Greatest AuthorsWho do you think are the greatest authors that are still alive?

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rskardal eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's difficult to discount Harold Bloom's famous declaration that the four greatest living authors are McCarthy, Pynchon, Roth, and DeLillo. I agree with earlier responses that Atwood, Morrison, and Tim O'Brien are extremely talented. I'm surprised to see that no one has mentioned Michael Chabon, Salmon Rushie, or Jonathan Franzen yet.

I'm a big fan of Murakami, but I don't think of him as being on the same level as the others. However, in the spirit of "totally different directions," I'll mention Neal Stephenson and William Gibson.

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don't forget about Maya Angelou!  She read her own "On the Pulse of Morning" at Clinton's inauguration and wrote the famous I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, often considered a work of autobiographical fiction:  full of feminism, full of life.

Another famous lady author to consider is Annie Dillard, the modern Transcendentalist.  My favorite works of hers are Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and The Maytrees. I've always thought of her as a way for Emerson and Thoreau to live on.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oh my!  What a question!  My list could go on and on, but when I read the question, my mind immediately went to Ian McEwan who wrote Atonement, Saturday, and many others. I also admire Geraldine Brooks, Sherman Alexie, Tim O'Brien, Christopher Moore, Jonathan Safron Foer, Toni Morrison...

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I know that she only wrote one novel, but Harper Lee--the author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird--is still alive and in her 90s. Another of my oldies but goodies is Herman Wouk (I love Don't Stop the Carnival and Youngblood Hawke)--I believe he is now 96. I would have to second Cormack McCarthy as well.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just to push the conversation in a totally different direction, I'd add Haruki Murakami to the list.  He is a japanese author and translator.  His books, like Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, are strange but very well written.  I suppose he was the first one to pop into my head because I can think of no other works that can be compared with his.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Egads, what a difficult question.  A few above have mentioned Cormac McCarthy, and I tend to agree, as his writing style is so unique, and his ability to tell a story masterful.  Stephen King has many of the same qualities and they both examine the darker sides of human nature and existence, which appeals to me in terms of literary taste.  On the less well known side, Rudolfo Anaya, author of such classics as Bless Me, Ultima and Albuquerque makes my list as well.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All of the above are noteworthy candidates to which I will add Amy Tan, Rita Dove, and Isabel Allende.  I also enjoy Dave Barry quite a bit, and Anna Quindlen is also a favorite.  While I'm at it, I'll add Barbara Kingsolver.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What about Margaret Atwood? She is definitely an author that I can guarantee we will be studying for a long time. Other authors that are particularly outstanding in my mind are David Mitchell, the poet Carol Ann Duffy and Cormack McCarthy. Just a selection of course...

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think Cormic McCarthy, Jonathan Franzen, Alice Walked and Jonahan Safren Foer would be at the top of my list, but if I took a walk though a bookstore I am sure I would add to it! I also enjoy the work of Marcus Zusak.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think Cormic McCarthy, Jonathan Franzen, Alice Walked and Jonahan Safren Foer would be at the top of my list, but if I took a walk though a bookstore I am sure I would add to it! I also enjoy the work of Marcus Zusak.