My favourite authors

I have loads of favourite authors, but here are a handful of my favourites. Some of them I’ve known for ages, others have been late discoveries.

I plan to update this list as and when new-to-me authors make an impression. Please note, I have only included novels in this list and not short-story collections or other writing.

Click on coloured book titles to read my review.

John Banville (Irish, 1945-)
[also writes under the pen name Benjamin Black]
Nightspawn (1971)
Birchwood (1973)
The Revolutions Trilogy: Doctor Copernicus* (1976)
The Revolutions Trilogy: Kepler* (1981)
The Revolutions Trilogy: The Newton Letter* (1982)
Mefisto* (1986)
The Frames Trilogy: The Book of Evidence* (1989)
The Frames Trilogy: Ghosts (1993)
The Frames Trilogy: Athena (1995)
The Untouchable (1997)
The Alexander and Cass Cleave Trilogy: Eclipse (2000)
The Alexander and Cass Cleave Trilogy: Shroud (2002)
The Sea (2005)
Quirke series: Christine Falls (2006) [Benjamin Black]
Quirke series: The Silver Swan (2007) [Benjamin Black]
The Lemur (2008) [Benjamin Black]
The Infinities (2009)
Quirke series: Elegy for April
(2010) [Benjamin Black]
Quirke series: A Death in Summer (2011) [Benjamin Black]
Quirke series: Vengeance (2012) [Benjamin Black]
The Alexander and Cass Cleave Trilogy: Ancient Light (2012)
Quirke series: Holy Orders (2013) [Benjamin Black]
Quirke series: Even the Dead (2015) [Benjamin Black]
The Blue Guitar (2015)
Prague Nights (2017) [Benjamin Black]
Mrs Osmond (2017)
Strafford & Quirke: Snow (2020)
The Secret Guests (2020) [Benjamin Black]
Strafford & Quirke: April in Spain (2021)
The Singularities (2022)
Strafford & Quirke: The Lock-Up (2023)

Sebastian Barry (Irish, 1955-)
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998)
Annie Dunne (2002)
A Long Long Way (2005)
The Secret Scripture (2008)
On Canaan’s Side (2011)
The Temporary Gentleman (2014)
Days Without End (2016)
A Thousand Moons (2020)
Old God’s Time (2023)

Kevin Casey (Irish, 1940- )
The Sinner’s Bell (1968)
A Sense of Survival (1974)
Dreams of Revenge (1977)
A State of Mind (2009)

Richard Flanagan (Australian, 1961-)
Death of a River Guide (1994)
The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997)
Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish (2001)*
The Unknown Terrorist (2006)
Wanting (2008)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North (2013)*
First Person (2017)
The Living Sea of Waking Dreams (2020)

Damon Galgut (South African, 1963-)
A Sinless Season (1984)
Small Circle of Beings (1988)
The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991)
The Quarry (1995)
The Good Doctor (2003)
The Impostor (2008)
In a Strange Room (2010)
Arctic Summer (2014)
The Promise (2021)

Jane Gardam (British, 1928-)
Bilgewater (1977)*
God on the Rocks (1978)
Crusoe’s Daughter (1985)
The Queen of the Tambourine (1991)
Black Woolly Pony (1993)
Faith Fox (1996)
The Flight of the Maidens (2000)
Old Filth (2004)
The Man in the Wooden Hat (2009)
Last Friends (2013)

Elizabeth Harrower (Australian, 1928-2020)
Down in the City (1957)
The Long Prospect (1958)
The Catherine Wheel (1960)
The Watch Tower (1966)
In Certain Circles (2014)
A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories (2015)

Kent Haruf (American, 1943-2015)
The Tie That Binds (1984)
Where You Once Belonged (1990)
Plainsong (1999)
Eventide (2004)
Benediction (2013)
Our Souls at Night (2015)

MJ Hyland (British, 1968- )
How the Light Gets In (2004)
Carry Me Down (2006)
This is How (2009)

Jennifer Johnston (Irish, 1930- )
The Captains and the Kings (1972)
The Gates (1973)
How Many Miles to Babylon? (1974)
Shadows on Our Skin (1977)
The Old Jest (1979)
The Christmas Tree (1981)
The Railway Station Man (1985)
Fool’s Sanctuary (1988)
The Invisible Worm (1992)
The Illusionist (1995)
Two Moons (1998)
The Gingerbread Woman (2000)
This is not a Novel (2002)
Grace and Truth (2005)
Foolish Mortals (2007)
Truth or Fiction (2009)
Shadowstory (2011)
A Sixpenny Song (2013)
Naming the Stars (2015)

Deirdre Madden (Irish, 1960- )
Hidden Symptoms (1986)
The Birds of the Innocent Wood (1988)
Remembering Light and Stone (1993)
Nothing Is Black (1994)
One by One in the Darkness (1996)
Authenticity (2002)
Molly Fox’s Birthday (2008)
Time Present and Time Past (2013)

John McGahern (Irish, 1934-2005)
The Barracks (1963)
The Dark (1965)
The Leavetaking (1975)
The Pornographer (1980)
Amongst Women (1990)
That They May Face the Rising Sun (2001)
Memoir (2005; Non-fiction)

Alex Miller (Australian, 1936- )
Watching the Climbers on the Mountain (1988)
The Tivington Nott (1989)
The Ancestor Game (1992)
The Sitters (1995)
Conditions of Faith (2000)
Journey to the Stone Country (2002)
Prochownik’s Dream (2005)
Landscape of Farewell (2007)
Lovesong (2009)
Autumn Laing (2011)
Coal Creek (2014)
The Passage of Love (2018)
A Brief Affair (2022)

Magnus Mills (English, 1954- )
The Restraint of Beasts (1998)
All Quiet on the Orient Express (1999)
Three to See the King (2001)
The Scheme for Full Employment (2003)
Explorers of the New Century (2005)
The Maintenance of Headway (2009)
A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In (2011)
The Field of the Cloth of Gold (2015)
The Forensic Records Society (2017)
Tales of Muffled Oars (2020)
The Trouble with Sunbathers (2020)
Sunbathers in a Bottle (2021)
Mistaken for Sunbathers (2022)

Elliot Perlman (Australian, 1964- )
Three Dollars (1998)
Seven Types of Ambiguity (2003)
The Street Sweeper (2012)*
Maybe the Horse will Talk (2019)

Per Petterson (Norweigan, 1952- )
To Siberia (1996)
In the Wake (2000)
Out Stealing Horses (2003)
I Curse the River of Time (2008)
It’s Fine By Me (2011)
Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in my Shoes (2013)
I Refuse (2014)
Echoland (2016)
Men in My Situation (2021)

Jean Rhys (Dominican, 1890-1976)
Quartet (1929)
After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie (1931)
Voyage in the Dark (1934)
Good Morning, Midnight (1939)
Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)

Anita Shreve (American, 1946-2018)
Eden Close (1989)
Strange Fits of Passion (1991)
Where or When (1993)
Resistance (1995)
The Weight of Water (1997)
The Pilot’s Wife (1998)
Fortune’s Rocks (1999)
The Last Time They Met (2001)
Sea Glass (2002)
All He Ever Wanted (2003)
Light on Snow (2004)
A Wedding In December (2005)
Body Surfing (2007)
Testimony (2008)
A Change in Altitude (2009)
Rescue (2010)
Stella Bain (2013)
The Stars are Fire (2017)

Randolph Stow (Australian, 1935-2010)
A Haunted Land (1956)
The Bystander (1957)
To the Islands (1958, revised in 1982)
Tourmaline (1963)
The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea (1965)
Visitants (1979)
The Girl Green as Elderflower (1980)
The Suburbs of Hell (1984)*

Colm Tóibín (Irish, 1955- )
The South (1990)
The Heather Blazing* (1992)
The Story of the Night (1996)
The Blackwater Lightship (1999)
The Master (2004)
Brooklyn (2009)
The Empty Family (2010)
The Testament of Mary (2012)
Nora Webster (2014)
House of Names (2017)
The Magician (2021)

William Trevor (Irish, 1928-2016)
A Standard of Behaviour (1958)
The Old Boys (1964)
The Boarding House (1965)
The Love Department (1966)
Mrs Eckdorf in O’Neill’s Hotel (1969)
Miss Gomez and the Brethren (1971)
Elizabeth Alone (1973)
The Children of Dynmouth (1976)
The Distant Past (1979)
Other People’s Worlds (1980)
Fools of Fortune (1983)
Nights at the Alexandra (1987)
The Silence in the Garden (1988)
Two Lives (the two novellas Reading Turgenev and My House in Umbria) (1991)
Felicia’s Journey (1994)
Death in Summer (1998)
The Story of Lucy Gault (2002)
Cheating at Canasta (2007)
Love and Summer (2009)
Last Stories (2018)

Anne Tyler (America, 1941- )
If Morning Ever Comes (1964)
The Tin Can Tree* (1965)
A Slipping-Down Life (1970)
The Clock Winder* (1972)
Celestial Navigation (1974)
Searching for Caleb* (1975)
Earthly Possessions (1977)
Morgan’s Passing (1980)
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant* (1982)
The Accidental Tourist* (1985)
Breathing Lessons* (1988)
Saint Maybe* (1991)
Ladder of Years* (1995)
A Patchwork Planet (1998)
Back When We Were Grownups (2001)
The Amateur Marriage (2004)
Digging to America (2006)
Noah’s Compass (2010)
The Beginner’s Goodbye (2012)
A Spool of Blue Thread (2015)
Vinegar Girl (2016)
Clock Dance (2018)
Redhead by the Side of the Road (2020)
French Braid (2022)

Charlotte Wood (Australian, 1965- )
Pieces of a Girl (1999)
The Submerged Cathedral (2004)
The Children (2007)
Animal People (2011)
The Natural Way of Things (2015)
The Weekend (2019)

* Read, but not reviewed on the blog.

22 thoughts on “My favourite authors”

  1. LOL, I reckon I could have predicted some of these, and that’s because I’ve discovered these authors through your reviews, thankyou:)
    We have a few in common (all the Aussie ones) but also John McGahern and Jane Gardam. I’ve never got round to reading Magnus Mills, I must do that soon.


    1. Well, you’ve probably seen this page before, Lisa. It used to be on the old blog but when I moved it a year ago all the links broke and I didn’t have the stamina to go in and fix them all by hand…until now.


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