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The Top Ten Famous Authors

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 4 Dec 2019 | comments*Discuss
Authors writer top Ten Authors famous

There are some authors with whom every writer should become acquainted. Many have long-ago shed "this mortal coil" (so sayeth number one, below), while others are still living and producing interesting works that keep bookstores afloat.

Obviously, your tastes will differ from others'; however, in the interest of giving you a starting point, we've arranged a top ten famous author listing. If you're not familiar (or only a tad familiar) with any of the writers below, it's time to head to your nearest library.

1. William Shakespeare

Ah, The Bard. This "Renaissance Man" was truly prolific (though if you believe some skeptics, he never existed at all, was the pseudonym for someone else or was perhaps the moniker under which a group of authors published.)

Chances are strong that you've read or seen at least one of his plays, but if it's been a while since you perused a copy of "The Tragedy of Hamlet" or "Macbeth", it's time to reacquaint yourself with this master of language and storytelling.

2. George Orwell

True, Orwell (whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair) isn't everyone's taste, especially those who do not share his views on totalitarianism.

But "Animal Farm" and "1984" are exemplary novels that truly get the reader to think more about politics, society and culture.

3. J.K. Rowling

Like her or not, Ms. Rowling has a style of writing that has launched her into the annals of literary history. Her Harry Potter books have won awards not only for their imagination but also for their strong prose.

Will she secure a spot in a list of famed authors 100 years from now? Only time will tell - but if you haven't yet journeyed into the world she created, it's time.

4. Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut, who passed away not long ago, penned both short stories and novels, inviting readers into his sci-fi realms with modern-day undertones.

"Slaughterhouse-Five" is one of his most internationally known books, though Vonnegut has many other works to offer the reader.

5. Virginia Woolf

Virginia wolf had a unique passion for the written word and enjoyed literary success and accolades for her many works, including "To the Lighthouse", "Mrs. Dalloway" and "A Room of One's Own."

Some have heralded Woolf as a "feminist" before the invention of the word; certainly, her popularity among women and academicians seemed to grow in direct correlation to the feminist movement of the late 1960s.

6. Ernest Hemingway

Like so many of his contemporaries (including the aforementioned Woolf), Hemingway dealt daily with depression. Yet his writings did not suffer as did his body and mind.

Though he's been called somewhat of an acquired taste, if you're just beginning your Hemingway adventure, start with "The Sun Also Rises" or "A Farewell to Arms. You may also be interested in his shorter pieces.

7. William Faulkner

Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" and "As I Lay Dying" are two of the most read of his pieces. But please don't stop there.

Your understanding of this Mississippi, United States born writer can only increase the more you get to know about him as well as his southern-influenced literary style.

8. Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand is proof that one person can make an enormous splash through the power of his or her written words. A Russian-born writer who immigrated to America, Rand held back nothing and her writing clearly shows her passion.

Truly, "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are mainstays of any book collection. The time you devote to reading them will pale in comparison to the education you receive as a result.

9. James Joyce

Did you read "Ulysses" in school or while at university?

Plenty of students did, but most would do well to revisit Joyce's most renowned work. Time will not have changed the words, but it makes all the difference in the interpretation.

10. J.D. Salinger

"The Catcher in the Rye" is one of those novels that's unforgettable. For its time, it was a bit racy; however, chances are good that unless you've been living under a rock, you'll find it tamer than those who read it in first-runs.

Salinger manages to capture the essence of an era and weave it into a story that has stood the test of time.

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murderwoolf - 4-Dec-19 @ 2:18 PM
im just tryna write an assessment for a author and this is what i get. XD
murderwoolf - 4-Dec-19 @ 2:17 PM
I was wondering where authors like C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and some other very famous authors are?!
Goughy - 28-Nov-19 @ 1:43 AM
Where is J.R.R Tolkien? He is one of the most celebrated author ever. I understand some choices but 90% I've never heard of. Just wanted to complain a bit.
Ur mom - 22-Oct-19 @ 11:49 AM
Why is it considered appropriate in today'ssociety to verbally hit the roof, when someone doesn't agree with someone else's opinion? I am starting to long for different days when a conversation, opens a door to further conversation, a new author to look at, a new series to read...the verbal and sometimes physical fighting are exhausting.
WeetsieSue - 19-Oct-18 @ 11:36 PM
Joyce Carol Oates. Capote. Philip Roth. King (of course) John Grisham. Mo Yan. Toni Morrison. Jean-Paul Sartre. Palahniuk. Walter Mosley. These writers should be on the list. Ayn Rand? Are you serious?
Phil - 23-Sep-18 @ 10:41 PM
Authors I think should be here: CS Lewis Gordon korman Dr Seuss Roald Dahl Jim Davis Johann wyss What do you think? (Other than that I am too modern)
Yummy - 20-Jul-18 @ 1:10 AM
Why is Simone Elkeles not there what is wrong with you people?
ilovepeanutbutter - 18-Jan-18 @ 5:51 AM
what about veronica roth suzzane collins or john green??
daveo - 23-Nov-17 @ 1:02 AM
Ya what? Um... has Roald Dahl gone on holiday and been forgotten about or something? He’s a well good author!
I’m not mad - 16-Oct-17 @ 5:44 PM
Really?! I am regretting my earlier decision of opening this page. How could a list of renowned writers include J. K. Rowling, and Kurt Vonnegurt(I am yet to read any of his works so perhaps I should lay of him, but J. K. Rowling? Seriously?) without including writers such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Tolkien? How can anyone mention a fantasy author's name in a top ten list without including Tolkien, often regarded as the Father of Modern Fantasy Literature-more precisely, of High Fantasy? And what happened to Andrzej Sapkowski? And George R R Martin? Jules Verne? H G Wells? These guys were the biggest sources of inspiration for writers nowadays. Okay, GRRM might be a little odd for an inspiration, and I don't find him that good(he is awesome and his world building is remarkable, but the last two books of A Song of Ice and Fire kinda felt dragging). And how can one forget authors like Lewis Carrol, Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Terry Pratchett et cetera? I would love to include more, but I feel that this message might be more than long enough.
Alfred Grimm - 31-Jul-17 @ 2:51 AM
Seriously after game of thrones George RR Martin is still not in the list. Come on he could literally teach how to write to some of the writers in this list. This list is bad or one sided. Tolkien ? Meh... Whatever Cya
what - 26-Jul-17 @ 9:28 AM
Doctor sues and Steven king should be on list way before JK Rowling. I didn't even know what she wrote for the longest time. And most younger kids don't know her but they all know who Steven king is. List is bogus. It's called Top ten famous authors...Not top ten authors who sell the same book 20 times with a different cover, or 20 box sets of the same books just different designs, in order to keep her high on the best selling author list.
Sir - 30-Mar-17 @ 11:59 PM
I highly disagree, Dr.Seuss is definitely the most renown author.Ask a child who he or she knowsShakespeare or Seuss, and they will most likely recite their favorite verse, as the most "renown" I would definitely take 1 or 2 slot.
Veruy - 7-Jan-16 @ 3:29 PM
the information was very much helpful.....keep it up and try on other subject matter all the best....
pupu - 18-Oct-14 @ 3:38 AM
What?! Nobody likes Ayn Rand! The Fountainhead was as bad as Altas Shrugged :O Why didn't Dostoevsky make it to the top ten? :O Ayn Rand and no Doestoevsky? :O My whole life's a lie :O
Fiona Kezia Winston - 18-Aug-14 @ 8:44 AM
what happend? why is Jules Verne not on this list?
reader - 7-May-13 @ 1:24 AM
Ayn Rand !!!!! Have you actually read Atlas Shrugged?It reads like a Hollywod B-movie script - a bad one.Full of inconsistencies and utterly cliche ridden.The inclusion of this hypocritical, rubbish writer just discredits the entire list.
marianna - 11-Feb-13 @ 1:24 PM
information was very helpful and knowledgeble ......./
nirmohi - 6-Jun-12 @ 5:58 PM
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  • murderwoolf
    Re: The Top Ten Famous Authors
    4 December 2019
  • murderwoolf
    Re: The Top Ten Famous Authors
    im just tryna write an assessment for a author and this is what i get. XD
    4 December 2019
  • Goughy
    Re: The Top Ten Famous Authors
    I was wondering where authors like C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and some other very famous authors are?!
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