Everyone has their opinions on the best authors who ever lived, and so this can be a controversial topic. However, this is our personal list that compiles the top writers of all time. We start with classics and then venture towards the more contemporary authors who have mad great contributions to literature.
Best Authors Who Ever Lived | Top Writers of All Time:
- J K Rowling
- William Shakespeare
- Vladimir Nabokov
- Leo Tolstoy
- Charlotte Bronte
- Charles Dickens
- George Orwell
- J R R Tolkien
- Roald Dahl
- Virginia Woolf
- Toni Morrison
- Haruki Murakami
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Yasunari Kawabata
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Khaled Hosseini
- Colson Whitehead
- Milan Kundera
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Zadie Smith
J K Rowling
J K Rowling couldn’t not be on this list. Rowling is best known for her Harry Potter series but she has also published server thrillers pseudonymously. Her worldbuilding is exquisite, and the way she imbibes her themes in a her well paced plot is commendable
He is without a second thought one of the best author who ever lived. William Shakespeare works are still counted among the best literature that inspire many authors around the globe.
Nabokov got into terrible controversy with his Lolita and pushed the envelope of conventional plot and distinctions between prose and poetry with Pale Fire. The reason the two are considered classics today is the fluidity and poeticism of Nobokov’s writing.
Tolstoy reformed every aspect of Russian literature, and his books are widely read to this day. Anna Karenina is perhaps his most famous work, but War and Peace, The Death of Ivan Ivanovich etc are also masterpieces of literature.
All three Bronte sisters were extraordinary writers, but Charlotte, with her Jane Eyre, The Professor and Villette stands apart. Her intricately woven plots and deep character studies establish her position on this list.
Dickens is perhaps the master of all novelists. With David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, The Old Curiosity Shop and the like, his biography style novels have had a deep impact on literature.
Orwell has been so influential in modern literature that an adjective of his name, ‘Orwellian’ is now used to describe certain forms of the government. With his charged political fiction such as 1984, Animal Farm, Burmese Days and more, he definitely deserves a place on this list.
J R R Tolkien
Tolkien was perhaps the founder and defining author of fantasy, with his epic fantasy Lord of the Rings. With ginormous worldbuilding and a plot that keeps you on your toes, he is definitely a towering figure in literature.
Although Roald Dahl wrote primarily for children, his works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda etc are enjoyed by children and adults alike. With simple yet profound insights and eccentric characters, he’s a master storyteller.
One of the first and most influential women writers of all times, Woolf has tremendously impacted the literature community. Her works such as Waves, To The Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway are masterpieces of women centric and stream of consciousness literature.
Winner of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, Morrison’s work in the field of feminist and racist fiction is ultimate. With modern classics like Beloved, Sula and more to her credit, she more than deserves this place on our list.
Perhaps the most widely read Japanese authors ever, Murakami’s dreamy magical realism is unique and beautiful. Often incorporating the pulse of Japan and the beat of human consciousness, his stories are replete with a quiet profundity which we al adore. My favourite works of his are Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood and Men Without Women.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
As Murakami is quiet and subtle, Marques is loud and passionate. Embodying the entire culture of Latin America in his magical realis books such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, Marquez is something else.
The Nobel laureate of Japan has not written much in terms of quantity, but has reached tremendous heights in terms of quality. His works, such as Snow Country and Beauty and Sadness, are characterized by Japanese restraint but full of lyricism and poetic calibre.
Tagore is perhaps the greatest writer India has ever given birth to, and the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize. With works such as Gitanjali, Chokher Bali, Home and the World etc as feathers in his cap, he is one of my absolute favourites.
The greatest Sanskrit poet and playwright ever, Kalidasa’s works such as Ritusamharam, Raghuvansham, Meghdootam scintillate with the culture of India and the poetry of human emotion.
Hosseini’s tribute to his homeland of Afghanistan through his And The Mountains Echoed, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner is prolific. His works pay homage to women, friendships, relationships and love, and paint a rich portrait of Afghanistan.
Colson Whitehead is a Pulitzer Prize winner of The Underground Rail and Nickel Boys, and one of the most promising writers of today. His work, like his ideas and intelligence, is prolific.
Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Farewell Waltz, Laughable Loves etc are not merely pretty pictures of Czhech Republic but also a wonderful exploration of relationships. The wat Kundera blends philosophy with fiction is simple amazing.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From Purple Hibiscus to Notes on Grief, Adichie has imprinted herself on our minds. The flagbearer of Afro literature, her work is as emotional and humanistic as it is culturally rooted.
Zadie Smith is one of the best writers we have today, and her essays in Intimations showcase the depth of her insight. Her other novels also centre around the most profound questions of humanity.
Also Read: 10 Strongest Characters From DC Comics