I know there are tons of Christian writers active now, but here are five of my favorites. Only two of them are primarily known for fiction (though Anne Lamott writes both fiction and nonfiction, it’s her nonfiction I’m especially fond of.)
Anne Lamott. I can’t say enough good things about Anne Lamott. She is like my brilliant and wise sister. She is always honest about herself and her feelings, which are usually the same feelings I have. It’s hard for me to tell others why they should read her, because other people are not me and I don’t know if they would have this deep feeling of connection or not. Her best book: Traveling Mercies.
Lauren Winner is probably the Anne Lamott for people who are twenty years younger than me. She writes memoir and personal essay, and is open about her feelings and thoughts even when it makes her look not so good. She has less humor than Lamott, but writes more like a poet. To get started with Winner, try Girl Meets God.
Alan Jacobs is a professor at Wheaton College. His books range from scholarly (A Theology of Reading: The Hermeneutics of Love) to popular (The Narnian). Whether he writes about reading, sin, C. S. Lewis, testimony, or some other subject, he is thoughtful, logical, and turns an elegant phrase.
Leif Enger’s masterpiece is Peace Like a River. The story of a boy pursuing his outlaw big brother along with his sister, who writes masterful rhymed couplets, and his father, who performs miracles.
Jan Karon may be the most popular author on this list. Her Mitford books and the Father Timothy books which followed create a world in which Christians act like Christians—near paradise! Lauren Winner gives Karon credit for moving her toward salvation. I usually laugh out loud at least once and wipe away at least one tear for every Karon book I read.
There are other well-known Christian authors who I greatly respect: Marilynne Robinson, Katherine Norris, Wendell Berry—but they don’t have my heart the way these few do.