List of the best authors of all time as voted on by normal, book-loving people. For this list, we will consider writers who are mainly novelists. Many of the people included on this list are famous authors who wrote popular books; others may not be as well-known, but are masters of their craft.
The most popular authors are ones that have somehow enriched our lives. J.D. Salinger gave us Holden Caulfield and the term "phony," James Joyce introduced us to stream-of-consciousness prose and Carson McCullers immortalized the misfits and outcasts of the U.S. South in the first half of the 20th century.The best writers are ones that changed the literary landscape in some way, introduced an iconic character, experimented with form and style and captured our imagination with their language.
While lists of "best novelists" are often attempted by individuals, they can be easily disputed because they often amount to no more than one person's opinion. Since this Ranker list is crowdsourced and open to voting, it benefits from the collective wisdom of many rather than the whims of a few.Feel free to vote on this list of top authors, add some that may have been left off, or ReRank this list entirely.
- 1,599552War and Peace, Anna Karenina
- 2,103760The Double and Notes from the Underground
- 1,553628Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four
- 1,364575Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, gambler, traveler and all-around funny dude.
- 1,103341Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (No, not the zombie version)
- 1,719747Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities
- 1,410623Member of the "Lost generation" and author of The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls
- 1,554683Author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Fellowship of the Ring
- 992379Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- 918386As I Lay Dying, Light in August, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!
- 813362Don Quixote
- 968439Ulysses, Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- 656289Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude
- 691294Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim
- 1,189615One of the great American writers you were forced to read in High School and probably didn't come to appreciate until later in life. Most famous for The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Of Mice And Men, Tortilla Flat
- 555234Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, Island
- 480175Author of Frankenstein = All you need to know
- 679342Journey to the Center of the earth
- 788393Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One's Own, The Waves
- 1,091615The Trial, The Metamorphosis, The Castle