1916 in literature
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In poetry: 1913 1914 1915 -1916- 1917 1918 1919
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The year 1916 in literature involved some significant literary events and new books.
- January - The Journal of Negro History is founded by Carter G. Woodson, the father of "Black History" and "Negro History Week", in the United States.
- March 22 - Marriage of J. R. R. Tolkien and Edith Bratt at St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church, Warwick, England. They will serve as the inspiration for the fictional characters Lúthien and Beren. Tolkien leaves for military service in France at the beginning of June.
- July 1
- First day on the Somme: Poets W. N. Hodgson, Will Streets, Gilbert Waterhouse, Henry Field, Alfred Ratcliffe, Alexander Robertson and Bernard White are among the 19,000 British killed on this day alone. The Battle of the Somme continues until October 18, during which time American poet Alan Seeger (serving with the French), Irish writer Tom Kettle, English poet Edward Wyndham Tennant, English short story writer 'Saki' and English bowler Percy Jeeves (whose name P. G. Wodehouse borrowed for his character) are all killed; English writer Robert Graves and novelist Stuart Cloete are seriously wounded (Graves is believed killed); English poet Siegfried Sassoon wins the Military Cross; and Cameron Highlander Dòmhnall Ruadh Chorùna composes the Scottish Gaelic love song An Eala Bhàn ("The White Swan") in the oral literature tradition.
- W. B. Yeats makes his fifth and final proposal of marriage to the newly-widowed Maud Gonne in France.
- Summer - In the United States 15-year-old Margaret Mitchell writes the manuscript of a novella called Lost Laysen in two notebooks. She will later give the manuscript to a boyfriend and the book remains lost until rediscovered in the mid-1990s and published in 1996. Meanwhile, Mitchell will go on to write Gone with the Wind.
- September - Joseph Conrad's novella The Shadow Line commences serialization in both The English Review and the Metropolitan Magazine (New York).
- October 19 - New building for the German National Library opens in Leipzig.
- December 29 - James Joyce's semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is first published complete in book form in New York.
- The National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth is brought into use.
- Sholom Aleichem - In America (אין אַמעריקע, In amerike), second part of Motl, Peysi the Cantor's Son: The Writings of an Orphan Boy (מאָטל פּייסי דעם חזנס; כתבֿים פֿון אַ ייִנגל אַ יתום, Motl peysi dem khazns: ksovim fun a yingl a yosem)
- Sherwood Anderson - Windy McPherson's Son
- Henri Barbusse - Under Fire (Le Feu)
- L. Frank Baum
- Adrien Bertrand - L'Appel du sol
- John Edward Bruce - The Awakening of Hezekiah Jones
- Edgar Rice Burroughs - The Beasts of Tarzan
- Alfred Döblin - The Three Leaps of Wang Lun (Die drei Sprünge des Wang-lun, dated 1915)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman - With Her in Ourland
- Ellen Glasgow - Virginia
- Sarah Grand - The Winged Victory
- Louis Hemon - Maria Chapdelaine
- William Dean Howells - The Leatherwood God
- James Joyce - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- Franz Kafka - The Metamorphosis ("Die Verwandlung"; first book publication)
- Grace King - The Pleasant Ways of St. Medard
- Ring Lardner - You Know Me Al
- Benito Lynch - The Caranchos of Florida
- George Moore - The Brook Kerith: A Syrian Story
- Baroness Orczy - Leatherface
- May Sinclair - Tasker Jevons
- Rabindranath Tagore - The Home and the World
- Booth Tarkington - Seventeen: A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and the Baxter Family Especially William
- Mark Twain - The Mysterious Stranger (completed posthumously)
- Eduard Vilde - Mäeküla piimamees ("The Milkman of Mäeküla")
- Mrs Humphry Ward - Lady Connie
- H. G. Wells - Mr. Britling Sees It Through
- Luigi Chiarelli - La maschera e il volto: grottesco in tre atti ("The Mask and the Face")
- Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound (translated & edited) - Certain Noble Plays of Japan (published)
- Susan Glaspell - Trifles
- Harley Granville-Barker - Farewell to the Theatre
- Franz Kafka - The Warden of the Tomb (Der Gruftwächter; writing commenced)
- Gregorio Martínez Sierra - El reino de Dios ("The Kingdom of God")
- Eden Philpotts - The Farmer's Wife
- Sophie Treadwell - Claws
- Akutagawa Ryūnosuke - The Nose
- Thomas Burke
Main article: 1916 in poetry
- Robert Frost - Mountain Interval
- Joseph Lee - Ballads of Battle
- Antonio Machado - Campos de Castilla (revised edition)
- Charlotte Mew - The Farmer's Bride
- Ezra Pound - Lustra
- Carl Sandburg - Chicago Poems
- Muriel Stuart - Christ at Carnival and Other Poems
- Gilbert Waterhouse - Rail-Head and other poems (published posthumously)
- W. B. Yeats - "Easter, 1916" (written)
- Sergei Yesenin - Радуница (Radunitsa, "Ritual for the Dead")
- Max Aitken - Canada in Flanders
- Robert Baden-Powell - The Wolf Cub's Handbook
- Hall Caine - Our Girls: Their Work for the War
- Ferdinand de Saussure - Cours de linguistique générale
- Albert Einstein - "Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie" (on general relativity), Annalen der Physik 49
- Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound - Noh, or, Accomplishment: A Study of the Classical Stage of Japan
- Madison Grant - The Passing of the Great Race; or, The racial basis of European history
- Ellen LaMotte - The Backwash of War
- Sir Oliver Lodge - Raymond; or, Life and death, with evidence for survival of memory and affection after death
- Ezra Pound - Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir
- Mrs Humphry Ward - England's Effort - Six Letters to an American Friend
- March 4
- April 12 – Beverly Cleary, American children's author
- April 15 – Helene Hanff, American writer and critic (died 1997)
- May 12 – Albert Murray, American critic, novelist and biographer (died 2013)
- May 21 – Harold Robbins, American novelist (died 1997)
- May 28 – Walker Percy, American novelist (died 1990)
- July 14 – Natalia Ginzburg, Italian author (died 1991)
- September 13 – Roald Dahl, Welsh-born children's author (died 1990)
- September 17 – Mary Stewart, English romantic suspense novelist
- September 19 – Giles Romilly, English journalist (died 1967)
- October 3 – James Herriot, English writer and veterinary surgeon (died 1995)
- October 16 – David Gascoyne, English Surrealist poet (died 2001)
- November 18 – Peter Weiss, German writer, painter filmmaker (died 1982)
- November 24 – James Pope-Hennessy, English biographer and travel writer (murdered 1974)
- December 14 – Shirley Jackson, American novelist and short story writer (died 1965)
- December 17 – Penelope Fitzgerald, née Knox, English novelist (died 2000)
- January 27 – C. Morton Horne, Irish writer and performer (killed in action 1885)
- February 6 – Rubén Darío, Nicaraguan poet (born 1867)
- February 28 – Henry James, American-born novelist (born 1843)
- April 26 – Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Portuguese novelist and poet (suicide, born 1890)
- May 3 – Patrick Pearse, poet and Irish nationalist leader, 36 (executed, born 1879)
- May 13 – Sholom Aleichem, Ukrainian-born humorist (born 1859)
- May 31 – Gorch Fock (Johann Wilhelm Kinau), German poet and novelist (killed in action, born 1880)
- June 7 – Émile Faguet, French critic (born 1847)
- July 1
- August 8 – Lily Braun (Amalie von Kretschmann), German feminist writer (born 1865)
- August 27 – Petar Kočić, Bosnian novelist and politician (born 1877)
- September 22 – Edward Wyndham Tennant, English war poet (killed in action, born 1897)
- October 7 – James Whitcomb Riley, American poet (born 1849)
- October 21 – Olindo Guerrini, Italian poet (born 1845)
- October 25 – John Todhunter, Irish poet and dramatist (born 1839)
- November 14 – Saki (H. H. Munro), English short-story writer (killed in action, born 1870)
- November 15 – Molly Elliot Seawell, American novelist (born 1860)
- November 22 – Jack London, American novelist (born 1876)
- November 27 – Emile Verhaeren, Belgian Symbolist poet (born 1855)
- April 24–29 - The Easter Rising in Dublin features in the following works
- July 1 - First day on the Somme: Fictitious poet Cecil Valance, featuring in Alan Hollinghurst's novel The Stranger's Child (2011), is killed at Maricourt.
- November (October O.S.) - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novel November 1916 (Oktyabr 1916) is set in the lead-up to the Russian Revolution.