Famous Irish Novelists

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 1 
Oscar Wilde
(One of the Greatest Playwrights of the 'Victorian Era')
Oscar Wilde
6
Birthdate: October 16, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1900

Widely regarded as one of the most popular writers of all time, Oscar Wilde is best remembered for his plays and epigrams. He was also one of the best-known personalities during his time as he was popular for his conversational skills, flamboyant dressing sense, and biting wit. Imprisoned in 1895 for consensual homosexual acts, Oscar Wilde was pardoned posthumously in 2017.

 2 
James Joyce
(One of the Most Influential Writers of the 20th Century)
James Joyce
4
Birthdate: February 2, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rathgar, Ireland
Died: January 13, 1941

James Joyce was an Irish novelist, poet, teacher, short story writer, and literary critic. Widely considered one of the 20th century's most important and influential writers, James Joyce contributed immensely to the modernist avant-garde movement. Joyce's work has influenced several scholars and writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Flann O'Brien, John Updike, and Cormac McCarthy.

 3 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')
Jonathan Swift
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

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 4 
Samuel Beckett
(Irish Novelist Who Won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Samuel Beckett
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Foxrock, Ireland
Died: December 22, 1989

Samuel Beckett was a legendary Nobel Prize-winning Irish postmodernist and minimalist playwright and author, regarded as a prominent figure of the "Theatre of the Absurd.” He is best known for the play Waiting for Godot and for his tragi-comic themes and black comedy. He was also the Saoi of Aosdána.

 5 
Bram Stoker
(Irish Author Best Known for His Horror Novel ‘Dracula’)
Bram Stoker
4
Birthdate: November 8, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
Died: April 20, 1912
Irish author Bram Stoker wrote the iconic Gothic novel Dracula, which has inspired scores of movies over the years. The Victorian-era author also served as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and managed the Lyceum Theatre, which was owned by Irving. He had also written many short stories.
 6 
Seamus Heaney
(Poet, Playwright & Translator Who Received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Seamus Heaney
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Castledawson, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Died: August 30, 2013

Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet, translator, and playwright. One of the most respected poets of his generation, Heaney was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He also won other prestigious awards, such as the Eric Gregory Award. Several years after his death, Seamus Heaney is still considered one of the main contributors to poetry in Ireland.

 7 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 8 
Tana French
(American-Irish Writer Best Known for Her Novels: ‘In the Woods’, ‘The Likeness’ and ‘Faithful Place’)
Tana French
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, United States

Tana French is an American-Irish theatrical actress and writer. She is best known for her first novel, In the Woods, which received several prestigious awards, such as the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Macavity Award, Anthony Award, and Barry Award. Over the years, Tana French has become an important name among fiction readers across the world.

 9 
Brendan Behan
(One of the Greatest Irish Writers of All Time)
Brendan Behan
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 20, 1964
Irish author and poet Brendan Behan is remembered for his trademark satire and for his works such as The Quare Fellow and Borstal Boy. In a life plagued with arrests, he had served 14 years behind bars for the attempted murder of a policeman. He was also a lifelong alcoholic.
 10 
Emma Donoghue
(Novelist)
Emma Donoghue
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Alex Awards winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue is best known for authoring award winning novels like Room and Hood. Room, an international best-seller, was adapted into a film bearing same title that not only emerged as a critical and commercial success but also garnered four Oscar nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.

 11 
Colm Tóibín
(Author Famous for His Works 'The Blackwater Lightship', 'The Master' and 'Brooklyn')
Colm Tóibín
3
Birthdate: May 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland

Irish author Colm Toibin is known for his award-winning novels such as Brooklyn and The Master. Born to a schoolteacher, he initially taught English in Barcelona, before working as a journalist in Ireland. He now teaches at Columbia University and the University of Manchester, and was awarded the Irish PEN Award in 2011.

 12 
Cecelia Ahern
(Irish Novelist Known for Her Novels: 'PS, I Love You' and 'Where Rainbows End' )
Cecelia Ahern
3
Birthdate: September 30, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Best known for her iconic bestselling debut novel PS, I Love You, which was made into a hit movie later, Irish author Cecelia Ahern has won many accolades, including the British Book Award. The daughter of former Irish PM Bertie Ahern, Cecelia has also produced the sitcom Samantha Who?

 13 
Marian Keyes
(Writer)
Marian Keyes
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Limerick, Ireland
 14 
Laurence Sterne
(Novelist)
Laurence Sterne
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1713
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clonmel, Ireland
Died: March 18, 1768
 15 
Roddy Doyle
(Writer)
Roddy Doyle
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 16 
Lady Caroline Lamb
(Aristocrat and Novelist Best Known for Her Gothic Novel ‘Glenarvon’)
Lady Caroline Lamb
4
Birthdate: November 13, 1785
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 25, 1828

Better known as one of Lord Byron’s lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb met a 24-year-old Byron when she was 26, married, and has an autistic son with her husband, future British prime minister William Lamb. An author, too, she is known for her anonymously published Gothic novel Glenarvon.

 17 
Sheridan Le Fanu
(Writer)
Sheridan Le Fanu
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1814
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 7, 1873
 18 
John Millington Synge
(Irish Playwright, Poet and a Key Figure in the Irish Literary Revival)
John Millington Synge
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1871
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rathfarnham, Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 24, 1909

A major figure of the Irish Literary Revival, John Millington Synge is best remembered for his play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots in Dublin due to its satiric depiction of the Irish nature of boasting. His life ended abruptly at 37, due to blood cancer.

 19 
John Boyne
(Writer)
John Boyne
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dublin
 20 
Pauline McLynn
(Actress)
Pauline McLynn
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sligo, Ireland
 21 
Anne McCaffrey
(American-Irish Writer Known for the 'Dragonriders of Pern' Science Fiction Series)
Anne McCaffrey
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 21, 2011

Anne Inez McCaffrey was an American-Irish writer, whose unpretentious down-to-earth style made her popular with children and adult alike. A prolific writer, she had around 100 titles to her credit, several of which were written in collaboration with her son. Best known for her juvenile fictions, including her Dragonriders of Pern series, she had been honored with many distinguished awards.

 22 
Darren Shan
(Author)
Darren Shan
3
Birthdate: July 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
 23 
Edna O'Brien
(Novelist, Playwright, Poet and Short-Story Writer)
Edna O'Brien
3
Birthdate: December 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland

Irish novelist Edna O'Brien is known for dealing with themes related to women’s issues, such as sexual repression of women in a male-dominated society. While she initially studied pharmacy, she later soared to fame with novels such as The Country Girls trilogy, some of which were banned in Ireland for their sexual openness.

 24 
Elizabeth Bowen
(Novelist)
Elizabeth Bowen
3
Birthdate: June 7, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 22, 1973
 25 
Eoin Colfer
(Writer)
Eoin Colfer
4
Birthdate: May 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wexford, Ireland
 26 
Patrick Kavanagh
(Poet)
Patrick Kavanagh
3
Birthdate: October 21, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Inniskeen, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1967

Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh is best remembered for his long poem The Great Hunger and his depictions of harsh rural conditions. His initial experience of working on a farm offered him the setting for his novel Tarry Flynn, which was banned for a while and later performed as a play.

 27 
John Connolly
(Novelist)
John Connolly
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 28 
John Banville
(Novelist)
John Banville
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wexford, Ireland
 29 
Maeve Binchy
(Novelist)
Maeve Binchy
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dalkey, Dublin, Republic of Ireland Ireland
Died: July 30, 2012
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 30 
Liam O'Flaherty
(Writer)
Liam O'Flaherty
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inishmore, Ireland
Died: September 7, 1984
 31 
Liam O'Flaherty
(Author)
Liam O'Flaherty
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inishmore, Ireland
Died: September 7, 1984
 32 
Robert Erskine Childers
(Former Teachta Dála of Ireland)
Robert Erskine Childers
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1870
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England
Died: November 24, 1922
 33 
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
(Dramatist)
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 25, 1957

Edward Plunkett was a talented Irish author, known for his fantasy novels such as The King of Elfland's Daughter. Initially educated at Eton and then at Sandhurst, he had also been part of the British Army in World War I. He also designed chess puzzles and was a keen hunter.

 34 
Sebastian Barry
(Novelist)
Sebastian Barry
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 35 
William Trevor
(Novelist)
William Trevor
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mitchelstown, Ireland
Died: November 20, 2016
 36 
Maria Edgeworth
(Writer)
Maria Edgeworth
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1768
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Blackbourton, England
Died: May 22, 1849
 37 
George Moore
(Irish Novelist Known for His Work ‘Confessions of a Young Man’ and ‘Esther Waters’)
George Moore
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1852
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moore Hall, Ireland
Died: January 21, 1933

Irish author George Moore had initially aspired to be a painter and had even traveled to Paris to study the art. However, he soon ditched painting and devoted himself to writing instead. His novels, such as A Modern Lover, showed how much he was inspired by French realism.

 38 
Caitlín R. Kiernan
(Paleontologist)
Caitlín R. Kiernan
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skerries, Ireland

Caitlín R. Kiernan is an Irish-born American author and paleontologist. A two-time winner of both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy awards, Kiernan has written over 250 short stories and several novels. She has also won several other prestigious awards, such as the International Horror Guild Award, Barnes and Noble Maiden Voyage Award, and James Tiptree, Jr. Award.  

 39 
Jason Byrne
(Novelist)
Jason Byrne
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin-born Perrier Award-nominated Irish stand-up comedian Jason Byrne is best known for his roles in projects such as the sitcom Father Ted and the TV film Alice in Wonderland. He was also a finalist on stand-up show So You Think You're Funny and is known for his insult comedy.

 40 
Flann O'Brien
(Writer)
Flann O'Brien
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Strabane, Ireland
Died: April 1, 1966
 41 
Anne Enright
(Writer)
Anne Enright
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 42 
Dominic Behan
(Writer)
Dominic Behan
2
Birthdate: October 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: August 3, 1989
 43 
Joseph O'Connor
(Novelist)
Joseph O'Connor
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
 44 
Amanda McKittrick Ros
(Writer)
Amanda McKittrick Ros
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Drumaness, County Down, Ireland
Died: February 2, 1939
 45 
Ken Bruen
(Novelist)
Ken Bruen
3
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Galway, Ireland
 46 
John B. Keane
(Playwright)
John B. Keane
2
Birthdate: July 21, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Listowel, Ireland
Died: May 30, 2002
 47 
John McGahern
(Writer)
John McGahern
2
Birthdate: November 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Leitrim, Ireland
Died: March 30, 2006
 48 
Michael Scott
(Writer)
Michael Scott
2
Birthdate: September 28, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
 49 
Brendan Graham
(Songwriter)
Brendan Graham
2
Birthdate: 1945 AD
Birthplace: County Tipperary, Ireland
 50 
Annabel Davis-Goff
(Novelist)
Annabel Davis-Goff
2
Birthdate: February 19, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ireland