Famous Spanish Writers

Spain has been home to longest literary traditions of the Western Hemisphere. It has been the birthplace of numerous noted and fabled writers for centuries. Interestingly, literature in Spain is broadly divided into two categories – works by Spanish in Spanish and works by Spanish but in English. Though in both types the writers are from Spain, their medium of articulating thoughts and beliefs are different. Had it been some decades ago and people would have been ignorant of the greatness of the first type, but thanks to the translation industry, today, readers are enriched with global literature from international writers and authors. Talking about Spanish writers in general, there have been some of the greatest and supremely talented writers from the region. Names like Miguel de Cervantes, Federico Gracia Lorca, Camilo Jose Cela, Javier Marias, Ana Maria Matute and Carlos Ruiz Zafon do ring a bell in the minds of reading aficionados and book lovers. But that is not all, for the country is home to many more prolific and gifted writers whose magic with the pen results in crafting of some of the most compelling stories and narratives. With this section, explore in details about the life and works of Spanish writers. Their storytelling technique will leave you hungry for more!

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Spanish Writers

 1 Miguel de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes
5
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 29, 1547
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Died: April 22, 1616

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer best known for his work Don Quixote, which is considered one of the high points of world literature. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of all time and the greatest writer to ever write in the Spanish language. His works have influenced other works of art like music and paintings.

 2 Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca
5
Famous As: Poet, playwright
Birthdate: June 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
Died: August 19, 1936

Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theater director. He was a prominent member of the Generation of '27, a group of poets who essentially worked with avant-garde forms of art and poetry. He was homosexual and had a love affair with sculptor Emilio Aladrén. He mysteriously disappeared at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

 3 Ibn Arabi

Ibn Arabi
4
Famous As: Muslim Scholar
Birthdate: July 26, 1165
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Murcia, Spain
Died: November 16, 1240
Ibn Arabi, also known as al-Qushayri and Sultan al-ʿArifin, was a 13th-century Muslim scholar and poet. He is remembered for his cosmological teachings and is known among Sufis as al-Shaykh al-Akbar, which gave rise to the Akbariyya school of Sufi metaphysics. His works include The Meccan Illuminations and The Dīwān.

 4 Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Actor, Film editor, Writer
Birthdate: February 22, 1900
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calanda, Spain
Died: July 29, 1983

Luis Buñuel was a Spanish-Mexican filmmaker with a brilliant career spanning almost half a century. He worked in France, Mexico, and Spain and directed films spanning various genres. His filmmaking technique was strongly influenced by mise-en-scène. He was hailed as a leader of avant-garde surrealism and is considered one of the top directors of the 20th century.  

Recommended Lists:

 5 George Santayana

George Santayana
6
Famous As: Philosopher, Essayist, Poet
Birthdate: December 16, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 26, 1952

One of George Santayana’s initial works, The Sense of Beauty, spoke about aesthetics, an oft-repeated topic in his later works. The Spanish-born American philosopher and Harvard professor is remembered for his quote “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” which has often been misattributed to Plato.

 6 Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
3
Famous As: Novelist widely known for his 2001 novel La sombra del viento
Birthdate: September 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: June 19, 2020

Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón gained international fame with his first adult novel, The Shadow of the Wind. Previously, he had dabbled in the young-adult genre, with novels such as The Prince of Mist. He had initially been associated with the advertising industry and later also wrote scripts.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Juan Antonio Bayona

Juan Antonio Bayona
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barcelona

Juan Antonio Bayona is a Spanish film director. He is known for directing films across genres, including horror, drama, science fiction, and fantasy. He studied at the Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya (ESCAC) before beginning his career. He won the Goya Best Director Award for the disaster film The Impossible.  

You May Like

 8 Ferran Adria

Ferran Adria
3
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: May 14, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Ferran Adria is a Spanish chef counted among the best chefs in the world. He was the head chef of the elBulli restaurant in Roses. He began his career as a dishwasher at the Hotel Playafels and worked his way up to become the head chef at elBulli within a few years. He also runs a product line called Texturas. 

 9 Miguel de Unamuno

Miguel de Unamuno
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 29, 1864
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bilbao
Died: December 31, 1936

Miguel de Unamuno was a Spanish essayist, poet, playwright, novelist, and philosopher. His most famous novel was Abel Sánchez: The History of a Passion, a modern retelling of the Biblical Cain and Abel story. He was a significant figure in the Spanish literary and intellectual circles and served as rector of the University of Salamanca. 

 10 Álex Pina

Álex Pina
4
Famous As: Director, Writer
Birthdate: June 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pamplona, Spain

Álex Pina is a Spanish TV personality, writer, producer, director, and series creator. He is best known for creating one of the most popular heist crime drama series of all time, Money Heist. In 2019, Pina was named in The Hollywood Reporter magazine's Top International Showrunners of the Year list.

Recommended Lists:

 11 José Ortega y Gasset

José Ortega y Gasset
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 9, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: October 18, 1955

Philosopher and humanist José Ortega y Gasset was a major figure of the 20th-century Spanish literary renaissance. Apart from introducing concepts such as ratiovitalism, he also believed in the philosophy "I am I and my circumstance." Invertebrate Spain and The Revolt of the Masses remain his best works.

 12 Lope de Vega

Lope de Vega
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 25, 1562
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: August 27, 1635

Spanish Baroque dramatist Lope de Vega was one of the most significant figures of the Spanish Golden Age. He had initially aspired to be a priest but abandoned his plans after falling in love with a married woman. He is best remembered for works such as The Dog in the Manger.

 13 Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Arturo Pérez-Reverte
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 25, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cartagena, Spain

A retired war correspondent and best-selling author, Arturo Pérez-Reverte Gutiérrez began his writing career while serving as a journalist, publishing his first novel, El hussar, set during the Napoleon Wars, at the age of thirty-five. Outside Spain, he is best known for his Captain Alatriste series, which contains seven novels set around a seventeenth century soldier of the same name.

 14 Antonio Machado

Antonio Machado
3
Famous As: Poet and one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: February 22, 1939

A leading member of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98, Antonio Machado was a legendary poet and playwright. He was educated at the Sorbonne and had also taught French. A proponent of eternal poetry, he penned masterpieces such as Soledades and Campos de Castilla.

 15 Nacho Vidal

Nacho Vidal
6
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: December 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mataró, Spain

Nacho Vidal is a Spanish pornographic actor, producer, director, writer, and camera operator. A protégé of popular Italian pornographic actor Rocco Siffredi, Vidal has appeared in more than 1,500 films. Over the course of his career, Vidal has won several awards like XBIZ Awards and Ninfa Awards. In 2012, he was made an inductee of the AVN Hall of Fame.

 16 Camilo José Cela

Camilo José Cela
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 11, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Iria Flavia, Spain
Died: January 17, 2002

Camilo José Cela was a Spanish novelist, essayist, story writer, and poet. One of the most respected Spanish writers of his generation, Camilo José Cela received a number of prestigious awards, including the 1987 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. In 1989, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1994, he was honored with the Premio Planeta de Novela.

 17 Ferdinand Columbus

Ferdinand Columbus
3
Famous As: Bibliographer
Birthdate: August 24, 1488
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cordoba, Spain
Died: July 12, 1539

The second-born son of Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Columbus introduced technologies such as the printing press to Seville. He gathered a huge collection of books from all over Europe and established a personal library. The accomplished bibliographer also penned a biography of his father, which became a valuable source of information.

 18 Joaquín Sabina

Joaquín Sabina
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter, Poet
Birthdate: February 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Úbeda, Spain

Joaquín Sabina had begun writing lyrics at age 14. The legendary Spanish singer and songwriter mostly sings on heartbreak and love. Apart from releasing triple-platinum tracks such as Vinagre y Rosas, he has also penned books on poetry. He once went on a 4-year hiatus after a stroke.

 19 Solomon ibn Gabirol

Solomon ibn Gabirol
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1021 AD
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
Died: 1070 AD

A prominent figure of the Hebrew school of poetry and a Neoplatonic philosopher, Solomon ibn Gabirol lived during the Jewish Golden Age of Spain. His works include elegies, religious and secular poems, proverbs, and philosophical treatises. Legends claim that he was either murdered by another poet or by a horseman.

 20 Pedro Paterno

Pedro Paterno
3
Famous As: politician, novelist, poet, author, autobiographer
Birthdate: February 17, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manila
Died: March 11, 1911

Philippine politician Pedro Paterno was educated in Spain, where he graduated in philosophy and theology. He later became the prime minister of his country. A poet and novelist, too, he eventually became infamous as a traitor after supporting the U.S. and favoring American dominion during the Philippine–American War.

 21 Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
5
Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: February 17, 1836
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Seville, Spain
Died: December 22, 1870

Spanish Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer was orphaned at age 11. Inspired by his painter brother Valeriano, he embarked on a literary career, writing for El Contemporáneo in Madrid. His Rimas (Rhymes) and Leyendas (Legends) gained popularity only after his death at 34 due to tuberculosis.

 22 Olivia Delcan

Olivia Delcan
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 29, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Known for her roles in the popular television series like Locked Up and in films like Isla Bonita and Lejos del mar, Olivia Delcan is a popular Spanish actress, who is proficient in English, Spanish and Catalan. An alumnus from William Esper Studio (Manhattan) and William Layton Studio (Madrid), she also wrote and directed a play entitled About Last Night

 23 Seneca the Elder

Seneca the Elder
3
Famous As: writer
Birthdate: 0054 BC
Birthplace: Córdoba
Died: 0039 AD

Best known for iconic works such as Oratorum et Rhetorum Sententiae Divisiones Colores, of which only remnants remain, Seneca the Elder was a 1st-century Latin rhetorician. A prominent figure of the Silver Age of Latin, he was the father of Lucius Annaeus Seneca, or Seneca the Younger.

 24 Francisco de Quevedo

Francisco de Quevedo
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 14, 1580
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 8, 1645

Spanish nobleman, politician and writer Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Santibáñez Villegas, KOS of the Baroque era is counted among the most prominent writers of Spain's Golden Age. Quevedo adhered to the conceptismo style compared to his lifelong rival, Luis de Góngora’s culteranismo style. His notable works include the picaresque novel El Buscón and the satirical prose Los Sueños.

 25 Miriam González Durántez

Miriam González Durántez
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: May 31, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Olmedo, Valladolid, Spain

 26 Sergio Aragonés

Sergio Aragonés
3
Famous As: Cartoonist and writer best known for his contributions to Mad magazine and creating the comic book Groo the Wanderer
Birthdate: September 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sant Mateu, Spain

Best known for co-authoring the sword-and-sorcery comic book Groo The Wanderer, Spanish-Mexican cartoonist Sergio Aragonés had initially soared to fame with his margin cartoon insertions in MAD Magazine. He also became the first Mexican to win the Eisner Award and inspired the Comic Art Professional Society’s award The Sergio.

 27 Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracian
3
Famous As: Prose writer
Birthdate: January 8, 1601
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belmonte de Gracián, Spain
Died: December 6, 1658

Spanish baroque author and philosopher Baltasar Gracian was a leading proponent of the conceptismo style. Inspired by his priest uncle, he took Jesuit vows. His notable works include Subtlety and the Art of Genius and the three-part novel The Critick, with the latter written under a pseudonym.

 28 Ramón Sampedro

Ramón Sampedro
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Porto do Son, Galicia, Spain
Died: January 12, 1998

 29 Javier Marías

Javier Marías
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

Born to banned educator Julián Marías, Javier Marías had begun writing at age 14 and penned his first novel, The Dominions of the Wolf, at 17. His depiction of John Gawsworth, the king of the Caribbean island Redonda, led him to inherit the kingship. He also writes columns for El Pais.

 30 Juan Ramón Jiménez

Juan Ramón Jiménez
3
Famous As: Poet, a prolific writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956
Birthdate: December 23, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moguer, Spain
Died: May 29, 1958

Nobel Prize-winning Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez mostly dealt with erotic themes in his works. He was also once hospitalized for depression. A master of lyrical poetry, he later deviated to free verse. He is best known for poetic masterpieces such as Distant Gardens and his prose Platero and I.

 31 Álex de la Iglesia

Álex de la Iglesia
3
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: December 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bilbao, Spain

The Goya Award-winning director of cult films such as The Day of the Beast and Dance with the Devil, Álex de la Iglesia deals with macabre themes and dark comedy. Initially a comic book artist, he worked as a TV show decorator and art director before stepping into filmmaking.

 32 Abraham ibn Ezra

Abraham ibn Ezra
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1089 AD
Birthplace: Tudela, Spain
Died: January 23, 1167
A significant figure of the Golden Age of Spanish Judaism, Abraham ibn Ezra was a renowned poet, a Neoplatonic philosopher, a biblical commentator, and an astronomy enthusiast. He traveled throughout Europe, North Africa, and Egypt, and also translated the works of Hispano-Hebrew grammarians. He inspired Robert Browning's poem Rabbi Ben Ezra.

 33 Bernardino de Sahagún

Bernardino de Sahagún
3
Famous As: Franciscan friar, missionary priest and pioneering ethnographer who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain
Birthdate: 1499 AD
Birthplace: Sahagún, Spain
Died: February 5, 1590

A pioneer of modern anthropology and a renowned ethnographer, 16th-century Spanish priest and missionary Bernardino de Sahagún remains one of the greatest resources of the history of ancient Mexico. Best remembered for compiling Historia General and its manuscript the Florentine Codex, he developed the Aztec language Nahuatl.

 34 Ibn Tufail

Ibn Tufail
3
Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: 1105 AD
Birthplace: Guadix, Spain
Died: 1185 AD

Ibn Tufail was a 12th-century Arab polymath from Andalusia and a significant figure of the Islamic Golden Age. Best known for his philosophical romance Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, he had also penned medical works in Arab and had been the court physician of Abū Yaʿqūb Yūsuf.

 35 Emilia Pardo Bazán

Emilia Pardo Bazán
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: A Coruña, Spain
Died: May 12, 1921

Spanish countess and novelist Emilia Pardo Bazán had initially gained fame with the essay The Critical Issue. She was an advocate of naturalism and free will. Known for novels such as The House of Ulloa, she also taught Romance literature and was divorced by her husband because of her literary success.

 36 Judah Halevi

Judah Halevi
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: 1075 AD
Birthplace: Toledo, Spain
Died: 1141 AD

Spanish Jewish poet, physician, and philosopher Judah Halevi is remembered for his significant contributions to the development of Hebrew poetry. Best known for Sefer ha-Kuzari and his poems in Dīwān, he was greatly influenced by Arabian literature. His travels eventually took him to Egypt, where he died.

 37 Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Pedro Calderon de la Barca
3
Famous As: Dramatist, poet, writer and knight of the Order of Santiago
Birthdate: January 17, 1600
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: May 25, 1681

One of the most significant Baroque playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age, Pedro Calderon de la Barca had penned iconic dramas such as Life Is a Dream and many religious plays and operas, too. Many of his works reflected the issues of a dysfunctional family, probably inspired by his own life.

 38 Benjamin of Tudela

Benjamin of Tudela
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 1130 AD
Birthplace: Tudela, Spain
Died: 1173 AD

Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela who visited Europe, Africa and Asia in the 12th century was a prominent figure in medieval geography and Jewish history. His book The Travels of Benjamin sheds light on situation of Jews and diversity of Jewish communities in Europe and Asia during the 12th century and also on the geography and ethnography of the Middle Ages.

 39 Dolores Redondo

Dolores Redondo
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San Sebastián, Spain

 40 Columella

Columella
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 31, 0004
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cádiz, Spain
Died: 0070 AD

Best known for his detailed works on agriculture and farming, his 12-volume treatise De re rustica and the smaller De arboribus, Columella was a Roman soldier who later focused on farming at his multiple estates in Italy. He had previously also been a legal official in Syria.

 41 David trueba

David trueba
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madrid

David Trueba is a Spanish film director, novelist, and screenwriter. He is known for directing movies like The Good Life, Madrid, 1987, and Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed. The younger brother of Oscar-winning filmmaker Fernando Trueba, David Trueba has also directed several TV series. He is also known as the ex-husband of popular Spanish actress Ariadna Gil.

 42 María de Agreda

María de Agreda
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 2, 1602
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agreda, Spain
Died: May 24, 1665

Franciscan abbess and spiritual-writer María de Agreda was a noted mystic of her era. She served as the spiritual and at times political advisor to King Philip IV of Spain for over two decades and is best-known for the correspondence she had with the King besides reports of her bilocation. She penned 14 books, including the most notable Mystical City of God.    

 43 Risto Mejide

Risto Mejide
2
Famous As: Writers, Musicians
Birthdate: November 29, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain

Risto Mejide is a Spanish author, publicist, music producer, songwriter, talent show judge, and TV presenter. He is best known for appearing as a judge on popular talent shows like Factor X, Got Talent España, and Operación Triunfo.

 44 Garcilaso de la Vega

Garcilaso de la Vega
2
Famous As: poet, soldier
Birthdate: February 6, 1501
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toledo
Died: October 14, 1536

Born into a noble Spanish family, Garcilaso de la Vega grew up to be one of the greatest poets of the Golden Age of Spanish literature. Most of his mature writings were inspired by the Italian Renaissance and carried themes such as failed love. His notable works include Dialoghi di amore.

 45 Miguel Hernández

Miguel Hernández
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 30, 1910
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orihuela, Spain
Died: March 28, 1942

Miguel Hernández was a 20th-century Spanish-language poet and playwright. He was associated with the Generation of '27 and the Generation of '36 movements. He had a difficult childhood and was mostly self-taught. He became a prominent literary figure at a young age. His poems are counted among the finest pieces of Spanish poetry of the 20th century. 

 46 Ibn Jubayr

Ibn Jubayr
2
Famous As: Geographer
Birthdate: September 1, 1145
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valencia, Spain
Died: November 29, 1217

Ibn Jubayr was an Arab geographer, traveler, and poet from al-Andalus. In the years preceding the Third Crusade, he made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca from 1183 to 1185, which he wrote about in great detail in his chronicles. He was a member of an Arab family of the Kinanah tribe and also traveled to  Damascus, Mosul, Acre, and Baghdad. 

 47 Benito Pérez Galdós

Benito Pérez Galdós
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 10, 1843
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Municipality of Las Palmas, Spain
Died: January 4, 1920

One of the greatest Spanish novelists ever, Benito Pérez Galdós had initially aspired to become a lawyer but later switched to journalism. His novel The Fountain of Gold was the first in a series of 46 novels known as National Episodes. He also penned plays such as Realidad.

 48 Luis Eduardo Aute

Luis Eduardo Aute
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 13, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
Died: April 4, 2020

 49 Tirso de Molina

Tirso de Molina
2
Famous As: Known for writing The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest, the play from which the popular character of Don Juan originates
Birthdate: March 24, 1583
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: February 20, 1648

Spanish Baroque dramatist, poet and Roman Catholic monk Tirso de Molina is best known for writing the play The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest which first introduced the legendary fictional character of Don Juan. Other notable works of Molina includes the comedy sitcom Don Gil of the green tights and the trilogy of The Santa Juana.

 50 Rafael Alberti

Rafael Alberti
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Municipality of El Puerto de Santa María, Spain
Died: October 28, 1999

Rafael Alberti, part of the Spanish poets’ group called the Generation of 1927, redefined Spanish literature. The Cervantes Prize-winning poet had also been a Communist Party member but was expelled later and launched the politically motivated magazine Octubre. He had also fought in the Spanish Civil War.