The 20 Greatest Authors of All Time

for the intelligent person.

It's difficult to say what makes a great author. In my humble opinion, the best authors are those that combine both a great insight into what they are writing about and have the ability to express this through their writing (to be a good story teller).

In my extensive experience of reading, I have found that few authors combine both (a great mind with the ability to write well). When you do happen to come across an author who combines both it is a joy to read their books.

On this basis, here is my list of what I consider to be the greatest authors (and one playwright) of non-fiction of all time. Like with everybody, they can have their off days and some of their books occasionally don't make the grade (I would strongly recommend everybody to avoid James Joyce's 'Finnegan's Wake' like the plague).

To see what other people think about the authors in this list (don’t just take my word for it), click on the amazon image Amazon logo and link at the end of each of the authors listed. In addition, it'll also show you the book which I think is their best.

Author Era
1. Marcel Proust Modern Amazon logo and link
2. William Shakespeare Classic Amazon logo and link
3. Fyodor Dostoevsky Classic Amazon logo and link
4. Javier Marias Now Amazon logo and link
5. Ian McEwan Now Amazon logo and link
6. Norman Mailer Modern Amazon logo and link
7. Jane Austin Classic Amazon logo and link
8. James Joyce Modern Amazon logo and link
9. George Orwell Modern Amazon logo and link
10. Mario Vargas Llosa Now Amazon logo and link
11. Salman Rushdie Now Amazon logo and link
12. D.H. Lawrence Modern Amazon logo and link
13. Virginia Woolf Modern Amazon logo and link
14. William Faulkner Modern Amazon logo and link
15. Bret Easton Ellis Now Amazon logo and link
16. Thomas Hardy Modern Amazon logo and link
17. Joseph Conrad Modern Amazon logo and link
18. Franz Kafka Modern Amazon logo and link
19. Graham Greene Modern Amazon logo and link
20. John Wyndham Modern Amazon logo and link