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10 Classic Authors You Must Read in 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of literature, classic authors continue to stand the test of time, offering timeless tales that captivate readers across generations. As we embark on a new year, the literary world beckons us to delve into the works of these literary maestros. This article unveils a curated list of 10 classic authors you simply cannot overlook in 2024. From the insightful prose of Jane Austen to the imaginative narratives of Jules Verne, let's embark on a literary journey that transcends time.

10 Classic Authors You Must Read in 2024

Table of Contents:

1. Jane Austen: The Mistress of Wit

Jane Austen, the 18th-century English novelist, is renowned for her sharp wit and keen observations of societal nuances. Dive into classics like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" to witness Austen's timeless portrayal of love, class, and manners.


Jane Austen, born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England, was an English novelist known for her keen observations of social manners and her mastery of the novel form. Despite facing challenges as a female author in the early 19th century, Austen's wit and insight into human relationships have left an indelible mark on literature.

Relevance to Literature:

Jane Austen is a pivotal figure in English literature, particularly the novel of manners and social realism. Her works provide a nuanced portrayal of the social, economic, and moral issues of her time, focusing on the lives and loves of the British landed gentry. Austen's exploration of character dynamics, marriage, and societal expectations continues to influence writers and readers, making her an enduring figure in the literary canon.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "Pride and Prejudice" (1813): This iconic novel explores the themes of love, class, and personal growth through the spirited Elizabeth Bennet and the proud Mr. Darcy.

  • "Sense and Sensibility" (1811): Austen's first published novel examines the contrasting temperaments of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, as they navigate love and societal expectations.

  • "Emma" (1815): In this novel, Austen delves into the complexities of matchmaking and self-discovery as the heroine, Emma Woodhouse, learns valuable lessons about love and maturity.

Why Recommended:

Jane Austen's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Timeless Themes: Her exploration of universal themes such as love, social class, and morality resonates across cultures and generations.

  • Wit and Satire: Austen's sharp wit and keen satire make her novels not only entertaining but also insightful commentaries on the society of her time.

  • Character Development: Austen's skill in character development, especially her strong and independent heroines, adds depth and relatability to her stories.

  • Literary Legacy: Austen's impact on literature extends beyond her lifetime, with adaptations, continuations, and scholarly analyses attesting to the enduring relevance of her work.

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Jazz Age Chronicles

Explore the Roaring Twenties through the lens of F. Scott Fitzgerald. "The Great Gatsby" remains a pinnacle of American literature, capturing the opulence and disillusionment of the Jazz Age. Fitzgerald's prose sparkles with elegance and profound insights into the human condition.


F. Scott Fitzgerald, born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota, was an American novelist and short story writer. Often regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, Fitzgerald is best known for capturing the essence of the Jazz Age through his works. His life was marked by the glamour and excesses of the Roaring Twenties, and he left a profound impact on American literature.

Relevance to Literature:

F. Scott Fitzgerald is a key figure in American literature, particularly for his portrayal of the Jazz Age. His works delve into the complexities of the American Dream, the excesses of wealth, and the disillusionment that followed. Fitzgerald's exploration of social and moral issues, combined with his lyrical prose, makes him a significant contributor to the literary landscape.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "The Great Gatsby" (1925): Widely considered his masterpiece, this novel explores the American Dream through the lens of Jay Gatsby's opulent lifestyle and unrequited love for Daisy Buchanan. It remains a classic critique of the pursuit of wealth and the emptiness it can bring.

  • "Tender Is the Night" (1934): This novel, often overshadowed by "The Great Gatsby," is a semi-autobiographical work that examines the destructive effects of wealth and the disintegration of personal and marital relationships.

  • "This Side of Paradise" (1920): Fitzgerald's debut novel, it explores the experiences of a young man, Amory Blaine, as he navigates love, success, and the societal changes of the post-World War I era.

Why Recommended:

F. Scott Fitzgerald's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Jazz Age Chronicles: His novels vividly capture the spirit and decadence of the Jazz Age, providing readers with a window into the cultural landscape of the 1920s.

  • Profound Themes: Fitzgerald's exploration of the American Dream, wealth, and societal expectations offers timeless insights into the human condition.

  • Lyrical Prose: Known for his elegant and poetic prose, Fitzgerald's writing style elevates the reading experience, making his works a joy for literature enthusiasts.

  • Cultural Impact: "The Great Gatsby" continues to be a staple in American literature courses and has been adapted into numerous films, solidifying Fitzgerald's enduring legacy.

apestry of Victorian Life

Charles Dickens, the literary giant of the Victorian era, crafted narratives that mirror the complexities of 19th-century society. Works like "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations" offer a panoramic view of human struggles and triumphs.


Charles Dickens, born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England, was a prolific and influential English novelist and social critic. Dickens rose to prominence during the Victorian era and became one of the most celebrated literary figures of the 19th century. His novels often depicted the struggles of the poor and the injustices of society, reflecting his own experiences and observations.

Relevance to Literature:

Charles Dickens is a towering figure in English literature, renowned for his vivid characters and depictions of Victorian society. His works played a crucial role in addressing social issues and advocating for social reform. Dickens' novels are characterized by a combination of humor, sentimentality, and a keen sense of social justice, making him a key figure in the development of the novel as a form of social commentary.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "A Tale of Two Cities" (1859): Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this novel explores themes of resurrection, sacrifice, and the contrast between London and Paris during a tumultuous period in history.

  • "Great Expectations" (1861): A bildungsroman that follows the life of the orphan Pip, Dickens delves into themes of social class, identity, and personal growth in this coming-of-age tale.

  • "David Copperfield" (1850): Widely considered Dickens' most autobiographical work, this novel traces the life of the titular character from childhood to maturity, touching on themes of resilience, love, and self-discovery.

Why Recommended:

Charles Dickens' works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Social Commentary: Dickens was a master at highlighting the social injustices and inequalities of his time, making his novels invaluable for understanding Victorian society.

  • Memorable Characters: His characters, such as Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver Twist, and Miss Havisham, have become iconic and continue to resonate in popular culture.

  • Narrative Style: Dickens' storytelling prowess, characterized by intricate plots and memorable dialogue, makes his novels engaging and accessible to a wide audience.

  • Literary Legacy: Dickens' influence on the novel as a form of social critique and entertainment is profound, and his works continue to be studied and adapted in various forms of media.

4. Leo Tolstoy: Russian Epics and Morality

Delve into the rich tapestry of Russian literature with Leo Tolstoy. "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" are masterpieces that explore morality, love, and the human experience against the backdrop of historical events. Tolstoy's profound insights continue to resonate with readers worldwide.


Leo Tolstoy, born on September 9, 1828, in Tula Province, Russia, was a Russian writer and philosopher. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is best known for his epic novels that explore the complexities of human existence and morality. Tolstoy's life underwent profound spiritual and philosophical transformations, and his writings reflect his quest for a meaningful and moral life.

Relevance to Literature:

Leo Tolstoy stands as one of the giants of Russian literature and world literature as a whole. His works, deeply rooted in the Russian realist tradition, transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries, addressing universal themes such as love, war, morality, and the search for meaning. Tolstoy's influence on literature extends beyond his storytelling; he delved into the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of life, challenging conventional norms and ideologies.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "War and Peace" (1869): This monumental work is not just a historical novel but a profound exploration of human nature, war, and the meaning of life. The novel weaves together the lives of several characters against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

  • "Anna Karenina" (1877): Regarded as one of the greatest novels ever written, "Anna Karenina" examines themes of love, infidelity, and societal expectations through the tragic story of Anna and her ill-fated affair with Count Vronsky.

  • "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (1886): A novella that explores the nature of life and death, Tolstoy presents a poignant meditation on the meaning of a life lived with authenticity and moral integrity.

Why Recommended:

Leo Tolstoy's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Philosophical Depth: Tolstoy's exploration of existential and philosophical questions adds depth and intellectual richness to his novels, making them intellectually stimulating.

  • Humanistic Themes: His novels capture the intricacies of human relationships, the moral struggles of individuals, and the impact of historical events on ordinary lives.

  • Narrative Mastery: Tolstoy's narrative techniques, including his use of multiple perspectives and intricate plots, showcase his mastery of storytelling.

  • Spiritual Insights: Tolstoy's later works, influenced by his spiritual awakening, offer profound insights into the nature of life, morality, and the pursuit of a meaningful existence.

5. Jules Verne: Pioneering Science Fiction (H2)

Jules Verne, a visionary of science fiction, takes readers on fantastical journeys in classics such as "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Verne's imaginative narratives and futuristic concepts laid the foundation for the science fiction genre, making him a must-read for fans of speculative fiction.


Jules Verne, born on February 8, 1828, in Nantes, France, was a French novelist known as the "Father of Science Fiction." Verne's early career as a lawyer took a turn when he began writing adventure novels that blended scientific knowledge with imaginative storytelling. His works, including "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "Around the World in Eighty Days," have become classics of science fiction and adventure literature.

Relevance to Literature:

Jules Verne is a pioneer of science fiction literature, contributing significantly to the genre's development. His imaginative tales of exploration, discovery, and technological marvels laid the foundation for future generations of science fiction writers. Verne's works were not only entertaining but also educational, introducing readers to scientific concepts and advancements in an accessible and engaging manner.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1870): This classic novel follows the adventures of Captain Nemo and the submarine Nautilus as they explore the depths of the ocean. Verne's meticulous attention to scientific detail and the fantastical nature of the story made it a groundbreaking work in science fiction.

  • "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1873): Phileas Fogg's race against time to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days captured the imaginations of readers with its blend of adventure, humor, and suspense. The novel remains one of Verne's most popular and enduring works.

  • "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1864): In this novel, Professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their guide embark on a subterranean adventure, uncovering a world filled with prehistoric creatures and geological wonders.

Why Recommended:

Jules Verne's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Innovative Genre Contribution: Verne's groundbreaking contributions to the science fiction genre established him as a visionary writer whose ideas often foreshadowed technological advancements and exploration achievements.

  • Accessible Science Education: Verne's incorporation of scientific principles into his narratives made complex concepts accessible to a broad audience, fostering an interest in science among readers.

  • Timeless Adventure: The timeless and adventurous nature of Verne's stories appeals to readers of all ages, offering a blend of excitement, curiosity, and the thrill of exploration.

  • Cultural Impact: Verne's influence extends beyond literature, with numerous adaptations in various media, showcasing the enduring appeal of his imaginative tales.

6. Mark Twain: Adventures in American Literature

Mark Twain, the quintessential American author, navigates the waters of humor and social commentary. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is a classic that explores the themes of race, freedom, and the moral compass of society in the antebellum South.


Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, was an American author, humorist, and social observer. Twain is best known for his distinctive style of writing, often combining humor with keen social commentary. His literary works, including "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," have become quintessential examples of American literature.

Relevance to Literature:

Mark Twain is a central figure in American literature, known for his contributions to both classic literature and the genre of American humor. His novels, set in the American South along the Mississippi River, reflect the cultural and social milieu of the 19th century. Twain's exploration of the complexities of human nature and his critique of societal norms make his works timeless and relevant.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876): Twain's classic novel follows the mischievous boy Tom Sawyer as he navigates the adventures of childhood in a small town along the Mississippi River. The novel captures the spirit of youth and the complexities of morality.

  • "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884): Considered one of the greatest American novels, this work follows Huck Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, as they embark on a journey down the Mississippi River. Twain's exploration of racism, morality, and the hypocrisy of society remains a critical and influential aspect of the novel.

  • "The Adventures of Pudd'nhead Wilson" (1894): This novel explores themes of identity, race, and morality through a complex plot involving switched infants and the consequences of societal prejudices.

Why Recommended:

Mark Twain's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Social Commentary: Twain's novels offer incisive social commentary, critiquing the societal norms and prejudices of his time.

  • Humor and Wit: Twain's humor, wit, and mastery of colloquial language make his works engaging and accessible, appealing to a broad audience.

  • Exploration of American Identity: Twain's novels, set in the American South, provide a rich exploration of American identity, capturing the nuances of regional culture and dialects.

  • Impact on American Literature: Twain's influence on American literature is profound, and his works continue to be studied and celebrated for their literary merit and cultural significance.

7. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Magic Realism

Step into the enchanting world of magical realism with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is a literary marvel that weaves together history and fantasy, creating a narrative that transcends the boundaries of reality. Marquez's influence extends far beyond his Colombian roots.


Gabriel García Márquez, born on March 6, 1927, in Aracataca, Colombia, was a Colombian novelist and Nobel Prize laureate in Literature. García Márquez is often credited with popularizing the literary genre of magic realism, blending fantastical elements with everyday life. His upbringing in a small Colombian town and experiences as a journalist profoundly influenced his storytelling style.

Relevance to Literature:

Gabriel García Márquez holds a unique position in world literature for his contributions to magic realism and his ability to craft deeply imaginative narratives. His novels, often set in Latin America, explore the complexities of love, power, and the intersection of the mundane and the extraordinary. García Márquez's influence extends beyond literature, shaping the cultural and political landscape of Latin America.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (1967): This masterpiece is a landmark in world literature, tracing the multi-generational saga of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo. The novel's magical realism and exploration of time, memory, and solitude have made it a literary classic.

  • "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1985): García Márquez explores the enduring nature of love in this novel, which follows the lives of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza over decades. The story is a rich tapestry of love, passion, and the passage of time.

  • "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" (1981): This novella blends elements of crime and mystery with García Márquez's signature magical realism. It explores the consequences of a murder in a small Colombian town and reflects on the nature of fate and honor.

Why Recommended:

Gabriel García Márquez's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Magic Realism: García Márquez's pioneering use of magic realism adds a unique and captivating dimension to his storytelling, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

  • Cultural Exploration: His novels provide a rich exploration of Latin American culture, history, and societal norms, offering readers a window into the region's complexities.

  • Universal Themes: García Márquez's exploration of universal themes such as love, time, and the human condition transcends cultural boundaries, making his works accessible to a global audience.

  • Nobel-Winning Impact: The recognition of García Márquez with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 solidified his status as a literary giant, and his influence continues to shape contemporary literature.

8. Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights and the Dark Romanticism

Emily Brontë, with her singular novel "Wuthering Heights," contributes to the genre of dark romanticism. Explore the haunting landscapes and passionate characters that define Brontë's masterpiece, delving into the darker aspects of human nature and the enduring power of love.


Emily Brontë, born on July 30, 1818, in Thornton, West Yorkshire, England, was an English novelist and poet. She is best known for her only novel, "Wuthering Heights," which has become a classic of English literature. Emily, along with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, belonged to the literary Brontë family. Despite her relatively short life, Emily's contribution to literature is enduring.

Relevance to Literature:

Emily Brontë is a key figure in English literature, and her novel "Wuthering Heights" is considered a masterpiece of Gothic fiction. Her exploration of passion, the supernatural, and the Yorkshire moors sets her apart as a unique voice in the Victorian literary landscape. Brontë's work defies conventional norms of the time and has continued to captivate readers with its intensity and complexity.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "Wuthering Heights" (1847): Emily Brontë's only novel, "Wuthering Heights," is a dark and brooding tale of love and revenge. The story unfolds through the narrations of Mr. Lockwood and the housekeeper, Nelly Dean, and explores themes of passion, social class, and the destructive nature of obsessive love.

  • Poetry: While Emily Brontë is primarily known for her novel, she also wrote poetry that reflects her introspective and nature-inspired sensibilities. Some of her notable poems include "No Coward Soul Is Mine" and "Remembrance."

Why Recommended:

Emily Brontë's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Gothic Innovation: "Wuthering Heights" is a groundbreaking work in Gothic literature, featuring a dark and atmospheric setting, complex characters, and an exploration of the supernatural.

  • Exploration of Human Passion: Brontë's depiction of love and passion in "Wuthering Heights" is intense and unflinching, delving into the extremes of human emotion.

  • Unique Literary Voice: Emily Brontë's narrative style and her ability to evoke the wild landscapes of the Yorkshire moors contribute to her unique literary voice, setting her apart from her contemporaries.

  • Cultural Impact: "Wuthering Heights" has left an indelible mark on literature and popular culture, with numerous adaptations in film, television, and other media.

9. Homer: An Odyssey Through Time

Travel back to ancient Greece with Homer, the legendary poet who gave us "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." These epic poems are foundational works of Western literature, offering insights into heroism, fate, and the timeless struggles of humanity.


Homer is an ancient Greek poet, traditionally said to be the author of two of the greatest epic poems of ancient Greece, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey." The exact details of Homer's life remain shrouded in mystery, and there is scholarly debate about whether Homer was an individual or a collective name for a group of poets. Regardless, his works have had an immense impact on Western literature and are considered foundational to the epic tradition.

Relevance to Literature:

Homer is a central figure in the literary history of the Western world, and his epic poems, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," are foundational works of ancient Greek literature. These epic poems played a crucial role in shaping the narrative traditions of storytelling, heroism, and morality. Homer's influence extends beyond literature to philosophy, art, and the cultural identity of ancient Greece.

Main Works (Poems) that Impacted Literature:

  • "The Iliad" (circa 8th century BCE): This epic poem focuses on the Trojan War and the hero Achilles. It explores themes of honor, fate, and the consequences of war. "The Iliad" is considered one of the greatest achievements in Western literature.

  • "The Odyssey" (circa 8th century BCE): Another epic attributed to Homer, "The Odyssey" follows the adventures of Odysseus as he tries to return home after the Trojan War. The poem is a journey filled with mythical creatures, challenges, and the hero's struggle to reunite with his family.

Why Recommended:

Homer's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Epic Tradition: Homer's epics established the epic tradition in Western literature, influencing subsequent poets and writers for centuries.

  • Universal Themes: The themes explored in Homer's works, such as heroism, fate, and the consequences of war, are universal and continue to resonate with readers across cultures.

  • Cultural Impact: Homer's poems are not only literary masterpieces but also cultural touchstones that shaped the identity and values of ancient Greece.

  • Educational Significance: The study of Homer's works has been a cornerstone of classical education, providing insights into ancient Greek language, culture, and values.

10. George Orwell: Dystopian Visionary

George Orwell's prophetic visions of dystopia in "1984" and "Animal Farm" remain chillingly relevant. Orwell's exploration of totalitarianism, propaganda, and the erosion of truth serves as a stark warning, urging readers to reflect on the nature of power and governance.


George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in Motihari, British India, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. Orwell is best known for his works that explore social and political issues, often through a lens of dystopian fiction. His experiences as a colonial police officer, soldier, and firsthand witness to political turmoil greatly influenced his writing. Some of his notable works include "Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four."

Relevance to Literature:

George Orwell is a pivotal figure in 20th-century literature, renowned for his commitment to truth and his critiques of totalitarianism, imperialism, and social injustice. Orwell's writing style is characterized by clarity, directness, and a deep sense of moral purpose. His works continue to be widely read and studied for their insightful commentary on the human condition and the dangers of unchecked political power.

Main Works (Books) that Impacted Literature:

  • "Animal Farm" (1945): A satirical novella that uses a group of farm animals to allegorically depict the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Soviet Union. "Animal Farm" is a powerful critique of totalitarianism and the corruption of ideals.

  • "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1949): A dystopian novel set in a totalitarian society ruled by the Party and its leader, Big Brother. "Nineteen Eighty-Four" explores themes of surveillance, propaganda, and the manipulation of truth. The novel has left an indelible mark on the discourse surrounding government overreach and individual freedom.

  • "Homage to Catalonia" (1938): A non-fiction work based on Orwell's experiences as a soldier during the Spanish Civil War. The book reflects his disillusionment with political factions and offers a firsthand account of the complexities of war.

Why Recommended:

George Orwell's works are recommended for several reasons:

  • Political Insight: Orwell's writing provides profound insights into political ideologies, totalitarianism, and the erosion of individual freedoms.

  • Clarity of Expression: Orwell's clear and direct prose style makes his works accessible to a broad audience, fostering a deeper understanding of complex political and social issues.

  • Relevance to Contemporary Issues: The themes explored in Orwell's novels, such as censorship, surveillance, and the abuse of power, remain relevant and continue to spark discussions about contemporary political realities.

  • Social Commentary: Orwell's ability to use fiction and non-fiction alike for incisive social commentary positions him as a literary figure whose works transcend their original context.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1: Why should I read classic literature in 2024?

1: Classic literature provides timeless insights into the human experience, offering perspectives on universal themes that resonate across cultures and eras. Reading classics enriches your understanding of literature and the world.

2: Are these authors still relevant in the modern era?

2: Absolutely! The themes explored by these authors—love, society, morality, and more—are perennial. Their enduring relevance lies in their ability to capture the essence of the human condition.

3: Where should I start if I'm new to classic literature?

3: Depending on your interests, you can start with authors like Jane Austen for wit, F. Scott Fitzgerald for Jazz Age allure, or George Orwell for dystopian visions. Choose a genre or theme that intrigues you.

Conclusion - 10 Classic Authors You Must Read in 2024:

As you embark on a literary journey through the masterpieces of these 10 classic authors you must read in 2024, you'll discover a wealth of wisdom, insight, and entertainment. Their words have transcended time, inviting readers to explore the depths of the human experience. So, in 2024, let the pages of these classics be your portal to a world where the beauty of language meets the richness of the human soul.


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