1946 in literature
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The year 1946 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- May 20 – W. H. Auden becomes a United States citizen.
- October 1 – English première of J. B. Priestley's drama An Inspector Calls at the New Theatre, London, starring Ralph Richardson.
- November 7 – Walker Percy marries Mary Bernice Townsend.
- December 18 – Damon Runyon's ashes are scattered over New York City from an airplane piloted by Eddie Rickenbacker.
- December 26 – David Lean's film of Great Expectations is released in England.
- Launch in the United Kingdom of Penguin Classics under the editorship of E. V. Rieu, whose translation of the Odyssey is the first published in the series and will be the country's best-selling book over the next decade.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell becomes book of the year in the United States.
- August Aimé Balkema publishes his first book in South Africa, Vyjtig Gedigte by the poet C. Louis Leipoldt.
- Frederick Buechner receives a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University.
- Ezra Pound brought back to the United States on treason charges, but found unfit to face trial because of insanity and sent to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he remains for 12 years.
New prose fiction
- Jorge Amado – Seara Vermelha
- Miguel Ángel Asturias – El Señor Presidente
- W. V. Awdry – Thomas the Tank Engine
- Simone de Beauvoir – Tous les hommes sont mortels
- Algernon Blackwood – The Doll and One Other
- Godfried Bomans
- De avonturen van Pa Pinkelman
- Sprookjes ("Fairy Tales")
- Ivan Bunin – Dark Avenues
- John Dickson Carr
- Agatha Christie – The Hollow
- A. E. Coppard – Fearful Pleasures
- Edmund Crispin – The Moving Toyshop
- Kenneth Fearing – The Big Clock
- Errol Flynn – Showdown
- C. S. Forester – Lord Hornblower
- Pat Frank – Mr. Adam
- Stella Gibbons – Westwood
- William Lindsay Gresham – Nightmare Alley
- João Guimarães Rosa – Sagarana
- Thomas Heggen – Mister Roberts
- Raymond J. Healy and J. Francis McComas, editors – Adventures in Time and Space
- George Wylie Henderson – Jule
- William Hope Hodgson – The House on the Borderland and Other Novels
- Robert E. Howard – Skull-Face and Others
- Christopher Isherwood – The Berlin Stories
- Tove Jansson – Kometjakten / Mumintrollet på kometjakt / Kometen kommer (Comet in Moominland)
- Nikos Kazantzakis – Zorba the Greek
- Arthur Koestler – Thieves in the Night
- Philip Larkin – Jill
- Madeleine L'Engle – Ilsa
- Lois Lenski – Strawberry Girl
- Frank Belknap Long – The Hounds of Tindalos
- W. Somerset Maugham – Then and Now
- Carson McCullers – Member of the Wedding
- Oscar Micheaux – The Story of Dorothy Stanfield
- Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan, first of the Gormenghast series
- Ann Lane Petty – The Street
- Anya Seton – The Turquoise
- Rex Stout – The Silent Speaker
- Phoebe Atwood Taylor
- The Asey Mayo Trio
- Punch with Care
- Charles Tazewell – The Littlest Angel
- Gore Vidal – Williwaw
- A. E. van Vogt – Slan
- Boris Vian
- H. Russell Wakefield – The Clock Strikes Twelve
- Mervyn Wall – The Unfortunate Fursey
- Robert Penn Warren – All the King's Men
- Eudora Welty – Delta Wedding
- Henry S. Whitehead – West India Lights
- Kiichirō Yamate – Momotarō-zamurai
- Ivan Yefremov – The Land of Foam
- Seishi Yokomizo – The Murder in the Honjin (本陣殺人事件, Honjin satsujin jiken)
- Jean Cocteau – L'Aigle à deux têtes
- Eduardo De Filippo – Filumena Marturano
- Eugene O'Neill – The Iceman Cometh
- Terence Rattigan – The Winslow Boy
- Carl Zuckmayer – Des Teufels General
- R. G. Collingwood – The Idea of History (posthumously collected lectures)
- John Stewart Collis – While Following the Plough
- Jean Genet – Miracle de la rose
- Jens Müller – Tre kom tilbake
- George Orwell – Critical Essays
- Benjamin Spock – The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
- Paramahansa Yogananda – Autobiography of a Yogi
- March 1 – Jim Crace, author
- August 29 – Leona Gom, author
- September 26 – Andrea Dworkin, author
- October 1 – Tim O'Brien, novelist
- October 20 – Elfriede Jelinek, author
- October 28 – Sharon Thesen, poet
- November 7 – Diane Francis, Canadian journalist and author
- November 18 – Alan Dean Foster, science fiction author
- December 11 – Ellen Meloy, author
- February 11 – John Langalibalele Dube, Zulu writer (born 1871)
- March 1 – Adriana Porter, Wiccan poet
- March 19 – Catherine Carswell, novelist and biographer
- April 1 – Edward Sheldon, dramatist
- May 19 – Booth Tarkington, novelist and dramatist
- May 25 – Ernest Rhys, founder of the Everyman series
- June 2 – Carrie Ingalls, newspaper worker and sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder
- July 8 – Orrick Glenday Johns, poet & playwright
- July 22 – Edward Sperling, humorist
- July 27 – Gertrude Stein, poet and dramatist
- July 30 – Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov, Russian poet and revolutionary (born 1854)
- August 13 – H. G. Wells, ground-breaking science fiction novelist
- August 31 – Harley Granville-Barker, actor, dramatist and critic
- November 14 – May Sinclair, novelist
- December 10 – Damon Runyon, writer (born 1880)
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Oliver Onions, Poor Man's Tapestry
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Richard Aldington, Wellington
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Lois Lenski, Strawberry Girl
- Nobel Prize for literature: Hermann Hesse
- Premio Nadal: José María Gironella, Un hombre
- Prix Goncourt: Jean-Jacques Gautier, Histoire d'un fait divers
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Russel Crouse, Howard Lindsay, State of the Union
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: no award given
- Pulitzer Prize for the Novel: no award given
- "May 20, 1946: W.H. Auden becomes a U.S. citizen". This Day In History. History. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
- Ellis, Samantha (7 May 2003). "JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls, October 1946". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2011-07-18.
- "Penguin Classics in translation". Penguin Archive Project. University of Bristol. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Sutherland, John (24 January 2005). "Pick up a Penguin?". The Guardian (London). p. 5.
- "August Aime Balkema", South African History Online; extracted from Human, K. (1999) “August Aime Balkema”, They Shaped our Century: The Most Influential South Africans of the Twentieth Century, Human & Rousseau, pp.442- 445.