1946 in literature
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In poetry: 1943 1944 1945 -1946- 1947 1948 1949
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The year 1946 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- January 5 – Estonian writer Jaan Kross is arrested and imprisoned by the occupying Soviet authorities.
- May 20 – W. H. Auden becomes a United States citizen.
- May 22 – George Orwell leaves London to spend much of the next 18 months on the Scottish island of Jura, working on his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (known at an earlier stage in its composition as The Last Man in Europe). This year his Animal Farm becomes book of the year in the United States.
- 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.
- November 8 – Christopher Isherwood becomes a United States citizen.
- December 18 – Damon Runyon's ashes are scattered over New York City from an airplane piloted by Eddie Rickenbacker.
- December 23 – Giovannino Guareschi publishes the first story about the priest Don Camillo in his magazine Candido.
- 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.
- 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.
- Poet 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.
- English novelist T. H. White settles on Alderney in the Channel Islands.
New prose fiction
- Jorge Amado – Seara Vermelha
- Miguel Ángel Asturias – El Señor Presidente
- W. V. Awdry – Thomas the Tank Engine
- Simone de Beauvoir – All Men are Mortal (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 («Тёмные аллеи», Tyomnyye allei, short stories, complete edition)
- John Dickson Carr
- Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo – Los que aman, odian ("Those Who Love, Hate")
- Agatha Christie – The Hollow
- A. E. Coppard – Fearful Pleasures
- Gertrude Crampton – Scuffy the Tugboat
- Edmund Crispin – The Moving Toyshop
- Kenneth Fearing – The Big Clock
- Adonias Filho – Os servos da morte
- Errol Flynn – Showdown
- C. S. Forester – Lord Hornblower
- Pat Frank – Mr. Adam
- Carlo Emilio Gadda – Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana ("That Awful Mess on Via Merulana")
- 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)
- Cläre Jung – Aus der Tiefe rufe ich
- Nikos Kazantzakis – Zorba the Greek (Βίος και Πολιτεία του Αλέξη Ζορμπά, "Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas")
- 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
- Isaac Rosenfeld – Passage from Home
- 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 (На краю Ойкумены, Na krayu Oikumeny, "At the edge of infinity")
- 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
- Questi fantasmi ("All these ghosts")
- Ewan MacColl – Uranium 235
- Donagh MacDonagh – Happy as Larry
- Robert McLeish – The Gorbals Story
- Eugene O'Neill – The Iceman Cometh
- Terence Rattigan – The Winslow Boy
- Nelson Rodrigues – Álbum de família
- Carl Zuckmayer – Des Teufels General ("The Devil's General")
- Marc Bloch – L'Étrange défaite: Témoignage écrit en 1940 ("Strange Defeat: a Statement of Evidence Written in 1940"; published posthumously)
- Cleanth Brooks – The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry
- 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 ("Three Came Back")
- George Orwell – Critical Essays
- Jean-Paul Sartre – Existentialism and Humanism (L'existentialisme est un humanisme)
- Benjamin Spock – The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
- Władysław Szpilman (as told to Jerzy Waldorff) – Śmierć miasta ("Death of a City", later translated as The Pianist)
- Paramahansa Yogananda – Autobiography of a Yogi
- January 21 – Gretel Ehrlich, American travel writer, poet and essayist
- February 25 – Franz Xaver Kroetz, German dramatist
- March 1 – Jim Crace, English author
- April 2 – Sue Townsend, English comic novelist and playwright (died 2014)
- July 28 – Fahmida Riaz, Pakistani writer
- August 1 – Paul Torday, English novelist (died 2013)
- August 2 – James Howe, American journalist and author of juvenile fiction
- August 29 – Leona Gom, Canadian poet and novelist
- September 26 – Andrea Dworkin, American writer and activist
- October 1 – Tim O'Brien, American novelist
- October 20 – Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian novelist and Nobel laureate
- October 28 – Sharon Thesen, Canadian poet
- November 7 – Diane Francis, Canadian journalist and author
- November 18 – Alan Dean Foster, American science fiction author
- December 11 – Ellen Meloy, American nature writer
- Unknown date – John Birtwhistle, English poet and librettist
- February 11 – John Langalibalele Dube, South African Zulu writer (born 1871)
- March 1 – Adriana Porter, Canadian Wiccan poet (born 1857)
- March 19 – Catherine Carswell, Scottish novelist and biographer (born 1879)
- March 20 – Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson), Australian novelist (born 1870)
- April 1 – Edward Sheldon, American dramatist (born 1886)
- May 19 – Booth Tarkington, American novelist and dramatist (born 1869)
- May 25 – Ernest Rhys, English writer and book series editor of Welsh extraction (born 1859)
- July 8 – Orrick Glenday Johns, American poet and playwright (born 1887)
- July 22 – Edward Sperling, Russian-born American humorist (killed by bomb, born 1889)
- July 27 – Gertrude Stein, American novelist, poet and dramatist (born 1874)
- July 30 – Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov, Russian poet and revolutionary (born 1854)
- August 13 – H. G. Wells, English novelist (born 1866)
- August 18 – Marion Angus, Scottish poet in Braid Scots and English (born 1865)
- August 31 – Harley Granville-Barker, English actor, dramatist and critic (born 1877)
- September 9 – Violet Jacob, Scottish historical novelist and poet (born 1863)
- September 26 – William Strunk, Jr., American professor of English (born 1869)
- November 14 – May Sinclair, English novelist (born 1863)
- December 10 – Damon Runyon, American short-story writer (born 1880)
- December 23 – Ellen Marriage, English translator of Balzac (born 1865)
- 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.