famous Authors Today
The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Vegetable Miracle, The Bean Trees