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Essential Books for Writers

Fiction Masterpieces | Eminent Authors | Writing Guidebooks

One of the best ways for an author to learn the craft of writing is to read the best books available. We offer our list of the greatest stories ever written.

Study of successful authors can inspire us to pursue our own literary dreams. These writers are talented, prolific, and uncompromising of their literary visions.

Independent authors can also supplement their learning, or find specific answers to common writing problems, in some of the many self-help books gathered below.

15 Masterpieces of Fiction

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
A wild romp through language. Purchase | Download

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Perfectly plotted and paced. Purchase

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
An intellectual historical mystery. Purchase

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Best of the Century
The Great American Novel. Purchase

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A novella that cannot be prevented. Purchase

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez | Best of the Century
The classic of magical realism. Purchase

The Tin Drum by Günter Grass | 1999 Nobel Prize
A boy protests war by refusing to grow. Purchase

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The bloom and gloom of love. Purchase | Download

The World According to Garp by John Irving
The story of a life well-lived.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
A study of male friendship. Purchase | Download

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie | 1981 Booker Prize | Best of the Century
The birth of a nation. Purchase

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Gothic grown up. The first and best. Purchase | Download

The Once and Future King by T. H. White
A brilliant and original interpretation of the Matter of Britain.

10 Authors of Eminence

Ray Bradbury
The human face of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Italo Calvino (1923-1985)
The Italian wizard.
Umberto Eco (1932- )
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1928- ) | 1982 Nobel Prize
The master of magical realism.
Thomas Hardy (1839-1928)
The master of melancholy.
John Irving (1942- )
Milan Kundera (1929- )
The intrepid explorer of modern existence.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
The prophet of individual regeneration.
Salman Rushdie (1947- )
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
The greatest dramatist ever.

5 Invaluable Guidebooks for Fiction Writers

The Art of Fiction by John Gardner

The Art of the Novel by Milan Kundera

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See

On Writing Well by William Zinser

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