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The 30+ Best Living Novelists & Fiction Authors Today, Ranked

Ranker Community

These are the best living authors and novelists currently, according to Rankers and bibliophiles. If you’re looking for a book to read for a rainy day, you can’t go wrong by choosing a novel or short story written by someone on this list. After all, the greatest novelists alive consistently get onto bestseller lists and book club recommendation lists. But amongst all these writers currently alive, who are the best?

If you love reading, then vote for your favorite living authors and novelists below. They hail for a wide range of genres and literary styles, from playwrights to novelists. You’ll find your favorite science fiction writers as well as great dramatic novelists. Everyone on the list and everyone that you vote for must currently be alive. We all know that there are plenty of great writers that have left us, but this list is about the ones we still get to cherish.

Don’t see a great living author listed? Then add him or her so that others may vote and discover some excellent novels. If you’re curious where your favorite novelist currently alive is ranked, use the search box at the top of the list. Otherwise, get your votes on, book worms. Vote for who you think is the best living author (or best living authors ) right now!

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy

Stephen King

Stephen King

Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami

Philip Roth - Died May 22, 2018

Philip Roth - Died May 22, 2018

Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro

Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera

fiction authors names

fiction authors names

50 Of The Best Historical Fiction Authors Writing Today

The magical thing about historical fiction is the way it truly makes you feel like you’re experiencing life in another era. The best historical fiction authors are able to combine fictional characters with real settings and events in a way that makes it all feel visceral and current.

Best historical fiction authors writing today

What do we mean by best historical fiction authors?

With countless amazing writers working in this genre, we went with the following criteria for our list:

Here are our picks for 50 of the best historical fiction authors writing today, in alphabetical order.

Kate Alcott

Kate Alcott  is the literary pseudonym for journalist Patricia O’Brien. Her historical novels include  The Dressmaker ,  The Daring Ladies of Lowell , and  A Touch of Stardust .

Jean M. Auel

Jean M. Auel is an American writer best known for her novels about people living in prehistoric eras. Her works include  The Clan of the Cave Bear , The Mammoth Hunters , and  The Land of Painted Caves .

Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright and novelist. His historical novels include Annie Dunne ,  A Long Long Way , and  Days Without End .

Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict is an American author of historical fiction. Her notable works include The Other Einstein , Carnegie’s Maid , and The Only Woman in the Room .

Melanie Benjamin

Melanie Benjamin  a pseudonym for the writer Melanie Hauser. Her historical novels include Alice I Have Been , The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb  and  The Aviator’s Wife .

Jessica Brockmole

Jessica Brockmole is the American author of historical novels including Letters from Skye , At the Edge of Summer , and Woman Enters Left.

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks is an Australian American journalist and novelist. Her historical fiction includes March ,  The People of the Book , and The Secret Chord .

Elizabeth Chadwick

Elizabeth Chadwick is a British author of historical novels, including The Scarlet Lion , The Summer Queen , and The Winter Crown .

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is an American-British historical novelist. Her historical novels include Girl With A Pearl Earring ,  At the Edge of the Orchard , and New Boy .

Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell is the English author best known for his novels about Richard Sharpe, beginning with Sharpe’s Rifles . Two of his other series are  The Warlord Chronicles  and  The Saxon Chronicle Stories .

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue is an Irish Canadian author. Her works of historical fiction include  The Wonder  and Slammerkin .

Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is a British author whose works of historical fiction include The Birth of Venus , In the Company of the Courtesan , and Sacred Hearts .

Esi Edugyan

Esi Edugyan is the Canadian author of historical novels including The Second Life of Samuel Tyne , Half Blood Blues , and Washington Black .

Ken Follett

Ken Follett is a British author of historical fiction including  Fall of Giants , Winter of the World , and World Without End .

Margaret George

Margaret George is an American author of historical novels including  Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles , The Memoirs of Cleopatra , and Elizabeth I.

Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is a British historian and author. Her works of historical fiction include The Other Boleyn Girl , The White Queen , and The Constant Princess .

Sara Gruen is a Canadian-American writer of historical fiction including  Water for Elephants ,  At the Water’s Edge  and  Ape House .

Sandra Gulland

Sandra Gulland is an American-born Canadian writer of historical novels including  The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. ,  Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe  and The Shadow Queen .

Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden is a British author of non-fiction and historical fiction. His historical fiction debut was The Gates of Rome , the first in what would become his five-part Emperor series about the life of Julius Caesar.

Jeanne Kalogridis

Jeanne Kalogridis is an American author of historical novels including  The Borgia Bride , The Devil’s Queen: A Novel of Catherine de’Medici , and The Orphan of Florence .

Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley is a Canadian author and former museum curator, whose historical novels include The Winter Sea , A Desperate Fortune , and Bellewether .

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver is an American author of historical novels including  The Bean Trees , The Poisonwood Bible , The Lacuna , and Unsheltered .

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is an English writer whose historical novels include  Wolf Hall ,  Bring Up the Bodies , and  A Place of Greater Safety.

Ami McKay is a Canadian author of historical fiction including The Birth House , The Virgin Cure , and The Witches of New York .

Paula McLain

Paula McLain is an American author of historical fiction including The Paris Wife , Love and Ruin , and Circling the Sun .

Rohinton Mistry

Rohinton Mistry is an Indian-born Canadian author of historical novels including  Such A Long Journey  and  A Fine Balance .

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an American writer and icon, whose novels of historical fiction include The Bluest Eye , Beloved , Jazz , Paradise , and  A Mercy .

Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lanka–born Canadian writer whose historical novels include In the Skin of a Lion , The English Patient , Anil’s Ghost , and Warlight .

Kate Quinn is an American author whose works of historical fiction include  The Alice Network ,  Mistress of Rome  and The Serpent and the Pearl .

Edward Rutherford

Edward Rutherfurd is a pen name for the English author Francis Edward Wintle. As Rutherford, his works of historical fiction include London: The Novel , New York: The Novel , and Paris: The Novel .

Lisa See is an American author whose historical novels include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan , Shanghai Girls , and The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane .

Eva Stachniak

Eve Stachniak is a Polish-Canadian author whose works of historical fiction include The Chosen Maiden , The Winter Palace , and Empress of the Night .

Indu Sundaresan

Indu Sundaresan is an Indian American writer whose works of historical fiction include The Twentieth Wife , The Feast of Roses , and Shadow Princess .

Lalita Tademy

Lalita Tademy is an American author, whose historical novels include Cane River ,  Red River  and Citizens Creek .

Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is an Irish writer whose historical novels include Brooklyn , and The Testament of Mary .

Amor Towles

Amor Towles is an American writer of historical fiction including Rules of Civility  and A Gentleman in Moscow .

Guy Vanderhaeghe

Guy Vanderhaeghe is a Canadian writer whose historical novels include The Englishman’s Boy , The Last Crossing , and A Good Man .

Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a Welsh writer whose historical novels include  Fingersmith , Tipping the Velvet , and The Paying Guests .

Alison Weir

Alison Weir is a British historian and novelist whose historical novels include Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey ,  The Marriage Game: A Novel of Elizabeth I , and  Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession .

Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams is an American writer whose historical novels include  Along the Infinite Sea , A Certain Age , and The Summer Wives .

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is a British historian and author, whose works of historical fiction include The Storms of War  and  The Edge of the Fall .

bonus! best Historical Fiction Authors: emerging

We can’t wait to see what these rising stars of historical fiction will write next!

LaShonda Katrice Barnett, author of Jam on the Vine

Tracy Borman, author of The King’s Witch

Yangsze Choo, author of The Ghost Bride

Tara Conklin, author of The House Girl

E.C. Fremantle, author of The Poison Bed

Vivien Shotwell, author of Vienna Nocturne

Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing

Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko

Kate Worsley, author of She Rises

Can’t get enough historical fiction? We’re here to help! Check out our top 50 historical fiction books that everyone should read.

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The Nobel Prize In Literature Winners You Need to Read

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Goodreads Celebrates Women's History Month


100 Best American Authors

A book’s total score is based on multiple factors, including the number of people who have voted for it and how highly those voters ranked the book.

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Fantastic Fiction

Welcome to Fantastic Fiction

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50 Fictional Writers, Ranked

The best and worst from literature, film, & tv.

Everyone knows that writers love to write about writers. In fact, if an alien had to guess which profession was most common on earth based on our media alone—well, honestly it would probably be Detective, or Cop or something, but Writer would be up there too. So which fictional writers should we most avidly promote to our future alien overlords? I have no idea, but here I’ve taken a look at 50 favorite writers from film, literature and TV (and their many intersections). I’ve limited the list to fictional writers of literature—that is, I have excluded both journalists (yes, even Rory) and screenwriters. This is really only because I had to draw the line somewhere or wind up writing this list for the rest of time, and no one wants that, least of all my family. I also excluded biopics and other works in which real-world authors appear with their real-world names, though if a fictional character is simply based on a real writer, I found that to be admissible. As far as the rankings go, well, it’s not always easy to tell who is a good writer and who isn’t, especially when we’re talking about imaginary abilities. Besides, most fictional writers are either extremely bad or extremely good—at least according to their creators. Let’s just say I’ve gone with my gut.

Phil Blackwood, Her Alibi

Author bio: Tom Selleck is a crime writer who has had writer’s block for four years, and starts haunting local courtrooms to look for material. There he finds and falls for a young woman accused of murder and offers to be her alibi—and also starts writing about her, of course. Roger Ebert, who gave this movie .5 stars, sums up Blackwood’s writing style this way :

One of the minor curiosities of the movie is why the Selleck character is such a bad writer. His prose is a turgid flow of cliche and stereotype, and when we catch a glimpse of his computer screen, we can’t help noticing that he writes only in capital letters. Although the movie says he’s rich because of a string of best sellers, on the evidence this is the kind of author whose manuscripts are returned with a form letter.

Representative excerpt: “Despite the dozens of ravishing creatures begging to be part of his life, Swift had lived alone since his wife . . . was incinerated several years before, when the microwave went berserk during a thunderstorm.”

ms. perky 10 things

Author bio:  The high school guidance counselor who is only semi-secretly writing the Next Great American Romance Novel during work hours: Undulating with desire, Adrian removes her red crimson cape at the sight of Reginald’s stiff and . . . Judith!

Literary wisdom: “Quivering member. I like that.”

spike open mic angel effulgent

Author bio:  Spike goes through a hell of a transition over the many years of his life and undeath—and I don’t just mean the vampire thing, or the soul thing. As a youth, William the Bloody was mocked for his “bloody awful poetry.” Later, he worked out his feelings by killing a lot of people. But in the very last episode of Angel , facing destruction, Spike finally gets his standing ovation. It’s . . . surprisingly touching! If only that made the poetry better.

Classic slam poem:

My soul is wrapped in harsh repose Midnight descends in raven-colored clothes But soft. Behold! A sunlight beam Cutting a swath of glimmering gleam My heart expands, ’tis grown a bulge in it Inspired by your beauty . . . effulgent.”

jughead jones writer riverdale

Author bio: Of course Riverdale ‘s resident misfit gets the job of being the writer—a charming little meta-intrusion. Jughead claims that he is writing “Riverdale’s very own In Cold Blood .” Well, as you can see from the excerpt below,  In Cold Blood it ain’t , but his hat is cute.

Opening lines: “Our story is about a town, a small town, and the people who live in the town. From a distance, it presents itself like so many other small towns all over the world. Safe. Decent. Innocent. Get closer, though, and you start seeing the shadows underneath. The name of our town is Riverdale.”

jimmy you're the worst

Author bio: Jimmy is a British writer and extreme narcissist living in Los Angeles and working on following up his poorly received Congratulations, You’re Dying  with a new project, “the first truly literary erotic novel since Portnoy’s Complaint .” Apparently, it has a few too many descriptions of semen on stockings.

Literary wisdom: “Writing is very seldom actual writing. Maybe on the outside it looks as though I’m drinking and playing darts and eating craisins out of a bag in my pocket, but this is part of the process. It’s all writing. And I need you to respect my process.”

fiction authors names

Author bio:  In the first season of  The Affair , Noah is a semi-successful (read: one okay book out) novelist who . . . has an affair. His first book is called A Person Who Visits a Place , to which I can only say . . . lol. In the second season, he publishes a novel, Descent , that gets him nominated for a PEN/Faulkner award, hailed as “the new bad boy of American letters,” and turns him into a bestseller—which is not even the most far-fetched part. The actual most far-fetched part is that he successfully gets a woman’s number with the line “Is there a green light at the end of your dock, Daisy?”, or maybe that his publicist drops the bomb that . . . Jonathan Franzen wants to meet him. Cool!

Excerpt from  Descent : “They were driving fast. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an old boat painted blue, resting on the side of the road, dilapidated, rotting as if the air itself was corrosive.”

carrie bradshaw

Author bio: Shouldn’t really be on this list, because she’s a whiny newspaper columnist who writes one column a week and somehow lives a lavish, fashionista lifestyle. I guess she eventually turns her columns into a memoir-ish book (and at least according to Wikipedia, she goes on to write several more, with horrible, horrible names like MEN-hattan and I Do! Do I? ), and I don’t want to get emails about how I missed her, so here she is.

One of the many things Carrie wonders: “I used to think those people who sat alone at Starbucks writing on their laptops were pretentious posers. Now I know–they’re people who have recently moved in with someone. As I looked around, I wondered how many of them were mid-fight, like myself.”

eli cash royal tenenbaums

Author bio:  Assistant professor of English literature at Brooks College, who hit the big-time with his second novel,  Old Custer . Literary legend has it that Anderson wrote Cash to be a sort of fusion of Cormac McCarthy and Jay McInerney. (Plus fringe, I suppose.) Grew up with a family of geniuses. Especially not a genius. No, she didn’t even have to think about it.

Elevator pitch:  “Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is . . . maybe he didn’t?”

jess gilmore girls

Author bio: Rory isn’t here, so you’ll have to content yourself with Rory’s Best Boyfriend, who also happened to be a writer—coincidence? I think not. After escaping Stars Hollow, Jess writes a novel (which sounds suspiciously Beat-ish), and publishes it with a small press—years later, it is he who suggests that Rory write her memoir. A novelist  and  a muse!

Literary repartee: “Hey, I’ve read Jane Austen . . . and I think she would have liked Bukowski.”

squid and the whale

Author(s) bio:  In middle age, Bernard is a writer gone to seed—but Joan is a writer on the ascendant. Needless to say, they get divorced.

Harsh but fair: “What is it about high school? You read all the worst books by good writers.”

listen up philip

Author bio:  Misanthropic, young, narcissistic Philip has sold his second novel, and is primed to become a Famous and Important writer. But waiting for it to get published is intolerable to him, and every person or responsibility making demands on his time drives him to anger. Enter his idol, legendary writer Ike Zimmerman, who offers him respite at his summer home. This is not a film that will make you like writers, but if you already know a few, you’re likely to laugh at them.

Advice from Ike: “You’ll need a country retreat if you want to get anything done.”

laurie garvey writer

Author bio:  Former therapist and cultist who emerges to write a tell-all book about it (this being more or less the opposite of a vow of silence, I’d say). Her publisher wants more “feeling” but I think he’s probably just being sexist.

The bottom line: “They believe the world ended.”

holly martins the third man

Author bio: An American writer of pulp Westerns who gets mighty involved in his attempt to clear a friend’s name in Allied-occupied Vienna.

Telling exchange:

POPESCU: Can I ask is Mr. Martins engaged in a new book? MARTINS: Yes, it’s called The Third Man . POPESCU: A novel, Mr. Martins? MARTINS: It’s a murder story. I’ve just started it. It’s based on fact. POPESCU: Are you a slow writer, Mr. Martins? MARTINS: Not when I get interested. POPESCU: I’d say you were doing something pretty dangerous this time. MARTINS: Yes? POPESCU: Mixing fact and fiction. MARTINS: Should I make it all fact? POPESCU: Why no, Mr. Martins. I’d say stick to fiction, straight fiction. MARTINS: I’m too far along with the book, Mr. Popescu. POPESCU: Haven’t you ever scrapped a book, Mr. Martins? MARTINS: Never.

adult world

Author bio: A punk literary poet of the ’90s—or so everyone thinks, anyway. Willing to help out needy and deluded young writers by publishing their work in his new anthology:  Shit Poems: An Anthology of Bad Verse .

Literary wisdom: “Love . . . love until you hate. Then learn to hate your love. Then forgive your hate for loving it.”

mavis gary young adult

Author bio: The totally together author of a “disturbingly popular” but soon-to-be-cancelled young adult series who—while on deadline, mind you—decides to jet off on a bizarre pilgrimage to her childhood home, hoping to win back her (married) ex-boyfriend and (presumably) her own long-past young adult life.

Key excerpt: “Just as Kendall hit send , a message from Ryan popped up like magic. It couldn’t be denied, they had textual chemistry .”

hannah girls writing

Author bio: All through  Girls , people wondered: is Hannah Horvath supposed to be a good writer ? She doesn’t  seem  like a good writer—but she gets into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She writes an e-book—but it disintegrates. She gets a job writing advertorials for  GQ —but she fails at that. She gets published in the Modern Love column, and in the end, she gets a pretty unlikely job! So, maybe?

So say we all: “My persona’s very witty and narcissistic.”

jack torrance shining

Author bio:  Your typical alcoholic writer type, who accepts a winter position at the Overlook in the hopes of fixing up his life—and (of course) finding time to work. It does not go that well!

Authorial compulsion:  “He would write it because the Overlook had enchanted him—could any other explanation be so simple or so true? He would write it for the reason he felt that all great literature, fiction and nonfiction, was written: truth comes out, in the end it always comes out. He would write it because he felt he had to.”

jane the virgin writer

Author bio: Accidentally inseminated virgin with dreams of writing—who makes her dreams come true, getting an MFA, getting a job at a publishing house, getting discovered, and publishing her first novel, a historical romance based on her own life called Snow Falling , which (like several other fictional novels on this list) you can read (as ghostwritten by Caridad Pineiro)—Nicole Chung even reviewed it at The Washington Post .  But that first book was met with middling reviews in-world too, and in season four, Jane fixates on bad reviews and suffers from writer’s block. Life isn’t easy when you’re a writer . . . or when you’re constantly beset by telenovela-style drama at every turn.

The strangely familiar opening to  Snow Falling :  “Josephine Galena Valencia always did things the right way and in the right order. At the ripe old age of twenty-three Josephine had finalized her master plan, and nothing was going to keep her from accomplishing it: find a job as a tutor, finish a novel, and marry Martin. Or so she thought . . . ”

jo march little women

Author bio: An obvious alter ego for Louisa May Alcott herself, Jo is a strong-willed tomboy who loves to read and write. She writes plays and short stories in her youth, and later goes to seek success as a writer in New York City. In the end, she gives up writing and gets married (though to the man of her choice, not to the man she is “supposed” to be with, which I guess makes it fine), but then again, later, in Jo’s Boys , Alcott tells us that Jo “fell back on the long-disused pen as the only thing she could do to fill up the gaps in the income. A book for girls being wanted by a certain publisher, she hastily scribbled a little story describing a few scenes and adventures in the lives of herself and her sisters . . . and with very slight hope of success, sent it out to seek its fortune.” Well, it certainly found its fortune.

Words to live by: “I like good strong words that mean something.”

vonnegut novels

Author bio: Prolific but mostly unsuccessful writer of cheap sci-fi novels (including  Venus on the Half-Shell , which was adapted from the fragment in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater into a full-length novel by Philip José Farmer), named in homage to Theodore Sturgeon (who was much more successful than Trout), but whose personal details change mysteriously from book to book.

When the tupelo Goes poop-a-lo I’ll come back to youp-a-lo

roberta sparrow

Author bio: As the author of The Philosophy of Time Travel , she is probably the only person who truly understands this movie.

Essential wisdom: “Every creature on this earth dies alone.”

stranger than fiction

Author bio: A writer who always kills her main characters, but is suffering from writer’s block when it comes to how to kill her most recent one, is astonished to find that he is a flesh-and-blood Will Ferrell (however that works), but decides for the integrity of the novel—her masterpiece!—she’s going to have to kill him anyway. It is only after Will Ferrell accepts his fate, self-sacrificing in the name of art, that Eiffel loses her nerve and only seriously injures him instead—at the expense of her novel’s brilliance. His watch, however, does in fact die a horrible death.

On her murderous novel: “Like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method.”

gabrielle xena

Author bio: Once a farm girl, Gabrielle ran away to join the mighty Xena on her travels, and eventually became a good fighter as well as a bard—telling stories, singing, and writing down all of their adventures on scrolls (when Xena doesn’t use her paper for wiping with)—though often with some amount of epic embellishment. Gabrielle’s scrolls were eventually rediscovered by the descendants of her, Xena, and Joxer in the 1940s, and then in 1996, were used to pitch a cool television show called Xena: Warrior Princess . . .

Notable excerpt: “I sing of the wrath of Callisto, the pain of Gabrielle, and the courage of Xena and the inevitable mystery of a friendship as immortal as the gods.”

belcher erotic friend fiction

Author bio: A 13-year-old girl who has elaborate fantasies about butts, making out, zombies, and her friends, and often writes erotic fan fiction (or erotic friend fiction) about one, or several, or all of these at once.

An excerpt from “Buttloose,” a piece of Erotic Friend Fiction: “It was lunchtime at Wagstaff. Touching butts had been banned by the horrible headmaster Frond. Suddenly, Tina Belcher appeared in the doorway. She knew what she had to do. She grabbed Jimmy Jr.’s butt, and changed the world.”

suzanne orange is the new black

Author bio: An inmate in Litchfield Penitentiary, and author of a popular (in Litchfield) erotic science fiction series entitled  The Time Hump Chronicles , which stars a time-traveling robo-doll named Edwina, who must choose between that “wuss” Gilly and the dual-penised Space Admiral Rodcocker, whose semen is remarkably high in protein. It becomes so popular that the other inmates begin hounding her for more, and even writing their own fan fiction. And it’s not just the other inmates—real life writer Alyssa Cole recreated (created?) some of the  Chronicles  here .

Summary: “It’s not just sex, it’s love. It’s two people connecting . . . with four other people, and aliens.”

gentlemen broncos

Author bio: Purvis is a home-schooled teenager who writes science fiction stories. When he goes to a youth writer’s conference, he gets to meet his literary idol, Dr. Ronald Chevalier. He even shows him his manuscript— Yeast Lords —which Chevalier promptly steals, rewrites, and publishes as his own. Two other kids he meets at the conference steal his story too—well, they buy it, but not without some shady business—and turn adapt it into a terrible low-budget film. After assaulting his one-time hero, Purvis is in jail. But never fear: his mom is on her way to save the day.

Excerpt from Yeast Lords : “The Nad Lab was a cold white room. Bronco, the last of the Yeast Lords, lay spread eagle, strapped to a medical pod. Someone had stolen his yeast and he had gone totally apeshit.”

basic instinct

Author bio:  A Very Sexy crime novelist who is being investigated for a murder that oddly parallels one from her fiction. She continues to write novels that very closely hew to the illegal and murderous events of her life, but no one really catches her because she is not wearing underwear.

The kiss-off: “I finished my book. Didn’t you hear me? Your character’s dead. Good-bye. What do you want? Flowers? I’ll send you an autographed copy.”

Diane Nguyen

Author bio:  A rare human in this universe, who majored in literature and equine studies at Boston University. She is the author of Secretariat: a Life , The Rise and Fall of Strongheart , and Tracing Zippo Pine Bar , a New York Times bestseller, and was also the ghostwriter BoJack Horseman’s autobiography, One Trick Pony , which won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical, even though it was a book.

Explanation for leaking: “I know you’re mad and you have every right to be, but you gotta read some of these comments. People love you! And they’re gonna love you even more when they read the rest of my book!”

fiction authors names

Author bio: We’ve heard it before: a celebrated debut novelist who can’t get his second book off the ground—until he goes to visit his old mentor and professor, who may or may not have killed a teenage girl! Marcus will solve the mystery and mine it for ideas at the same time.

Marcus on writer’s block: “My terror of the blank page did not hit me suddenly; it crept over me bit by bit, as if my brain were slowly freezing up. I told myself that inspiration would return tomorrow, or the day after, or perhaps the day after that. But the days and weeks and months went by, and inspiration never returned. . . I began to understand that glory was a Gorgon whose visage could turn you to stone if you failed to continue performing.”

Grady Tripp, Wonder Boys

Author bio: A professor in Pittsburgh desperately trying to write a follow-up to his award-winning debut, published seven years previous, but failing to kill his darlings—like, any of them. (Not to mention the fact that his private life is disintegrating, nor the surrealist crime with which he becomes involved.)

Fatal flaw: “Motivation, inspiration were not the problem; on the contrary I was always cheerful and workmanlike at the typewriter and had never suffered from what’s called writer’s block; I didn’t believe in it. The problem, if anything, was precisely the opposite. I had too much to write: too many fine and miserable buildings to construct and streets to name and clock towers to set chiming, too many characters to raise up from the dirt like flowers whose petals I peeled down to the intricate frail organs within, too many terrible genetic and fiduciary secrets to dig up and bury and dig up again, too many divorces to grant, heirs to disinherit, trysts to arrange, letters to misdirect into evil hands, innocent children to slay with rheumatic fever, women to leave unfulfilled and hopeless, men to drive to adultery and theft, fires to ignite at the hearts of ancient houses. It was about a single family and it stood, as of that morning, at two thousand six hundred and eleven pages, each of them revised and rewritten a half dozen times. And yet for all of those years, and all of those words expended in charting the eccentric paths of my characters through the violent blue heavens I had set them to cross, they had not even reached their zeniths. I was nowhere near the end.”

atonement briony

Author bio:  When we first meet Briony, she is a 13-year-old who likes to write; when we last hear from her, she is a novelist in her late 70s. What passes between first appears to be merely the story of her life and her family’s life, but in the final pages, all is revealed: it is she who is the author of what we have just read—and things did not turn out quite the way she said.

On her fixed-up autofiction: “I like to think that it isn’t weakness or evasion, but a final act of kindness, a stand against oblivion and despair, to let my lovers live and to unite them at the end. I gave them happiness, but I was not so self-serving as to let them forgive me. Not quite, not yet.”

fiction authors names

Author bio:  The very unhappily married true author of the novel-within-a-novel, about young Communist Alex Thomas (himself a science fiction author), which she published under her sister’s name—but won’t go to her grave without making the truth known.

On writing her abusive husband: “I’ve failed to convey Richard, in any rounded sense. He remains a cardboard cutout. I know that. I can’t truly describe him, I can’t get a precise focus: he’s blurred, like the face in some wet, discarded newspaper.”

fiction authors names

Author bio:  Japanese-American Sam Sumida is investigating his wife’s murder after the attack on Pearl Harbor. But his world begins to unravel—as his creator, the novelist Takumi Sato, begins to revise it, bending to the demands of his editor, who wants the story to be more palatable to White Americans after the attack. Sato keeps making changes, to Sumida’s story and to the much-more commercial pulpy novel—with an anti-Japanese P. I.—that is replacing it, even from an internment camp.

Every writer’s nightmare: “If you were to consider revising your work to avoid the obvious issues, which would include cutting and replacing not only your Japanese hero Sumida but also the Caucasian villain, I would be willing to take a second look. Of course, I understand that this amounts to your writing a different book. But since you’ve completed only three chapters to date, your investment of time and effort have been relatively small and so re-envisioning may be a viable option for you, Mr. Sato.”

ken cosgrove mad men

Author bio:  Every office has at least one guy who is secretly publishing short stories on the side. Ken Cosgrove elicits jealously when he lands a story in  The Atlantic Monthly , but soon he begins to write SF stories under a pseudonym, and a pre-Farrar, Straus and Giroux even wants to publish a collection. Plot of the title story, according to Ken’s wife: “There’s this bridge between these two planets and thousands of humans travel on it every day, and there’s this robot who does maintenance on the bridge. One day he removes a bolt, the bridge collapses, and everyone dies.” He’s also a great tap dancer.

Read his story: “ Tapping a Maple on a Cold Vermont Morning ,” in The Atlantic ( Monthly ).

calvin ruby sparks

Author bio:  Everyone says that second novel is the hardest—especially when you don’t have any ideas. But turns out this fellow is a very  evocative  writer at least, because he manages to write his dream girl straight into actual existence. Lots of issues with control and consent ensue, but it’s all fine, because in the end he figures out the right thing to do, and gets another successful novel out of the experience in the bargain.

An excerpt from the book about Ruby:  “This is the true and impossible story of my very great love. In the hope that she will not read this and reproach me, I have withheld many telling details: her name, the particulars of her birth and upbringing, and any identifying scars or birthmarks. All the same, I cannot help but write this for her, to tell her, ‘I’m sorry for every word I wrote to change you, I’m sorry for so many things. I couldn’t see you when you were here and, now that you’re gone, I see you everywhere.’ One may read this and think it’s magic, but falling in love is an act of magic. So is writing. It was once said of Catcher in The Rye , “That rare miracle of fiction has again come to pass: a human being has been created out of ink, paper and the imagination.” I am no J. D. Salinger, but I have witnessed a rare miracle. Any writer can attest: in the luckiest, happiest state, the words are not coming from you, but through you. She came to me wholly herself, I was just lucky enough to be there to catch her.”

nick miller writer

Author bio:  Career bartender Nick Miller’s first book was an extremely bad zombie novel called  Z is for Zombie , in which he misspelled the word “rhythm” 38 times and also included a word search with no answers. His second  book,  The Pepperwood Chronicles , seems rather more promising —Schmidt described the main character, Julius Pepperwood, as “A hard-boiled Chicago cop turned New Orleans detective, racing around on fan-boats, drowning that two-faced DA in a bucket of jambalaya.” Nick said the book was a “New Orleans story about a guy fighting with the alligator within,” but also about “race” and “the sexualization of the American handgun.” Ok!

Notable passage:  “The sun baked down on Pepperwood’s back as he moved over to the St. Charles streetcar. The driver handed him a brown paper sack. Without opening it, Pepperwood knew what was inside: blood-soaked beignets.”

hank moody

Author bio: Good writer, terrible person. Alcoholic, sex-addict, statutory rapist. Wrote a book called  God Hates Us All (which now, of course, actually exists , because marketing), watched it get adapted into a movie called  A Crazy Little Thing Called Love . Wrote a book called  Fucking & Punching , had the manuscript get stolen and published by the teenage girl—the one who punched him. Wrote the script for the film adaptation, after getting out of jail. Wrote a biography of a dead rock star. Wrote a book called . . .  Californication .

First sentence of  God Hates Us All : “Daphne loved speed.”

erasure everett

Author bio: A critically acclaimed novelist who can’t seem to get his most recent manuscript published—while Ohio-born Juanita Mae Jenkins’s debut We’s Lives In Da Ghetto becomes a bestseller. So he pens a rebuttal, entitled My Pafology (and published in its entirety within Erasure , under the pen name Stagg R. Leigh—and suddenly is awash in literary fame himself.

From My Pafology : “My name is Van Go Jenkins and I’m 19 years old and I don’t give a fuck about nobody, not you, not my Mama, not the man. The world don’t give a fuck about nobody, so why would I?”

misery paul sheldon

Author bio:  The author of the beloved Victorian-set Misery Chastain novels, including  Misery’s Quest ,  Misery’s Lover ,  Misery’s Child ,  Misery’s Return ,  Misery’s Journey ,  Misery’s Paradise , and  Misery Unchained . These books must be really good, because his fandom is strong. And handy with an axe.

Literary wisdom: “Writers remember everything . . . Especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels, not amnesia. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is that ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.”

elizabeth costello

Author bio:  It’s safe to say that Elizabeth Costello is Coetzee’s alter ego—after all, in this novel, she mostly goes around delivering lectures about literature and animal welfare. As David Lodge has observed , the main differences between Costello and Coetzee are gender and age. That, I suppose, and Costello’s most famous novel,  The House on Eccles Street , a retelling of  Ulysses  from the perspective of Molly Bloom.

A taste of lecture:  “Seen from the outside, from a being who is alien to it, reason is simply a vast tautology. Of course reason will validate reason as the first principle of the universe—what else should it do? Dethrone itself? Reasoning systems, as systems of totality, do not have that power. If there were a position from which reason could attack and dethrone itself, reason would already have occupied that position; otherwise it would not be total.”

ts garp

Author bio:  The son of a successful memoirist (her  A Sexual Subject  makes her a feminist icon), T. S. Garp starts out as a tortured wanna-be and finally becomes a novelist in his own right, writing books that reflect his own less-than-ideal life ( The Second Wind of the Cuckold , for instance)—in fact, his literary success is really the only thing that is good that happens to him in this whole tragic novel!

Demonstrative passage: “Arden Bensenhaver took the three pieces of the bra from his pocket. He looked at the sow lying beside the men; she had one frightened eye, which appeared to be looking at all of them at once, and it was hard to tell where her other eye was looking. ‘Is that a boy pig or a girl pig?’ asked Bensenhaver.”

george mcfly back to the future

Author bio:  In 1985, after nabbing his dream girl with the help of one Calvin Klein and a mysterious alien, George McFly published a best-selling science fiction novel, based in part on their love story. In 1989, it was adapted into a movie, which USA Today called “a creative misfire as well as a box office bomb,” (maybe because of all the “martial arts elements” and “country western songs”) but as of 2015 , Robert Zemeckis was planning to remake it, with a script co-written by McFly himself, who hoped he could convince Zemeckis to cast Christopher Lloyd—as the alien.

Literary advice from the past/future: “Like I’ve always told you, you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

richard castle writer

Author bio:  As a child, Richard Castle hung out at the New York Public Library (where a mysterious man once handed him a copy of  Casino Royale ). As an adult, Castle is a massively popular, best-selling crime novelist and sometime consultant for the NYPD and later, a PI. Pro tip: You can actually buy Richard Castle’s books—they even have Nathan Fillion’s photograph on the back (but they are probably actually written by Tom Straw).

Explanatory Voice Over:  “There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking how to kill people: Psychopaths, and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better.”

the wife glenn close

Author bio: Meg Wolitzer’s novel opens with Joan and her husband (once her creative writing professor) on the way to Helsinki, where he will be awarded a prestigious literary prize. For her part, she’s been subjugating her own career for years to support his. Because spoiler alert: Joan is the one who has written all those famous books.

Bitter description: “You might even envy us—him for all the power vacuum-packed within his bulky, shopworn body, and me for my twenty-four-hour-access to it, as though a famous and brilliant writer-husband is a convenience store for his wife, a place she can dip into anytime for a Big Gulp of astonishing intellect and wit and excitement.”

watson writing

Author bio: Handsome physician and war hero; best friend of one highly neurotic and cruelly dispassionate “consulting detective,” and also his biographer. Arthur Conan Doyle, you see, is only Watson’s literary executor. In the world of Sherlock Holmes, everything was actually written by the good doctor.

The spark of inspiration: “Your merits should be publicly recognised. You should publish an account of the case. If you won’t, I will for you.”

finding forrester

Author bio: William Forrester won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and then became a recluse, staying holed up in his Bronx apartment. He only pops his head up years later to engage in this white savior narrative! The character is clearly based on J. D. Salinger— and a little John Kennedy Toole

Sage advice:  “No thinking—that comes later. You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think!”

fiction authors names

Author bio:  Basically Philip Roth, but from Pittsburgh.

On that pesky Nobel Prize:  “Blazer! You were robbed!”

Jessica Fletcher, Murder, She Wrote

Author bio: A retired English teacher who can’t drive becomes a wildly successful mystery novelist—and a top notch amateur sleuth, always besting the police in figuring out the truth behind the many, many crimes in her small Maine town (the only explanation that makes sense is that . . . Jessica was a serial killer the whole time ).

Wily understatement: “Lieutenant Ames, I don’t know who or what you think I am, but I assure you, I’m simply a mystery writer from Cabot Cove, Maine.”

pale fire

Author bio: A celebrated poet (“one oozy footprint behind Frost”) who may or may not have been recently murdered by one Charles Kinbote, annotator of his works and self-styled King of Zembla. If you need something to argue about at cocktail parties, try this: while Shade’s poem is no doubt important, and meant to be taken seriously, is it supposed to be good—or supposed to be bad? Or try this: is Shade even real, or “real”?

The first stanza of the eponymous poem:

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain By the false azure in the windowpane I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky, And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate: Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass Hang all the furniture above the grass, And how delightful when a fall of snow Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so As to make chair and bed exactly stand Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!


Author bio:  A writer so beloved and mysterious that academics, catching a whiff of him, might try to follow to Santa Teresa (to no avail). Nobel-nominated, secretly Prussian, born Hans Reiter, obsessed with seaweed.

Bibliography: Extensive .

neapolitan novels

Author bio: It has been pointed out to me on Twitter , which is apparently good for something, that I forgot all about Elena Ferrante’s alter ego Elena Greco. Lenù is a hardworking student who is starry-eyed at the natural brilliance of her friend Lila—but it is Elena and not Lila who will go on to college, and who will write a story about her life, which becomes a well-recieved book—and leads to more books about her life, and her friend, and the hard world from which they came. Autofiction about a writer of autofiction? What else could it be?

Literary wisdom:  “Words: with them you can do and undo as you please.”

Emily Temple

Emily Temple

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fiction authors names

Top 100 authors of all time

1. fyodor dostoevsky.

Writer | The Double

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children of Mikhail Andreevich and Maria Dostoevsky. His father, a doctor, was a member of the Russian nobility, owned serfs and had a considerable estate near Moscow where he lived with his ...

2. Dante Alighieri

Writer | The Trophy Case: Judgement

Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 into the lower nobility of Florence, to Alighiero di Bellincione d'Alighiero, a moneylender. A precocious student, Dante's education focused on rhetoric and grammar. He also became enamored with a young girl, Beatrice Portinari, whose death in 1290 threw a grieving ...

3. Lev Tolstoy

Writer | Anna Karenina

Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in his ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, South of Moscow, Russia. He was the fourth of five children in a wealthy family of Russian landed Gentry. His parents died when he was a child, and he was brought up by his elder brothers and ...

4. Victor Hugo

Writer | Les Misérables

Although Hugo was fascinated by poems from childhood on, he spent some time on the polytechnic university of Paris until he dedicated all his work to literature. He was one of the few authors who were allowed to reach popularity during lifetime and one of the leaders of French romance. After the ...

5. William Shakespeare

Writer | The Tragedy of Macbeth

William Shakespeare's birthdate is assumed from his baptism on April 25. His father John was the son of a farmer who became a successful tradesman; his mother Mary Arden was gentry. He studied Latin works at Stratford Grammar School, leaving at about age 15. About this time his father suffered an ...

6. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Soundtrack | Valkyrie

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany as son of a lawyer. After growing up in a privileged upper middle class family, he studied law in Leipzig from 1765 to 1768, although he was more interested in literature. As he was seriously ill, he had to interrupt ...

7. Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra

Writer | Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes' baptism occurred on October 9, 1547, at Alcala de Henares, Spain, so it is reasonable to assume he was born around that time, and Alcala de Henares has long claimed itself as his birthplace. The son of Rodrigo de Cervantes, an itinerant and not-too-successful surgeon, Miguel ...

8. Italo Calvino

Writer | Boccaccio '70

Italo Calvino was born on October 15, 1923 in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba. He was a writer, known for Boccaccio '70 (1962), The Cultzone Holy Grail (2020) and Tiko and the Shark (1962). He was previously married to Esther Judith Singer. He died on September 19, 1985 in Siena, Tuscany, Italy.

9. Stendhal

Writer | The Red and the Black

A foremost French writer of the Romantic era, Stendhal was born Marie-Henri Beyle in Grenoble, France in 1783. A loyal Bonapartist he followed Napoleon closely during his military campaigns Stendhal's novels reflect his intense love of Italy, his political convictions and the moral and ...

10. Charles Baudelaire

Soundtrack | A Single Man

Charles Baudelaire was a 19th century French poet, translator, and literary/art critic. At his birth, Baudelaire's mother, Caroline Archimbaut-Dufays, was 28; his father Francois Baudelaire was 61. Charles' father instilled in him an appreciation for art, taking his young son to museums and ...

11. Marcel Proust

Writer | Un amour de Swann

Marcel Proust was a French intellectual, author and critic, best known for his seven-volume fiction 'In search of Lost Time'. He coined the term "involuntary memory", which became also known as "Proust effect" in modern psychology. He was born Valentin Louis Georges Eugéne Marcel Proust, on July 10, ...

12. Giovanni Boccaccio

Writer | The Little Hours

Giovanni Boccaccio was born in June 1313 in Certaldo, Florence, Tuscany, Italy. He was a writer, known for The Little Hours (2017), Decameron Nights (1953) and Decameron's Jolly Kittens (1972). He died on December 21, 1375 in Certaldo, Florence, Tuscany, Italy.

13. Alexander Pushkin

Soundtrack | Florence Foster Jenkins

Born to noble parents (his father Sergei was a retired major, and his mother, Nadezhda, was the granddaughter of an ennobled Ethiopian general) on the 26th of May, 1799 in Moscow, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin became involved with a liberal underground revolutionary group that saw him exiled to the ...

14. Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi

Writer | Rumi: Poet of the Heart

Jalaluddin Rumi, Scholar in Religious Sciences and famed Sufi Mystic Poet, was born on September 29th 1207 A.D. in Balkh (modern day Afghanistan). Escaping Mongol invasions he travelled extensively to Muslim lands, Bagdad, Mecca, Damascus, Malatia (Turkey). Married Gevher Khatun of Samarquand and ...

15. Franz Kafka

Writer | Le procès

Franz Kafka was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, Austrian Empire, in 1883. His father, Hermann Kafka, was a business owner and a domestic tyrant, frequently abusing his son. Kafka later admitted to his father, "My writing was all about you...". He believed that his father broke ...

16. Anton Chekhov

Writer | Kis Uykusu

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1860, the third of six children to a family of a grocer, in Taganrog, Russia, a southern seaport and resort on the Azov Sea. His father, a 3rd-rank Member of the Merchant's Guild, was a religious fanatic and a tyrant who used his children as slaves. Young Chekhov...

17. Gabriel García Márquez

Writer | El año de la peste

Major Latin-American author of novels and short stories, a central figure in the so-called magical realism movement in Latin American literature. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. Studied law and journalism in Bogotá and Cartagena. He began his career as a journalist in 1948, ...

18. Umberto Eco

Writer | Der Name der Rose

He is a professor of semiotics, the study of communication through signs and symbols, at the University of Bologna. Also a philiosopher, a historian, literary critic, and an aesthetician. He is an avid book collector and owns more than 30,000 volumes. The subjects of his scholarly investigations ...

19. J.R.R. Tolkien

Writer | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

English writer, scholar and philologist, Tolkien's father was a bank manager in South Africa. Shortly before his father died (1896) his mother took him and his younger brother to his father's native village of Sarehole, near Birmingham, England. The landscapes and Nordic mythology of the Midlands ...

20. William Faulkner

Writer | To Have and Have Not

William Faulkner, one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists, wrote for the movies in part because he could not make enough money from his novels and short stories to support his growing number of dependants. The author of such acclaimed novels as "The Sound and the Fury" and "Absalom, Absalom...

Writer | El león enamorado

Greek slave. Many of the 200+ fables attributed to him may not have been his own, but since his name is synonymous with fables they were credited to him anyway. Sentenced to death for heresy. Was thrown from the edge of a cliff, c. 560 BC. The excepted dates of his birth and death would mean that ...

22. Arthur Rimbaud

Writer | Ein großer graublauer Vogel

Arthur Rimbaud was born on October 20, 1854 in Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, France. He was a writer, known for A Big Grey-Blue Bird (1970), Ardiente paciencia (1983) and Criminal Lovers (1999). He died on November 10, 1891 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France.

23. Aristophanes

Soundtrack | Star Trek

Ancient Greek poet and comic dramatist Aristophanes was the son of Philippus of Athens. A leading exponent of the Athenian "Old Comedy," Aristophanes lived most of his life during the Peloponnesian War against Sparta (431-404). Some of his works include "Acharnians" (425), "Knights" (424), "In the ...

24. Ivan Turgenev

Writer | Theatre Macabre

Ivan Turgenev was born into a wealthy landowning family with many serfs, in the city of Oryol in Southern Russia. His father, a cavalry colonel, died when he was 15, and he was raised by his abusive mother, who ruled her 5000 serfs ruthlessly with a whip. He never married, but fathered a daughter ...

25. Sophocles

Writer | Atlantis

Versatile Greek poet and tragic dramatist. He was the son of Sophilus, a wealthy arms manufacturer. Sophocles studied tragedy under Aeschylus, whom he subsequently defeated in the dramatic festival of 468 BC, thus gaining his first victory at these competitions. He became a general under Nicias and...

26. Molière

Writer | Le bourgeois gentilhomme

Born between January 13 and January 15 of the year 1622, from a 25yo tapestry-maker, Jean Poguelin (who worked for the King of France from 1631), and a 20yo woman, Marie Cresé, in Paris, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin lost his mother when he was 10. From 1638 to 1640, he studied in the Jesuit college of ...

27. Charles Dickens

Writer | Oliver & Company

Charles Dickens' father was a clerk at the Naval Pay Office, and because of this the family had to move from place to place: Plymouth, London, Chatham. It was a large family and despite hard work, his father couldn't earn enough money. In 1823 he was arrested for debt and Charles had to start ...

28. Maxim Gorky

Writer | Famine

Maksim Gorky is a pseudonym of Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov, who was born into a poor Russian family in Nizhnii Novgorod on Volga river. Gorky lost his father at an early age, he was beaten by his stepfather and became an orphan at age 9, when his mother died. He was brought up by his grandmother, ...

29. George Orwell

Writer | Nineteen Eighty-Four

Born the son of an Opium Agent in Bengal, Eric Blair was educated in England (Eton 1921). The joined the British Imperial Police in Burma, serving until 1927. He then travelled around England and Europe, doing various odd jobs to support his writing. By 1935 he had adopted the 'pen-name' of 'George...

30. Edgar Allan Poe

Writer | Eliza Graves

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco ...

31. Publius Vergilius Maro

Writer | Troy: The Resurrection of Aeneas

Publius Vergilius Maro was born on October 15, 70 in Andes, Italy. Publius Vergilius was a writer, known for Troy: The Resurrection of Aeneas (2018), Great Performances (1971) and The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006). Publius Vergilius died on September 21, 19 in Brundisium [now Brindisi, Italy].

32. Julio Cortázar

Writer | Blow-Up

One of the most important Argentinian writers of all time, Julio Cortazar was born in Belgium. When he was a child he went with his parents to Argentina. She stayed in Buenos Aires until 1951, when he went to Paris and he stayed in France until his death. His first book of short stories was "...

33. Nazim Hikmet

Soundtrack | Der Himmel über Berlin

Nazim Hikmet was born on January 15, 1902 in Salonica, Ottoman Empire [now Thessaloniki, Greece]. He was a writer and director, known for Wings of Desire (1987), Günese dogru (1937) and Dügün gecesi (1933). He was previously married to Wera Tuljakowa, Münevver and Piraye. He died on ...

34. Oscar Wilde

Writer | The Picture of Dorian Gray

A gifted poet, playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde was a phenomenon in 19th-century England. He was illustrious for preaching the importance of style in life and art, and of attacking Victorian narrow-mindedness. Wilde was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1854. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin before ...

35. Jean de La Fontaine

Writer | La cicala e la formica

Born in July 8, 1621, in Château-Thierry (Champagne, France), where his father was in charge of Water, Forests and Hunting, Jean de la Fontaine spent his whole childhood and adolescence in the countryside, where he mainly studied Latin language. In 1641, he moved to Paris to continue his study at ...

36. Rainer Maria Rilke

Writer | René

Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague on the 4th of December 1878 as the son of a military man working with railroads. After he visited a military Upper School he tried to avoid the army and did the preparations for the final exams and the final exams in private. He went to university to study ...

37. Lord Byron

Writer | Don Juan DeMarco

Lord Byron seemed destined from birth to tragedy. His father was the handsome but feckless Captain John "Mad Jack" Byron and his mother the Scottish heiress Catherine Gordon, the only child of the Laird of Gight. Captain Byron abandoned his wife and child leaving Catherine to bring up young Byron on...

38. Hans Christian Andersen

Writer | Frozen

H.C. Andersen was born in 1805. His father (Hans Andersen) was a poor shoemaker and his mother a washerwoman. The family did not have a permanent address until 1807. The family lived for the first time together at Munkemøllestræde. The father worked as an independent shoemaker, with a workshop in ...

39. Thomas Mann

Writer | Morte a Venezia

Thomas Mann was probably Germany's most influential author of the 20th century, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. Born on 6 June 1875 in Lübeck, his family moved to Munich in 1893, where he lived until 1933 and wrote some of his most successful novels like "Buddenbrocks" (1901), "...

40. Alexandre Dumas

Writer | The Count of Monte Cristo

His paternal grandparents were Marie Cessete Dumas (a Haitian slave) and Marquis Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie. Antoine disapproved of their son, Thomas-Alexandre, joining the French army under the "Davy de la Pailleterie" name, so Thomas-Alexandre used his mother's surname instead. He became a ...

41. James Joyce

Triangle of Sadness

Joyce was born at 41 Brighton Square, Rathgar, Dublin, on 2 February 1882. His father invested unwisely, and the family's fortunes declined steadily. Joyce graduated from University College Dublin (UCD), in 1902. He briefly studied medicine in Paris but his mother's impending death from cancer ...

42. Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Writer | Die Nacht

Louis-Ferdinand Céline was born on May 27, 1894 in Courbevoie, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France. He was a writer and actor, known for Die Nacht (1985), Contes modernes (1979) and Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud (1985). He was previously married to Lucette Almanzor and Edith Follet. He died ...

43. Boris Pasternak

Writer | Doctor Zhivago

Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow on February 10, 1890 into an artistic family of Russian-Jewish heritage. His father was an acclaimed artist named Leonid Pasternak, who converted to Christianity, and his mother was a renown concert pianist named Rosa Kaufman. Their home was open to family friends...

44. Federico García Lorca

Soundtrack | Take This Waltz

Federíco Garcia Lorca was born in the south of Spain (Andalusia) in 1898 and soon became the region's most famous artist. A poet, playwright, artist, musician and lecturer, he wrote groundbreaking plays such as 'Blood Wedding' and 'Yerma'. His support of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s led to his...

45. Pablo Neruda

Writer | American Roulette

Pablo Neruda was the pseudonym of Chilean poet Ricardo Neftali Reyes Basualto. He was born in Parral, a little town in central Chile, but his family moved to Temuco City when he was just a few months old. It was there he showed interest in poetry and made his early works, and where he picked "Pablo...

Actor | Mil Adultérios

Borges is known for Mil Adultérios (1910).

47. Beaumarchais

Writer | La règle du jeu

Beaumarchais was born on January 24, 1732 in Paris, France. Beaumarchais was a writer, known for The Rules of the Game (1939), The Barber of Seville (1938) and The Marriage of Figaro (1949). Beaumarchais was previously married to Marie-Thérèse Willermawlaz, Geneviève Wattebled Lévêque and Madeleine...

48. Najeeb Mahfouz

Writer | El Fetewa

Najeeb Mahfouz was born on December 11, 1911 in Cairo, Egypt. He was a writer, known for The Tough (1957), The Monster (1954) and Saladin (1963). He was previously married to Atiyyatallah Ibrahim. He died on August 30, 2006 in Cairo, Egypt.

49. Ursula K. Le Guin

Writer | Gedo senki

Ursula K. Le Guin was born on October 21, 1929 in Berkeley, California, USA. She was a writer, known for Tales from Earthsea (2006), The Lathe of Heaven (1980) and The Telling . She was previously married to Charles A. Le Guin. She died on January 22, 2018 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

50. Nikolay Gogol

Writer | Burnt Hickory

Nikolai (Mykola) Gogol was a Russian humorist, dramatist, and novelist of Ukrainian origin. His ancestors were bearing the name of Gogol-Janovsky and claimed belonging to the upper class Polish Szlachta. Gogol's father, a Ukrainian writer living on his old family estate, had five other children. He...

51. Honoré de Balzac

Writer | Les secrets de la princesse de Cadignan

Honoré de Balzac was a French writer whose works have been made into films, such as, Cousin Bette (1998) starring Jessica Lange , and television serials, such as, _Cousin Bette (1971 TV mini-series)_, starring Margaret Tyzack and Helen Mirren . He was born on March 20, 1799, in Tours, France. His ...

52. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was an American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize (1953) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1954) for his novel The Old Man and the Sea, which was made into a 1958 film The Old Man and the Sea (1958). He was born into the hands of his physician father. He was the second of six ...

53. Neil Gaiman

Writer | Good Omens

Neil Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. He is best known for the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. As a child and a teenager, Gaiman read the works of C. S. ...

54. Jean Racine

Writer | Phèdre

Jean-Baptiste Racine (22 December 1639 - 21 April 1699) was a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France, along with Molière and Corneille as well as an important literary figure in the Western tradition and world literature. Racine was primarily a tragedian, ...

55. Albert Camus

Writer | Bajo la metralla

Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913, in Mondovi, Algeria. His parents were Spanish-French-Algerian (pied noir) colonists. His father, Lucien, died in the Battle of Marne (1914) during WWI. His mother, named Catherine Helene Sintes was of Spanish origin, she was a deaf mute due to a stroke, ...

56. Jean-Paul Sartre

Writer | Les orgueilleux

Jean-Paul Charles-Aymard Sartre was born on June 21, 1905, in Paris, France. His father, Jean-Baptiste Sartre, was an officer in the French Navy. His mother, Anne-Marie Schweitzer, was the cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer . Sartre was one year old when his father died. He was ...

57. Chingiz Aitmatov

Writer | Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim

Chingiz Aitmatov was a Russian-Kyrgyz writer and statesman known for such films as The First Teacher (1965), The Girl with the Red Scarf (1977) and Jamila (1994). He was born Chingiz Torekulovich Aitmatov on December 12, 1928, in Kirgizia, Soviet Union. His family was bilingual, Russian-Kyrgyz. His ...

58. John Steinbeck

Writer | Lifeboat

John Steinbeck was the third of four children and the only son born to John Ernst and Olive Hamilton Steinbeck. His father was County Treasurer and his mother, a former schoolteacher. John graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended classes at Stanford University, leaving in 1925 ...

59. Milan Kundera

Writer | The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Milan Kundera was born on April 1st 1929 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He wrote his first poems during his high school years. After World War II he worked as a jazz musician before going to college. He studied music, film and literature at university in Prague. He moved on to become a professor at the ...

60. Jules Verne

Writer | Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jules Gabriel Verne (1828-1905) was one of the most famous French novelists of all time. His major work is the "Extraordinary Journeys", a series of more than sixty adventure novels including "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "Around the World in 80 Days", "20.000 Leagues under the Seas" and "...

61. Mark Twain

Writer | Lionizing Murderers

Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835, grew up in Hannibal. He was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. Throughout his career, Twain served as a writer, lecturer, reporter, editor, printer, and prospector. Twain took his pen name from an alert cry used on his...

62. Francois Rabelais

Writer | Kraft Television Theatre

François Rabelais was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He is primarily known as a writer of satire, of the grotesque, and of bawdy jokes and songs. Ecclesiastical and anticlerical, Christian and considered by some as a free thinker, a doctor and ...

63. Yasar Kemal

Writer | Alageyik

Yasar Kemal was born on October 6, 1923 in Osmaniye, Adana, Turkey. He was a writer, known for The Fallow Deer (1958), Tus (1955) and The Enemy of Chastity (1957). He was previously married to Ayse Semiha Baban and Thilda Serrero. He died on February 28, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey.

64. George Bernard Shaw

Writer | My Fair Lady

The Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, acquired a reputation as the greatest dramatist in the English language during the first half of the 20th Century for the plays he had written at the height of his creativity from "Mrs. ...

65. Arthur Conan Doyle

Writer | Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer of Irish descent, considered a major figure in crime fiction. His most famous series of works consisted of the "Sherlock Holmes" stories (1887-1927), consisting of four novels and 56 short stories. His other notable series were the "Professor Challenger" ...

66. Jane Austen

Writer | Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen was born on December 16th, 1775, to the local rector, Rev. George Austen (1731-1805), and Cassandra Leigh (1739-1827). She was the seventh of eight children. She had one older sister, Cassandra. In 1783 she went to Southampton to be taught by a relative, Mrs. Cawley, but was brought ...

67. Geoffrey Chaucer

Writer | The Ribald Tales of Canterbury

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in 1343 in London, England, UK. He was a writer. He was previously married to Philippa Roet. He died on October 25, 1400 in London, England.

68. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Writer | Le Petit Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born into a family of old provincial nobility. Failing his final exams at a preparatory school, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts to study architecture. In 1921, he began military service in the 2nd Regiment of Chasseurs, and sent to Strasbourg for pilot training. The...

69. Erich Maria Remarque

Writer | A Time to Love and a Time to Die

The German novelist Erich Maria Remarque was born in Osnabrück in 1898. His first novel, the famous anti-war epic All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), was written based on his experiences as a soldier in WWI, and published in 1929. He moved to Switzerland until 1939 and later emigrated to the US....

70. J.D. Salinger

Writer | My Foolish Heart

U.S. writer whose novel "The Catcher in the Rye" (1951) won critical acclaim and devoted admirers, especially among the post-World War II generation of college students. His entire corpus of published works consists of that one novel and 13 short stories, all originally written in the period 1948-...

71. Virginia Woolf

Writer | Orlando

London-born Virginia Woolf came from a wealthy family and, unlike her brothers, received her education at home, an unusual step for the times. Her parents had both had children from previous marriages, so she grew up with a variety of siblings, stepbrothers and stepsisters. Her father was a ...

72. Louis Aragon

Soundtrack | 8 femmes

Louis Aragon was born on October 3, 1897, in Paris, France. He graduated from Lycée Carnot, then studied medicine in Sorbonne and befriended a fellow medical student André Breton . In 1917 he was drafted in the First World War and served in a military hospital. There he met Guillaume Apollinaire and...

73. Herman Melville

Writer | The Enigma of Benito Cereno

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick (1851); Typee (1846), a romanticized account of his experiences in Polynesia; and Billy Budd, Sailor, a posthumously published novella. Although his ...

74. Alphonse Daudet

Writer | Sapho

Alphonse Daudet was born on May 13, 1840 in Nîmes, France. He was a writer, known for Sapho (1934), Sapho (1917) and Sapho (1913). He was previously married to Julia Allard. He died on December 16, 1897 in Paris, France.

75. Mikhail Sholokhov

Writer | Podnyataya tselina

Mikhail Sholokhov was a Russian writer who received a Nobel prize for his epic novel 'Tikhiy Don'. He was born in 1905 into a Cossack family of farmers in Kruzhilin, Veshenskaya, Rostov province in Southern Russia. His high school studies were interrupted by the Russian revolution and the Civil War, ...

76. Stefan Zweig

Writer | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Stefan Zweig was born on November 28, 1881 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]. He was a writer, known for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) and Marie Antoinette (1938). He was previously married to Friderike Maria Burger von Winternitz and Charlotte E. ...

77. José Saramago

Writer | Enemy

José Saramago was born on November 16, 1922 in Azinhaga, Golega, Portugal. He was a writer and actor, known for Enemy (2013), Blindness (2008) and O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo . He was previously married to Pilar del Río and Ilda Reis. He died on June 18, 2010 in Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Canary ...

78. Bertolt Brecht

Writer | Die Dreigroschenoper

Bertolt Brecht was born on 10 February 1898 in Augsburg, Germany and one of the country's most influential poets, playwrights and screenwriters. His most famous work was the musical "The Threepenny Opera" (with Kurt Weill ), but his dramas such as "Mother Courage and Her Children" or "The Good ...

79. Mario Vargas Llosa

Writer | Pantaleón y las visitadoras

Mario Vargas Llosa was born on March 28, 1936 in Arequipa, Peru. He is a writer and director, known for Pantaleon (1976), Captain Pantoja and the Special Services (1999) and Travesuras de la Niña Mala (2022). He has been married to Patricia Llosa since 1965. He was previously married to ...

80. T.S. Eliot

Writer | Cats

T.S. Eliot ranks with William Butler Yeats as the greatest English language poet of the 20th Century and was certainly the most influential. He was born Thomas Stearns Eliot into the bosom of a respectable middle class family on September 26, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri. The family had roots in New...

81. Guy de Maupassant

Writer | La criada de la granja

Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 in Château de Miromesnil, France. He was a writer, known for La criada de la granja (1953), Masculine Feminine (1966) and Black Sabbath (1963). He died on July 6, 1893 in Paris, France.

82. John Keats

Writer | La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats

John Keats (31 October 1795 - 23 February 1821) was an English poet of the second generation of Romantic poets, with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, although his poems had been in publication for less than four years when he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. They were indifferently ...

83. Sabahattin Ali

Sabahattin Ali was born in Komotini, Greece, 1917; and assassinated in Kirklareli, Turkey, 1948. He worked as a teacher in Yozgat, Aydin, Konya and Ankara for couple of years. In 1945, Ali started to publish humorous and opposing magazine Marko Pasa. He arrested in 1948 for an article and sentenced...

84. Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar

Music_department | Neredesin Firuze

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar was born on June 23, 1901 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]. He was a writer, known for Where's Firuze? (2004), A Passing Summer's Rain (1994) and Geçmis Zaman Elbiseleri (1975). He died on January 24, 1962 in Istanbul, Turkey.

85. John Fante

Writer | Full of Life

John Fante was born on April 8, 1909 in Boulder, Colorado, USA. He was a writer, known for Full of Life (1956), The Golden Fleecing (1940) and My Man and I (1952). He was previously married to Joyce H. Smart. He died on May 8, 1983 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

86. Henri-Frédéric Blanc

Writer | Combat de fauves

Henri-Frédéric Blanc is known for Wild Games (1997) and Jeu de massacre ou le blues des fadas (1996).

87. Isaac Asimov

Writer | I, Robot

Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov ...

88. Fitzgerald Scott

Writer | Young Cesar

Fitzgerald Scott is known for Young Cesar (2007) and Charlotte Church: Crazy Chick (2005).

89. J.M. Coetzee

Writer | Waiting for the Barbarians

J.M. Coetzee was born on February 9, 1940 in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a writer, known for Waiting for the Barbarians (2019), Dust (1985) and Disgrace (2008).

90. Kazuo Ishiguro

Writer | Living

Kazuo Ishiguro was born on November 8, 1954 in Nagasaki, Japan. He is a writer and producer, known for Living (2022), Never Let Me Go (2010) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He has been married to Lorna Anne MacDougall since 1986. They have one child.

91. Hermann Hesse

Soundtrack | The Hours

Hermann Hesse was born on July 2, 1877 in Calw, Germany. He was a writer, known for The Hours (2002), Siddhartha (1972) and Steppenwolf (1974). He was previously married to Ninon Ausländer, Ruth Wenger and Maria Bernoulli. He died on August 9, 1962 in Montagnola, Switzerland.

92. Robert Louis Stevenson

Writer | Treasure Planet

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer from Edinburgh. His most popular works include the pirate-themed adventure novel "Treasure Island" (1883), the poetry collection "A Child's Garden of Verses" (1885), the Gothic horror novella "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr ...

93. Salman Rushdie

Actor | Bridget Jones's Diary

He married the actress Padma Lakshmi , the hostess of "Padma's Passport," and dedicatee of his eighth novel, "Fury" (2001), on 17th April 2004. The late Ayatollah Khomeini declared a fatwa against him for the novel "The Satanic Verses" on 14th February 1989. He is currently completing a ninth novel....

94. Mario Vargas Llosa

95. aldous huxley.

Writer | A Woman's Vengeance

Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, at Laleham in Godalming, Surrey, England. He was the third of four children. His brother Julian Huxley was a biologist known for his theories of evolution. His grandfather, named Thomas Henry Huxley, was a naturalist known as "Darwin's Bulldog." His ...

96. Paul Valéry

Writer | Auf der Lesebühne der Literarischen Illustrierten

Paul Valéry was born on October 30, 1871 in Cette [now Sète], Herault, France. He was a writer, known for Auf der Lesebühne der Literarischen Illustrierten (1965), L'ippogrifo (1974) and Paul Valéry (1960). He was previously married to Jeannie Gobillard. He died on July 20, 1945 in ...

97. Thomas Pynchon

Writer | Inherent Vice

Thomas Pynchon was born on May 8, 1937 in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Inherent Vice (2014), Prüfstand VII (2002) and Thomas Pynchon: A Journey Into the Mind of P. (2002). He has been married to Melanie Jackson since 1991. They have one child.

98. H.P. Lovecraft

Writer | Color Out of Space

Born in Providence, Lovecraft was a sickly child whose parents died insane. When he was 16, he wrote the astronomy column in the Providence Tribune. Between 1908 and 1923, he wrote short stories for Weird Tales magazine, among others. He died in Providence, in poverty, on March 15, 1937. His most ...

99. Haruki Murakami

Writer | Doraibu mai kâ

Haruki Murakami graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1975. Widely considered one of Japan's most important 20th-century novelists. His often solitary, withdrawn, and world-weary protagonists are generally stripped of Japanese tradition. Frequently called postmodern, his fiction, which often ...

100. Nikos Kazantzakis

Writer | The Last Temptation of Christ

Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion, Crete (Greece). He studied Law in Athens and in Paris, but soon he studied philosophy and literature. He travelled almost everywhere; he learnt many foreign languages and left his scientific research for Nitsche. At philosophy: "Ascetics" (Salvatores Dei, ...

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List of 15 Best Short Story Authors and Their Masterpieces You Need to Know

List of 15 Best Short Story Authors and Their Masterpieces You Need to Know

authors of books February 2, 2022 Author 0

Do you like reading books but do not have enough time to read a novel? Then, you need to consider reading short stories as an alternative. It is a writing with a shorter page length, yet contains concise and descriptive language to portray the scene and develop the characters. Discover 15 best short story authors along with their famous works for your upcoming reading schedule.

Please note that many of the best-selling novelists we know also write short story, usually wrapped in the best short story collection for their readers.

Get To Know the Best Short Story Authors and Their Masterpiece

1. guy de maupassant.

Guy de Maupassant was born on August 05, 1850 in Château de Miromesnil, France. During his career, this French short story writer has written about 300 short stories. Among the renowned works are The Necklace, Boule de Suif, Mother Savage and Bel-Amis. His writing has a strong influence on modern literature that makes him considered as the father of modern short story.

guy de maupassant best short story authors and their masterpieces you need to know

2. Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is among the American Famous short story writers who was born in Boston, USA on 19 January 1809. He was the first writer who invented the genre of detective fiction story and has a main influence on the science-fiction genre. Moreover, he is regarded as the modern short-story’s architect.

His best-known masterpieces among others are The Tell-Tale Heart, the Raven, The Pit and The Pendulum, and the Fall of the House of Usher.

3. Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov is a Russian short story writer who is considered as the greatest short fiction writer. He was born in Taganrog, Russia on 29 January 1860. His works offer great influence on the modern short story progress. Aside from writing short story, Chekov was also a playwright who brought influence to modernism in theatre with Hendrik Ibsen and August Strindberg.

The masterpieces of this modern short story founder for example are The Lady with the Dog, The Darling, Vanka and The Bet.

4. Alice Munro

Alice Munro is a Canadian writer who was born on 10 July 1931 in Wingham, Ontario, Canada. In 2013 she received the Nobel Prize in Literature as master of the contemporary short story (link). Her prominent works among others are Too Much Happiness and Runaway. Being one of the Best contemporary short story writers, Munro’s stories are mostly about women and their friendship, relationships and motherhood, written in a candid prose.

5. Margaret Atwood

Same with Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood who was born on 18 November 1939 is also a Canadian writer, environmental activist and novelist. Many of Atwood’s works have been adapted into television series and films. Happy Endings and The Handmaid’s Tale are among her renowned works.

margaret atwood best short story authors and their masterpieces you need to know

6. Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver is an American prolific short story writer whose works do not need any exposition on conventional techniques. He was born in Oregon, USA on 25 May 1938 and died in 1988. Cathedral and Why Don’t You Dance? are among the best works he has already written. Both stories were published in 1981.

7. Ernest Hemingway

Everybody knows about this American writer who was born on 21 July 1899. Ernest Hemingway’s works had a great influence on 20th century fiction. He earned a Nobel Prize on Literature in 1954 (link) for his famous book i.e. The Old Man and the Sea. Aside from that, his classic work among others are: A Farewell to Arms, Big Two-Hearted River, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Hills Like White Elephants and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

8. Hans Christian Andersen

If you have ever read fairy tales like Thumbelina, The Little Match Girl, The Little Mermaid or The Emperor’s New Clothes, then you know about this legendary Danish author. Hans Christian Andersen who was born on 2 April 1805 is not only appreciated by young readers but the old ones alike.

Many of his works have been made into films, play and even ballets. Surely, we should put him on our short story writers list.

9. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

British author who is also a physician, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859. He is the one who created the globally famous character detective Sherlock Holmes. He also created other famous characters like Brigadier Gerrard and Professor Challenger. Doyle has written 56 short story about the adventure of Sherlock Holmes who dearly loved by readers from all over the world.

sir arthur conan doyle best short story authors and their masterpieces you need to know

10. Stephen Kings

Born on 21 September 1947, Stephen King is one of the best short story writers of the 21st century particularly known for his dark tale story. Approximately 350 million copies of his works have been sold globally; many of which have been adapted into miniseries, TV series as well as films. His popular works among others are Everything’s Eventual:14 Dark Tales and Riding the Bullet.

11. Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is a British writer who was born in Cardiff, Wales on 13 September 1916. Some of his classic works are Matilda, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach and The Twist. His famous short stories are Kiss Kiss and The Pig.

12. J.D. Salinger

American best short story authors, J.D. Salinger is best known for his novel The Catcher in the Rye of which story has sexual content. The writer who was born in New York, USA, on 1 January 1919 also wrote some short stories. Examples of his works on short story are For Esme-With Love and Squalor and A Perfect Day for Bananafish which was published in 1948.

13. Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires, Argentine on 12 August 1899. He has a great influence in Latin American literature. The theme for his stories is dreams, labyrinths and mythology.

14. Rudyard Kipling

This English short story writer, Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai, India on 10 December 1865. Jungle Book is his iconic book he wrote. Growing up in India, the inspiration for most of his stories are from his daily lives in the country. He is among the best short story writers in English both in the 19th and 20th century.

15. O. Henry

American best short story authors, O Henry who was born on 11 September 1862 is regarded as one of the greatest short story writers in the world. The Gift of Magi is his classic work that makes him famous.

Final Thoughts

Short stories are as interesting as novel; thus, you can pick this kind of literature if you only have a limited reading time. However, you need to look for the best short story that will not offer you great plot but also enrich you as well. Hope that the above mentioned 15 Best Short Story Authors will do you a favor in choosing their best works. Happy reading!

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The best female authors of all time

Best women writers

When looking at the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, America's National Book Award , and the Booker Prize , you will notice that the female winners are densely packed into the last 30 years. While that could be seen as a sign of promise, the imbalance is still glaringly obvious which strikes me as odd considering the wealth of literary talent among women. I set out to create a list of 50 essential female authors, and upon hitting 50 in under five minutes I decided to shoot for 100. It wasn't a hard list to fill - what was hard was choosing just 100. I cringe to think of the names that were omitted.

How do we change this? We start with the obvious - we read women. If that's step one, then step two is to talk about them - to review them, to critique them, to press their books into the hands of our book-loving friends. Whatever stage you're at in the endeavor to read more women, here are 100 talented female authors to get you started or keep you going.

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25 Best Fiction Books of 2023 (So Far)

Leandra Beabout

Attention, book lovers! These new and coming-soon fiction books belong on your must-read list for 2023.    

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Best Books Of 2023 So Far Opener

Must-read new fiction books for 2023

We all have a few tried-and-true fiction faves, but there’s something special about cracking the spine on a brand-new, hot-off-the-press novel. Whether it’s your favorite author’s new release or a new writer’s debut, great fiction books make the perfect escape from ordinary life.

That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best new book releases (or soon-to-be releases) in 2023. This handpicked selection spans the gamut of book genres and includes book recommendations from Reader’s Digest editors. The list also includes highly anticipated releases from previous award-winning authors and a few debuts from new authors who have generated buzz among critics and early readers. So are you craving mystery books ? Romance? Thrillers? No matter which you prefer, there are new books to read —and who knows, by next year, some might be on your list of the best books of all time .

Join the free Reader’s Digest Book Club for great reads, monthly discussions, author Q&As and a community of book lovers.

Age Of Vice Book

1. Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

Release date: Jan. 3, 2023

Deepti Kapoor’s latest action-packed novel unfolds like a bingeworthy Netflix show . This thriller begins when a wealthy Indian man’s car swerves off the road in New Delhi, killing five innocent bystanders. But when the dust settles, the rich man is nowhere to be found. How and to where did he disappear, and what will become of the lowly staff member left at the scene? With a rollicking plot that will whisk you from old-money mansions to humble homes in small agricultural villages, Age of Vice will take you on an unforgettable ride through modern India.

City Under One Roof Book

2. City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita

Release date: Jan. 10, 2023

This might be Iris Yamashita’s debut novel, but the author is no stranger to tightly woven plots and compelling characters: Yamashita is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima. In City Under One Roof , she presents a crime story—the first of what will be a two-book mystery series —set in a small, claustrophobic Alaska town. Detective Cara Kennedy has been sent to investigate the origins of severed limbs found washed up on an icy shore. But soon after arriving in Point Mettier, Cara gets snowed in with the 205 townsfolk living in the same apartment building. Who is hiding the key to the crime? And is there anyone she can truly trust?

The gripping story, quirky characters and twisty plot are just a few of the reasons we picked City Under One Roof as our February Reader’s Digest Book Club selection.

The World And All That It Holds Book

3. The World and All That It Holds by Aleksandar Hemon

Release date: Jan. 24, 2023

If you love an unflinching historical fiction novel, you’ll love Bosnian American author Aleksandar Hemon’s The World and All That It Holds . This love story between two soldiers in the brutal trenches of World War I is one of the best LGBTQ books you’ll read this year. Rafael Pinto is built for poetry, not warfare. His compatriot, Osman, is fiercely protective. Religious and background differences melt away as the two fight for their lives. Hemon traces their relationship across time and continents with lyrical descriptions and philosophical musings.

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4. Maame by Jessica George

Release date: Jan. 31, 2023

Maame is a refreshing, irresistible 2023 debut from Jessica George. The story of twentysomething Maddie’s fresh start at adulthood is shot through with themes of family, race and discrimination , womanhood and the immigrant reality of feeling torn between cultures. Maddie is a vibrant protagonist who feels stuck. Her job is a slog. Her mother is far away in Ghana—yet somehow still intimately critical. And her dad has Parkinson’s disease and needs Maddie’s daily help. So when her mother returns to London for a year, Maddie leaps at the chance to rent a new place and live like her friends and colleagues. Only sometimes stepping outside the constraints of home feels a lot like getting lost.

Essex dogs Book

5. Essex Dogs by Dan Jones

Release date: Feb. 7, 2023

History buffs might already be familiar with Dan Jones’s nonfiction . This year, the author of Powers and Thrones and Crusaders tries his hand at fiction books with a deeply researched novel that takes place during the Hundred Years’ War. Set to be the first in a trilogy, Essex Dogs follows 10 medieval warriors heading deep into the battles and politics of mapping 14th- and 15th-century Europe.

What Happened To Ruthy Ramirez Book

6. What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jiménez

Release date: March 7, 2023

When Ruthy Ramirez was 13, she disappeared. The red-headed Puerto Rican girl with a beauty mark under her left eye went to track practice and never returned. The Ramirez family hasn’t been the same since. Fast-forward 12 years to 2008, when the two remaining Ramirez sisters sit down to veg out in front of a trashy reality-TV show. They can’t help but notice that one of the contestants looks an awful lot like an older version of their long-lost sister—beauty mark and all. Part mystery, part family drama, What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is a wonderful exploration of family bonds. If you’re trying to read more books this year, What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is a good place to start—the humor, heart and compelling mystery will propel you right along.

A Death At The Party Book

7. A Death at the Party by Amy Stuart

Amy Stuart’s domestic whodunit A Death at the Party is like a contemporary Agatha Christie novel with a sprinkle of White Lotus . Nadine is throwing a neighborhood garden party when she discovers a body in the basement. Got that? Now quickly rewind to the beginning of the day, before the killing, and try to guess both murderer and victim as the plot unfolds. The entire book takes place in a day, which makes this a deliciously taut, fast-paced thriller.

The God Of Endings Book

8. The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland

This atmospheric debut novel from Jacqueline Holland is poised to make a mark on the dark fantasy genre. Collette LeSange is reluctantly immortal. Hundreds of years ago, her life was saved by a grandfather figure who granted her everlasting life—but with a catch. Collette is now a vampire, and keeping the world safe from her growing hunger has made her sad and lonely. Advance readers have compared The God of Endings to the New York Times bestseller The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, but why not pick up a copy of this vampire novel and draw your own conclusions?

Now You See Us Book

9. Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal

If you loved reading a housekeeper’s perspective in The Maid , Nina Prose’s cozy mystery , pick up a copy of Balli Kaur Jaswal’s Now You See Us . Corazon, Donita and Angel are Filipina domestic workers in Singapore. They are housekeepers and caregivers—the invisible women who witness the comings and goings of the filthy rich. When the three get wind that another domestic worker has been charged with murdering her employer, they commit to solving the crime and unmasking the actual perpetrator.

Dust Child Book

10. Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Release date: March 14, 2023

What happens in wartime doesn’t always stay in wartime. That’s the case in Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s Dust Child . Take Phong, for instance. He had as much say as a speck of dust in his conception—the coming together of a Black American soldier and Vietnamese woman in the late 1960s. And then there’s Linda. She knew when she married Dan that he was a military veteran with PTSD from his combat years, but he never divulged all that happened. And then there are Trang and Quỳnh, two young women who became “bar girls” for the GIs, showing their pretty, friendly faces (and more) for money. When Linda and Dan plan a trip to Việt Nam, past and present come together in unexpected ways. If you loved Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing , you’re going to want to carve out uninterrupted reading time for this historical fiction title .

The Mostly True Story Of Tanner And Louise Book

11. The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley

Release date: March 28, 2023

A 21-year-old gamer named Tanner who is, admittedly, in a bit of a slump. An 83-year-old woman named Louise who doesn’t need a caregiver, thank you very much . Thrown together as employee and employer by the octogenarian’s daughter, this unlikely pair can make it through their days just fine on opposite sides of the room. But then Tanner sees a news story about a past jewelry heist with a suspect who looks an awful lot like Louise. Next thing she knows, Louise is suggesting a middle-of-the-night road trip to California. Let the comedic getaway begin! Fans of Thelma and Louise , prepare yourselves. The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise is the twist on the classic flick you didn’t know you needed.

Homecoming Book

12. Homecoming by Kate Morton

Release date: April 4, 2023

Remember The Clockmaker’s Daughter ? The Lake House ? How about The Secret Keeper ? Yes, those. To date, all Kate Morton’s fiction books have been bestsellers. Like The Lake House , Homecoming builds a plot and characters centered around a crime. On Dec. 24, 1959, a brutal crime occurred at the Turners’ house. The mystery was never solved. Almost 60 years later, when journalist Jess Turner-Bridges returns to the house to visit her fragile grandmother, she starts making connections she’d never made before. Has the key to the crime been there all along?

Symphony Of Secrets Book

13. Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb

Release date: April 18, 2023

The author of The Violin Conspiracy (one of our favorite fiction books of 2022) is at it again! This time, Brendan Slocumb’s self-described musical thriller centers on a music-history expert named Bern Hendricks, who has uncovered a terrible secret: a renowned 20th-century American composer didn’t compose his own music. The compositions were stolen from a neurodivergent Black composer named Josephine Reed. The news will shock the music establishment, but that doesn’t stop Bern from doing everything he can to uncover the truth and right an old wrong.

Silver Alert Book

14. Silver Alert by Lee Smith

With themes of living life to the fullest and second chances, Lee Smith’s Silver Alert would make a perfect 2023 beach read . It’s a road-trip novel set in the Florida Keys, after all! Octogenarian Herb isn’t ready to grow old. But his wife has succumbed to dementia, and his adult children have arrived at his doorstep to tell him it’s time to move into a senior care facility. So Herb does what anyone in his place would do: He suggests a penultimate joyride with his wife’s manicurist for company. Readers are lucky to be invited along as an unlikely friendship forms and the two open up about their fears—his for the future, hers about the past.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This Book

15. Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon

Release date: April 25, 2023

If you prefer fiction books with a heaping helping of romance (or love anything from Colleen Hoover or Laura Jane Williams), Only Love Can Hurt Like This belongs on your must-read list. After finding out her fiancé is cheating on her, Wren wants to get out of the U.K. So she heads to the United States to spend a few months in Indiana with her dad and stepmom. There, surrounded by cornfields, she meets a man named Anders, and the two have an instant connection. It would be the perfect summer love story if it weren’t for Anders’s secrets.

Paper Names Book

16. Paper Names by Susie Luo

Release date: May 2, 2023

Susie Luo’s debut novel, Paper Names , explores what it means to grow up in a family straddling two countries—in this case, China and the United States. It’s the story of Tony, a Chinese man who moved to America for a better life. It’s also the story of his Chinese American daughter, Lily, who grapples with meeting her dad’s expectations while also following her dreams. Then there’s Oliver, a wealthy white neighbor who, at first glance, seems to have nothing in common with them. But their lives are about to collide in a way that changes them forever. If you love this one, pick up even more must-read books by Asian American authors .

The Collected Regrets Of Clover Book

17. The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer

Release date: May 9, 2023

Death doula Clover Brooks spends her days helping the dying come to terms with their lives and doing her best to grant last wishes. The trouble is that Clover is better at giving others a fulfilling death than giving herself a fulfilling life. Outside her working hours, she’s lonely, anxious and socially awkward. When one elderly woman’s last wish sends Clover on the hunt for an old flame from the woman’s youth, Clover must face her fears and ask, “Am I brave enough to live a life with no regrets?” For all its talk of death, The Collected Regrets of Clover is never dark or grim. The feel-good story is beautiful, heartwarming and ultimately hopeful.

Yellowface Book

18. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

Release date: May 16, 2023

Fair warning: Yellowface is bound to be polarizing. R.F. Kuang—you might recognize her name from the Poppy War fantasy book series —has written it to raise hackles. This self-aware dark satire tackles current issues like cultural appropriation, the lack of diversity in publishing and structural racism. The plot centers on a bestselling author named Juniper Song. The trouble is that Juniper isn’t really Juniper. Her name is June, and her novel is a stolen manuscript from a deceased Asian American classmate. But June’s deception goes deeper. To sell the story, she professed to be an Asian American author. How many layers of lies will she tell to save face?

The Second Ending Book

19. The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman

Release date: May 30, 2023

If you love music, you’ll enjoy Michelle Hoffman’s The Second Ending . And if you don’t have a musical bone in your body? You’ll still get swept up in a story that stresses it’s never too late for a second chance. At first glance, Prudence Childs and Alexei Petrov have nothing in common. She was a child prodigy who is now squandering her talent on commercial jingles. He is a trending internet sensation with no life or friends outside the cutthroat classical music industry. Both get a second go at a better life when they’re pitted against each other on a dueling-piano reality-TV show.

The Wishing Game Book

20. The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Our list of must-read fiction books wouldn’t be complete without a novel that reminds readers of the power books hold between their pages. Meg Shaffer’s The Wishing Game may not contain any magic—this is a whimsical tale, but it’s grounded in reality—yet there’s something magical about the book. With a story reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and as puzzle-filled as The Westing Game , it’s an entertaining escape. In it, a reclusive children’s book author invites four true fans to his private island to compete for a chance to secure the only copy of his new manuscript. Lucy Hart, a teacher’s aide who remembers how the books brought her joy and comfort as a child, is delighted to receive an invitation. Of course, she and the others have no idea what games and plot twists the author has waiting for her on Clock Island.

Same Time Next Summer Book

21. Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

Release date: June 6, 2023

We’re calling it: Same Time Next Summer might be the ultimate summer read of 2023. No one ever forgets her first love. Sam remembers the magic of high school summers on the beach with Wyatt. The way he made her heart and stomach flutter. The stolen kisses and treehouse rendezvous. These days, Sam is older, wiser and over him, with the buttoned-up personality to prove it. Or so she thinks. But when Sam takes her fiancé, Jack, to the old beach house to check out nearby wedding venues, a chance encounter with Wyatt sends her mind and heart into a tailspin.

Banyan Moon Book

22. Banyan Moon by Thao Thai

Release date: June 27, 2023

Thao Thai’s debut novel traces three generations of Vietnamese American women from wartime Vietnam to the swamps of Florida. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, author of The Mountains Sing and Dust Child (another of our favorite fiction books of 2023!), has called Banyan Moon “heart-shatteringly beautiful” and “a love letter to keepers of secrets, to motherhood, family and survival.” This powerful historical fiction novel is one of the most-anticipated books of the year.

Crook Manifesto Updated Book

23. Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Release date: July 18, 2023

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Colson Whitehead whisks readers back to 1970s New York City in Crook Manifesto , the sequel to 2021’s bestselling Harlem Shuffle . Between the seedy politicians, Hollywood debutantes and powerful mobsters, Harlem is teeming with all walks and seasons of life. Ray Carney is a man caught in the fray. As the story by one of today’s greatest Black authors moves through the ’70s, Ray swerves between being a criminal and a hero, all while staying dedicated to what matters most: keeping his business open and his family close.

Everyone Here Is Lying Book

24. Everyone Here Is Lying by Shari Lapena

Release date: July 25, 2023

Say hello to another twisty domestic thriller from Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door . The tight-knit neighbors of Stanhope all say it’s a wonderful town, the ideal place to raise a family. Of course, no one is perfect, and, well, everyone here is lying . One of the liars? William Wooler, whose tempestuous affair ends the same day his 9-year-old daughter goes missing. You’ll be clinging to every page as neighbors step forward to share what they know, all while harboring their own dark secrets.

Gone Tonight Book

25. Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

Release date: Aug. 1, 2023

How far would you go to keep a loved one safe from potential danger? Would you lie to her? Would you undermine her blossoming friendships ? Would you control every detail of her life so she’d never have to know the pain you’ve known? Sarah Pekkanen’s startling, breathtaking tale of a mother and daughter will plunge you into a plot layered by lies and trauma but still infused with love. Through deft writing and thoughtful character development, she’s created a fast-paced thriller in Gone Tonight , daring to ask deep questions about love versus fear, and control versus protection.

Leandra Beabout

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20 Popular Book Authors and Their Favorite Books

Iyke Legend

The key to good writing, they say is to always keep reading other people’s works. However, that doesn’t stop even after you must have published a book because the more you read, the more your writing skills get better. There are many popular book authors who have led interesting lifestyles, giving room for adventure and exploring new things and their books have become fans favorite. These authors, particularly novelists, are inspired in so many ways on the subject that interests them. Hence, what better books to read than the ones that have inspired our favorite authors? That being said, here is a list of 20 popular book authors and their favorite books.

Popular Book Authors and Their Favorite Books

1. stephen king.

Popular authors and their favorite books

During the Goodreads 10th anniversary, The King of Horror, Stephen King unveiled some of his favorite books. Quite an interesting list, the beloved horror and supernatural fiction writer’s picks include “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding; “Ship of Fools” by Katherine Anne Porter; “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson; “The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison; “1984” by George Orwell; “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R Tolkien, and “American Pastoral” (The American Trilogy) by Phillip Roth.

2. J.K. Rowling

fiction authors names

Although the Harry Potter series has become favorite books to millions of readers out there, J.K. Rowling also has some books she’d like to read. The British author draws her inspiration from books by other authors like Jane Austen and many others. She has also unveiled some of her favorite books which most of her fans would be happy to read. They include “Emma” by Jane Austen; Roddy Doyle’s “The Woman Who Walked Into Doors”; Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals”; Auberon Waugh’s “The Diaries of Auberon Waugh”, and Anna Sewell’s “Black Beauty”, among others.

fiction authors names

The American author of Chinese descent, Amy Tan has made giant strides exploring intergenerational familial relationships and the Chinese-American experience, which can be seen in most of her works today. She has authored several books including The Joy Luck Club which sold over 6 million copies in the US and also topped the bestseller lists. Amazingly, the acclaimed author has listed some of her favorite books and they contain quite an interesting read. They include “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich; Bernd Heinrich’s “Mind of the Raven”; Mary Karr’s “The Liars’ Club”; Rabih Alameddine’s “An Unnecessary Woman”; “The Woman Warrior” by MaxineHong Kingston, and Mary Oliver’s “Devotions”.

4. Khaled Hosseini

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Khaled Hosseini (@khosseini)

The Afghan-American novelist and physician, Khaled Hosseini is known for his three bestseller novels including The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), as well as And the Mountains Echoed (2013). The author has listed quite a good number of authors and books that inspires him and if you are a fan, we know you’d find them interesting too. They include Ian McEwan’s Nutshell; Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli; Family Life by Akhil Sharma; Rachel Cusk’s Outline and Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers, among others.

5. Tana French

fiction authors names

The American-Irish writer known for her crime fiction novel In The Woods (2007), identified her favorite book of all-time as Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. She also shared some of her other favorite books including Richard Adams’ Watership Down; National Velvet by Enid Bagnold; Thomas Keneally’s Playmaker; Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, and Mary Renault’s The King Must Die. Tana French has also released other thrillers such as The Likeness (2008), The Secret Place (2014), and The Trespasser (2016).

6. George R.R Martin

fiction authors names

While there are lots of fans out there who could be wondering what books their favorite author George R.R. Martin is currently reading, it comes as no surprise that the writer also has a few interesting reads of his own. However, the Game of Thrones author revealed some of his favorite books to include J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny; Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination; The Fireman by Joe Hill; Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Have a Space Suit-Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein, among others.

7. Danzy Senna

fiction authors names

Yet another renowned American writer, Danzy Senna has won several awards since the inception of her writing career. She has won a good number of awards including a Whiting Award, among many others. With over five books under her belt and several essays, Senna has drawn influences from so many books. Some of which include Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled; Nella Larsen’s Quicksand; The Cry of the Owl by Patricia Highsmith; Bell Hooks’ Black Looks: Race and Representation, and The Easter Parade by Richards Yates.

8. Atul Gawande

fiction authors names

Known for being an American surgeon and public health researcher, Atul Gawande is also an acclaimed author. He has authored several bestselling books on medicine and public health, including The Checklist Manifesto, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, and Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science. When asked about his favorite books, Atul listed Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms”; Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Complete Sherlock Holmes”; “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino; Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking”, and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” and “Confession”, etc.

9. Brit Bennett

So it’s been a wild month 😅 — Brit Bennett (@britrbennett) June 29, 2020

Although she might be a newbie in the literary world; nevertheless, Brit Bennett has become a reckoning force with her debut novel The Mothers released in 2016. In addition to being a New York Times bestseller, the book was picked up by Warner Bros for a film adaption with Kerry Washington tapped to be the producer. Interestingly, Bennett has listed some of her favorite books which you’d also find very thrilling. They include Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain, and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, among others.

10. Brian K. Vaughan

fiction authors names

This American writer has made giant strides in the literary world, thanks to his expertise in writing Superhero, Space Opera/Fantasy and Sci-Fi books. Known for his works such as Ex Machina, Paper Girls, Saga, Pride of Baghdad, Runaways, and Y: The Last Man, etc, Brian is no doubt among the most popular book authors out there. While he is known for writing comic books, it might interest you to know some of his favorite books and writers. They include Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; Catch – 22 by Joseph Heller; The Fermata by Nicholson Baker; Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison; Eric Bogosian’s Perforated Heart, Misery by Stephen King, and many others.

11. Gillian Flynn

Popular Book Authors

Gillian Flynn is not one to be forgotten in a hurry, the American author has become a force to reckon with in the literary world, thanks to her outstanding penning skills. Known for her works including Sharp Objects, Gone Girl, and Dark Places, Flynn’s works has become incredibly successful and has been adapted into successful movies. When asked about her favorite books, the author listed several books including Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls; And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, among others.

12. Ken Follett

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ken Follett (@kenfollettauthor)

The Welsh author Ken Follett is no doubt one of the most popular and bestselling authors of all time. He has written several Historical and Spy thrillers including Edge of Eternity, A Dangerous Fortune, Fall of Giants, World Without End, Winter of the World, Lie Down with Lions, and The Key Rebecca. When it comes to Follett’s favorite books, you’d expect nothing less than interesting reads such as George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss; The Lady in Car with Glasses and a Gun by Sebastien Japrisot; Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming; Jean Gimpel’s The Cathedral Builders, Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, etc.

13. George Saunders

fiction authors names

Best known for his novellas and children’s books, George Saunders isn’t just among the most popular writers but one of the greatest book authors of our time. The American author has released several commercially successful books and has raked in several awards. However, during an interview on Oprah Winfrey’s show, Saunders disclosed some of his favorite books to the TV star. They include Tobias Wolff’s In the Garden of the North American Martyrs; Dispatches by Michael Herr; The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek and Isaac Babel’s The Red Calvary, among others.

14. Colleen Hoover

View this post on Instagram (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); A post shared by Colleen Hoover (@colleenhoover)

Colleen Hoover is one of the New York Times bestselling authors and one of the most popular book authors both in American and beyond. With more than 14 books published, the prolific writer has released eleven New York Times bestsellers which made her fans favorite. The New Adult and Young Adult fiction writer also has a lot of interesting reads as her favorites and they include Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein; Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event; The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende; Katja Millay’s The Sea of Tranquility; The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shadow by Andy Cohen and Ever Day by Levithan, among others.

15. Erik Larson

fiction authors names

An American journalist and author, Erik Larson is highly acclaimed for his nonfiction and classic narrative like The Devil in the White City (2002) and Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (2015). During an interview in 2015, the writer said that his all-time favorite book is The Maltese Falcon. According to him, he likes all parts of the book including the plot, the characters, and the dialogue which inspired John Houston’s film of the same name. Some of his other picks include The Shipping News by Annie Proulx; The Final Silence by Stuart Neville, and Jo Nesbo’s Police, etc.

16. Sarah J. Maas

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sarah J. Maas (@therealsjmaas)

With her debut novel Throne of Glass launched in 2012, Sarah J. Maas has gone on to release over 30 novels some of which rank high on the best sellers list. They include House of Earth and Blood (2017), The Court of Thorns and Roses series, and The Assassin’s Blade series, among others. During the Goodreads 10th anniversary, Sarah revealed her favorite books to include Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen, and many others.

17. Joyce Carol Oates

fiction authors names

While in an interview in 2013, the published author Joyce Carol Oats revealed writer Dostoevsky to be among her most favorite authors. And when asked about her favorite book of all time, she listed Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. That’s not all; the American writer also has a reading list which includes Anthony Marra’s books A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and The Tsar of Love and Techno; The Good Lieutenant by Atticus Lish and Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson.

See Also:  25 Best True Crime Books of All Time According To AbeBooks

18. Karan Mahajan

fiction authors names

The Indian-American author, known for his book, The Association of Small Bombs which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, was also named as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2017. Since then, he has become one of the most popular book authors in the United States. More so, he has cited books from other authors including The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Half a Life by V.S. Naipaul, Cynthia Ozick’s The Puttermesser Papers, J.G. Ballard’s Crash, Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence, and Saul Bellow’s Herzog, as his favorite books.

19. Lily King

Time is running out to join us for #happyhour with award-winning author, Lily King, on Saturday, February 20 @5pm PST. Make sure you reserve your space soon. — Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy (@NMProLiteracy) February 8, 2021

The author of Euphoria (2014) and Father of the Rain (2010), Lily King is among the most prolific and most popular book authors in America. Since releasing her first novel, The Pleasing Hour in 1999, the writer has gone on to pen other notable books and has also received several awards. The writer shares some of her most beloved books and they include Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse; The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Alice Munro’s Friend of My Youth, among others.

20. Maya Angelou

Popular book authors

Our list of popular book authors and their favorite books wouldn’t be complete without mentioning beloved Maya Angelou. Although the renowned American poet, novelist and civil rights activist is no more, Maya had a number of favorite books that inspired her. They include the Bible, Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel; Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Maya’s death occurred on the 28th day of May 2014 and she was said to be working on another book at the time of her passing.

Recap of Popular Book Authors

Iyke Legend


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15 Historical Fiction Authors We Can Never Get Enough Of

Let these masters of the genre take you back in time.


Some people say history is boring. Those people have not read enough good historical fiction. The genre is really the best of both worlds, taking the most interesting parts of history and combining them with original and interesting stories. 

Many authors have made their careers writing historical fiction covering nearly every era of human history. From political intrigue in the courts of royal Europe to mysteries in the Roman Empire to multi-generational meditations on the American Dream, the great authors on this list have covered it all. Here are 15 historical authors we can never get enough of.  

Wolf Hall

By Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is one of the most critically acclaimed historical fiction authors today. She has been publishing works since the mid-1980s, but she is best known for her Thomas Cromwell series. The trilogy follows the rise and fall of Cromwell, advisor to King Henry VIII and architect of the English Reformation. 2009’s Wolf Hall , which chronicles Cromwell’s rise to power in Henry’s court, is the first in the series.

Both Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies were awarded the Booker Prize, making Mantel the only woman to have won the award twice. The series’ final instalment, The Mirror & the Light , was released in 2020. Mantel’s work has been praised for its strong characterization and its commitment to accurate historical detail. Although her works can be long— Wolf Hall is over 650 pages—her mastery of the craft always has readers wanting more.

Wolf Hall

The Power and the Glory

By Graham Greene

Often considered one of the greatest British novelists of the 20th century, Graham Greene was a prolific author. He was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize for Literature twice and, in addition to his many novels, wrote the screenplay for the noir classic The Third Man . His works were known for exploring political issues of the modern world, often through a historic lens. Many of his books, like The Power and the Glory , were also often heavily influenced by his Catholic faith.

The Power and the Glory is set in the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1930s, a time when the government was actively trying to suppress Catholicism in the country. It follows a man known only as the “whisky priest” as he travels around the country as a fugitive. Haunted by his sinful past, the priest is forced to choose between keeping himself safe and doing what he knows is right. One of Greene’s most stirring works, The Power and the Glory was named by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels written since 1923.

Related: 13 Must-Read Graham Greene Books

Daughter of Fortune

Daughter of Fortune

By Isabel Allende

A recipient of the  2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Isabel Allende is one of the most well-known Spanish-language authors in the world. Before she began her career as a novelist, Allende was forced to flee her native Chile when she and other family members were targeted by the brutal regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. She published her first novel while in exile in Venezuela. Many of her books, including Daughter of Fortune , cover the history of Chile and other Latin American countries. 

An Oprah’s Book Club selection , Daughter of Fortune tells the story of Eliza Sommers. Orphaned at a young age, she was raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile by the English Sommers siblings. She eventually falls in love with Joaquín, a clerk who works for the siblings, and follows him to northern California when gold is discovered there. As Eliza, now pregnant, makes her way north and navigates life in Gold Rush-era California, she begins a journey to find her own personal freedom.

Daughter of Fortune

The Other Side of the Sun

By Madeleine L'Engle

Best known for her young adult fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time , Madeleine L’Engle also penned quite a few works of historical fiction . Her 1971 novel The Other Side of the Sun is a family drama set in the post-Civil War American South. 

Stella is only 19 when she marries Theron Renier and finds the atmosphere of his family’s home in Florida very different from her native England. When Theron is sent away for work, Stella is left alone with the Renier family. As dark secrets begin to come to light, Stella will have to work to find the truth. The Other Side of the Sun is a masterwork of suspense that also touches on issues that are painfully relevant to this day.

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth

By Ken Follett

Ken Follett is the author of several New York Times- bestselling thriller novels with a historic twist. 1989’s The Pillars of the Earth is the first book in his Kingsbridge series and marked a departure from his usual focus on World War II-era spies. Pillars focuses on the construction of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. Set in the 12th century, the characters in the novel struggle to build the cathedral while England is plunged into civil war and law and order quickly disintegrate. 

Praised for its depiction of life in Medieval England, The Pillars of the Earth has been adapted into several mediums including board games, a television miniseries, a Danish musical, and a video game. Later entries in the series follow the lives of Kingsbridge citizens in later periods of English history, with the most recent book, The Evening and the Morning , serving as a prequel set during the 900s as Vikings raided the English coast.

The Pillars of the Earth

Fire from Heaven

By Mary Renault

Mary Renault was best known for her novels about ancient Greece . Many of her works featured portrayals of famous Greek figures from antiquity including Socrates and Plato. In the 70s and early 80s, she penned a series of works focusing on the life and legacy of Alexander the Great. The first of these books is Fire From Heaven , which covers Alexander’s childhood through the death of his father. 

Renault’s books were notable for their frank and sympathetic portrayals of gay relationships. She wrote most of her novels while living in South Africa from 1948 until her death in 1983, where attitudes towards LGBT+ individuals were more liberal than in Britain. Fire From Heaven depicts the origins of Alexander’s relationship with his lover Hephaestion.


By E. L. Doctorow

One of the great American novelists of the 20th century, E. L. Doctorow penned many famous works of historical fiction. Most of his works are set in the first half of the 20th century in various parts of America. He became known for his style of interweaving fictional characters with real-life historical figures to tell his stories. 

His best-known work is 1975’s Ragtime . The novel focuses on a series of events that occur in the New York City area between 1902 and 1912 and involves a wide cast of characters from various walks of life. The wide expanse of the novel allows Doctorow to cover major events of the era as well as the experiences of marginalized groups like immigrants and African-Americans. Ragtime was made into a movie in 1981 and later into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.


Tipping the Velvet

By Sarah Waters

Welsh author Sarah Waters is best known for her novels set in the Victorian era that often feature lesbian protagonists. She was inspired to write her first book, Tipping the Velvet , while doing research for her PhD thesis. Her works are often praised for how much thorough research goes into them. 

Tipping the Velvet follows Nancy “Nan” Astley, a working-class girl from Kent who falls in love with Kitty, a male impersonator who she soon follows to London. The two have a tumultuous relationship as they also begin performing together on stage. The novel was critically acclaimed upon its release and was adapted into a television miniseries a few years later.

Tipping the Velvet

The Good Earth

By Pearl S. Buck

Winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature, Pearl S. Buck was an American writer whose works of historical fiction mainly focused on Chinese history. The daughter of missionaries, Buck spent her entire childhood in China and developed a deep appreciation for Chinese people and their culture. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth tells the story of a Chinese peasant farmer Wang Lung and his wife O-lan as they work to create a life for themselves in early 20th century China.

Buck wrote two sequels to The Good Earth that follow the descendants of Wang Lung and O-lan, and the books are sometimes credited by scholars as having garnered sympathy for the Chinese people from American readers, especially as the Japanese invaded in the late 1930s. Buck was unable to return to China after her last trip in 1934 but spent the rest of her life dedicated to various humanitarian causes. In 1949, she co-founded Welcome House, the first international, interracial adoption agency in order to combat the popular notion that mixed-race and Asian children were “unadoptable.”

The Silver Pigs

The Silver Pigs

By Lindsey Davis

Lindsey Davis is best known for her multiple detective series set in the ancient Roman Empire. The first of these is 1989’s The Silver Pigs , which introduced readers to Marcus Didius Falco. Falco is a delator , which Davis translates as “private informer”, an imperial agent for Emperor Vespasian. In his first mystery, Falco investigates a conspiracy to steal silver ingots in Roman Britain. 

There are 20 Marcus Didius Falco mysteries in total. Since 2013, Davis has been writing a sequel series that follows the adventures of Falco’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia.

The Silver Pigs

By Howard Fast

Best known for his 1951 novel Spartacus— the basis for the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film of the same name— Howard Fast wrote novels set in many different historical periods . He is also known for his television and film screenplays, including the script for Spartacus and several episodes of How the West Was Won. He has also been lauded as being one of the first writers to break through the constraints of the Hollywood blacklist, which he was put on after refusing to name names of other suspected Communists to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s.

Related: I Am Spartacus! Remembering Kirk Douglas, 1916-2020

His 1982 novel Max is set at the turn of the century during the early days of the film industry. Max Britsky developed his entrepreneurial spirit at a young age after his father walked out and he had to find ways to provide for his mother and siblings. As he grows up, his love of theater and his business instincts lead him to become one of the first movie moguls in American history. But Max soon finds that great financial success sometimes comes at a cost.


By Toni Morrison

A recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Toni Morrison is one of the most celebrated authors of all time. Her works address the long-term consequences of racism in the United States and often involve historical themes. Her 1992 novel Jazz is a story of love and obsession set during the Harlem Renaissance. According to Morrison, Jazz is the second book in a trilogy that explores African-American history, beginning with Beloved and ending with Paradise . 

Jazz begins when Joe Trace, a door-to-door salesman who sells beauty products, shoots his young lover Dorcas. At her funeral, his wife Violet attacks the corpse with a knife. As the characters in the novel explore this event, Morrison explores their life stories, transporting the reader from Harlem to the American South in the mid-19th century.

Related: 30 Must-Read Books by Black Authors


Black Narcissus

By Rumer Godden

Many of Rumer Godden’s best-known works were inspired by her childhood in British colonial India. Her first best-seller was 1939’s Black Narcissus . The novel follows five Anglican nuns as they attempt to establish a school and health clinic in the remote foothills of the Himalayas. The sisters have occupied an abandoned palace where a general housed members of his harem, and the building’s scandalous history in addition to the isolation and conflict with the local population just might be too much even for the purest of heart.

Godden’s story of the tension between faith and temptation was very well received. It was adapted into a Golden Globe and Oscar-winning film starring Deborah Kerr as well as an FX miniseries in 2020 . 

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

By Margaret George

Margaret George is best known for her fictionalized biographies of famous historical figures. She first achieved notoriety with her novel The Autobiography of Henry VIII which, 35 years after its publication, is still ranked as one of the most popular fictional portrayals of the infamous English king. Her work on these biographies is famously meticulously researched. Several of her novels focus on notable women from history and myth including Mary Magdalene, Queen Elizabeth I, and Helen of Troy.

In 1997, she published The Memoirs of Cleopatra , which traces the entire life of Cleopatra VII, popularly known as the last Pharaoh of Egypt. The book chronicles her early life, her famous romances with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her famous death. Cleopatra was critically acclaimed upon its release and was adapted into a miniseries in 1999.

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

Dynasty of Death

By Taylor Caldwell

Taylor Caldwell was a prolific author who often centered her stories on actual historical events and people. Many of her books explored the American Dream and the tension between the desire for wealth and power and moral values like family and love. Her novels are set at different times in American history as the country transformed from an agrarian society into an industrial superpower. 

Caldwell’s debut novel was Dynasty of Death , an intergenerational saga of two families as they turn a small munitions factory into a global empire. The story begins in the fictional town of Windsor, Pennsylvania in 1837 when Joseph Barbour immigrates from England with his family. Joseph soon starts a gunpowder firm with his neighbor, Armand Bouchard, and tensions rise between his two sons, one an altruistic idealist and the other an ambitious and violent egoist. Dynasty of Death follows the Barbour and Bouchard families up to the eve of World War I while their story is continued in the novel’s two sequels.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons

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Science Fiction Writers

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Science fiction writers are considered to be one of the most knowledgeable and creative classes of writers in the modern literary world. Science fiction writing demands a great deal of creativity and imagination as it is a form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation in its plot, setting or theme. Science fiction writing uses science as a backdrop against which most of the incidents occur and therefore writers of this genre must have a clear understanding of scientific terms and their meanings. Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated physical laws. Science fiction writers use different scientific themes such as time travel, superhuman abilities, an outer space universe or a story set in post-apocalyptic world. Among the most respected awards for science fiction are the Hugo Award, Nebula Award and Saturn Award. They often explore the potential consequences of scientific innovations and produce astonishing masterpieces for their readers. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous Sci-fi writers from all over the world.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was an American writer. Best known for his science fiction works, Asimov was regarded as one of the Big Three writers along with Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein. Asimov is credited with influencing most sci-fi writers since the 1950s. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman stated that one of Asimov's works inspired him to take up Economics.

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick was an American writer who was known for his work that explores varied social and philosophical themes. Dick's novels have inspired films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau . In 2005, his novel Ubik was included in Time magazine's list of 100 greatest novels published in English since 1923.

H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells was an English writer. Although he was prolific in many genres, he is best remembered for his work on sci-fi novels, for which he is often referred to as the father of science fiction . His 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon became so influential that a lunar impact crater is named after him.

Kurt Vonnegut

Science-fiction author Kurt Vonnegut is best remembered for the novel Slaughterhouse-Five , which became a New York Times bestseller. The Hugo Award -winner had also fought against the Germans in World War II and expressed his anti-war and atheist views through his works, which also include short stories, plays, and autobiographical works.  

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke

English author, screenwriter, and essayist, Douglas Adams, is most remembered for his comedy science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As a screenwriter, he wrote two stories for the TV series Doctor Who. He advocated for environmentalism and spoke about environmental issues in his non-fiction radio series Last Chance to See.

Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein was an American author, naval officer, and aeronautical engineer. Heinlein is credited with pioneering a literary subgenre called hard science fiction as he was among the first to stress the importance of scientific accuracy in fiction. Robert A. Heinlein is one of the most influential science-fiction writers of all time.

Frank Herbert

American author, newspaper-journalist, book-reviewer, lecturer, photographer, and ecological consultant Franklin Herbert is most noted for his 1965 sci-fi novel Dune and its five sequels. Dune won the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award and spearheaded the Dune franchise. The novel is cited as the best-selling sci-fi novel in history while the series is counted among the classics of the genre.

Octavia Butler

One of the finest African-American sci-fi authors, Octavia Butler was raised single-handedly by her widowed mother. Best known for the Patternist series and the short story Bloodchild , she often mingled mythology and spirituality in her work. She was the first sci-fi author to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship .

William Gibson

William Gibson is an American-Canadian essayist and speculative fiction writer. He is widely credited with pioneering cyberpunk , a science fiction subgenre. His early works, which he produced during the late-1970s and early-1980s, helped create an iconography for the information age even before the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s. William Gibson is also credited with coining the term cyberspace .

Stanisław Lem

Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer who specialized in the science fiction genre. He was also a noted essayist who wrote on varied subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. His books, which have been translated into over 50 languages, have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. 

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

Andy Weir

Software engineer Andy Weir soared to fame with his debut novel The Martian , which was later made into a hit film by Ridley Scott. Born to a physicist father and an electrical engineer mother, Wier grew up interested in topics such as relativistic physics and orbital mechanics, although he didn’t graduate.

Anne Rice

Author Roger Zelazny led the New Wave of science fiction and soared to fame with his series The Chronicles of Amber . The six-time Hugo Award winner published over 150 short stories, too. He made use of anachronisms, minimal dialogue, and heavy references to Hindu, Norse, and Egyptian mythological tales.

Orson Scott Card

American author, playwright and script-writer Orson Scott Card is best-known for writing the series’ Ender's Game and The Tales of Alvin Maker . First two novels of the Ender's Game series are counted among the most influential novels of the 1980s and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, while The Tales of Alvin Maker series won the Locus Fantasy Award .

Edgar Rice Burroughs

While he began writing at age 11, Scottish author Iain Banks first gained fame with his first novel, The Wasp Factory . Known for his sci-fi tales, he has also been featured on various BBC radio and TV shows. He has also been associated with theater and is quite vocal about political issues.

Larry Niven

Best known for his iconic Ringworld series, science-fiction author Larry Niven has won multiple accolades, including the Hugo and Nebula awards. The grandson of oil magnate Edward L. Doheny, Niven had initially studied math but later devoted himself to writing. He has also penned scripts for sci-fi TV series.

John Wyndham

John Wyndham was an English writer best remembered for writing science fiction stories set in post-apocalyptic landscapes, such as The Day of the Triffids. His books have inspired other works of art like movies and radio. John Wyndham’s 1957 science fiction novel The Midwich Cuckoos was filmed twice under the title Village of the Damned.

Brandon Sanderson

Best known for works such as the Mistborn trilogy and The Emperor's Soul , sci-fi and epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson had initially studied biochemistry and then switched to literature. He has also worked as a missionary in South Korea and now teaches creative writing at his alma, Brigham Young University .

James Doohan

Canadian actor James Doohan was initially a soldier in the Canadian army and had even sustained injuries in World War II. He later soared to fame with his Saturn Award -nominated role of Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek film and TV franchise. He also voiced the character in various video games.

Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon initially joined Cornell to study engineering physics, but changed his major to English after a brief stint with the U.S. Army . A master of black humor, he soared to fame with novels such as The Crying of Lot 49 and Inherent Vice . He is media-shy and is rarely photographed.

William Golding

William Golding was a British playwright, novelist, and poet whose novel Rites of Passage earned him the Booker Prize in 1980. In 1983, Golding was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature . In 1988, William Golding was knighted for his contributions to literature. In 2008, he was mentioned in The Times' list of 50 greatest British writers since 1945 . 

Liu Cixin

Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction writer who has won the prestigious Galaxy Award on nine occasions so far. He is best known for his novel The Three-Body Problem , which earned him the Hugo Award in 2015. In 2017, Liu Cixin won the Locus Award for his work Death's End. Many of his works have been adapted into films.

Dan Simmons

Best known for his Hyperion Cantos series, author Dan Simmons initially taught as part of an elementary school program named APEX. He has trained people in writing and has his own writing curriculum named Writing Well . He is also often found writing at his isolated cabin near Rocky Mountain.

Michael Moorcock

A reputed English author, Michael John Moorcock began his writing career as a teenager, selling fictions to various British pulp magazines. He became the editor of New World magazine by his mid-twenties. Concurrently, he continued to write, primarily science fictions and fantasies, and received multiple awards and honors for them.  

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance  trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

Ted Chiang

Born to Chinese immigrant parents, author Ted Chiang is a qualified computer scientist and works as a technical writer. The Hugo - and Nebula -winning writer is best known for his short stories, novelettes, and novellas such as Tower of Babylon and Seventy-Two Letters . He is also known for his signature ponytail.

Russell T Davies

Russell T Davies is a Welsh television producer and screenwriter who contributed immensely to the success of the popular science fiction television show Doctor Who . When Davies was working for the show, Doctor Who received five successive National Television Awards starting from 2005. He has also won prestigious awards, such as the British Academy Craft Award and the Cymru Award.

Samuel R. Delany

Known for his science-fiction novels such as Dhalgren , Babel-17 , and the Nèverÿon series, author Samuel R. Delany often touches upon themes of sex, race, and language. A descendant of civil rights activists, he dropped out of college to write. Though gay, he was once married to lesbian poet Marilyn Hacker.

Christopher Paolini

Best known for his mythical series The Inheritance Cycle , author Christopher Paolini had started writing his first novel, Eragon , at 15. He also stepped into the world of adult sci-fi with To Sleep in a Sea of Stars . He holds the Guinness record for being the youngest bestselling author.

Piers Anthony

Best known for his Xanth novels, such as Well-Tempered Clavicle and Esrever Doom , bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Piers Anthony was born to Quaker parents in Britain, who later settled in the U.S. He lives with his wife in a remote forest area in Central Florida.

Kim Stanley Robinson

The American actor, who shot to fame following his success in the television series How the West Was Won , Bring 'Em Back Alive and Scarecrow and Mrs King , starred in Babylon 5 films . Bruce William Boxleitner is also known for his comic roles. He appeared in video games and is credited as the author of two science fiction novels.

Dmitry Glukhovsky

Russian-Israeli author Dmitry Glukhovsky gained fame with his first novel, Metro 2033 , which he published on his own site at age 18, and which later inspired an interactive experiment and a video game franchise. He has also worked for Mayak Radio Station , EuroNews TV , and Deutsche Welle .

Grant Morrison

Jeffrey Archer is an English author and former politician whose books have sold over 320 million copies around the world. Archer has been a controversial figure; he was convicted of perjury in 2001 after which he was sent to Belmarsh Prison from where he was later transferred to Wayland Prison. His conviction ended his political career.

Neal Stephenson

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.

George R. R. Martin

Jack Vance initially dabbled in a variety of subjects, such as mining engineering, physics, and journalism. The Hugo - and Nebula -winning science-fiction and fantasy author, known for works such as The Man in the Cage , later went blind but wrote with the help of a software. He was also an amateur sailor.

J. Michael Straczynski

The son of a manual laborer, J. Michael Straczynski grew up to graduate in psychology and sociology. Best known for writing the Marvel Comics series The Amazing Spider-Man , he has written for both TV and films, apart from authoring his own books and creating the sci-fi TV show Babylon 5 .

Henry Darger

Best known for his Pulitzer -winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay , Michael Chabon is known for dealing with themes such as nostalgia, divorce, and Jewish identity. He has also contributed to TV and film projects, such as the Star Trek series. He is married to novelist Ayelet Waldman.

J. G. Ballard

J. G. Ballard was an English novelist, satirist, short story writer, and essayist. Renowned for his uniqueness, Ballard's style of fiction is referred to as Ballardian in the literary world. Many of his works have inspired movies, such as Crash and High-Rise . J. G. Ballard’s work has also inspired other popular writers like John Gray, Terry Dowling, and Lee Killough.

Harry Turtledove

An expert in Byzantine history, author Harry Turtledove is known for his historical fiction and science-fiction books, such as How Few Remain and the Opening of the World series. Regarded as the “Master of Alternate History,” he has also won awards such as the Hugo Award for the Best Novella .

Anne McCaffrey

Anne Inez McCaffrey was an American-Irish writer, whose unpretentious down-to-earth style made her popular with children and adult alike. A prolific writer, she had around 100 titles to her credit, several of which were written in collaboration with her son. Best known for her juvenile fictions, including her Dragonriders of Pern series, she had been honored with many distinguished awards.

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz is a Dominican-American writer who works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a creative writing professor. He is also known for his association with the quarterly political and literary magazine Boston Review , where he works as a fiction editor. In 2017, he was made an inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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