1947 in literature
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In poetry: 1944 1945 1946 -1947- 1948 1949 1950
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The year 1947 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- April 6 - The 1st Tony Awards for excellence in live American theatre are awarded at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
- June - Publication begins of Vice Versa in Los Angeles, the first known periodical published for lesbians, edited by 'Lisa Ben'.
- June 24 - Kenneth Arnold claims to have seen nine flying saucers near Mount Rainier, Washington, starting a huge amount of enthusiasm in science fiction writers and scientists.
- June 25 - The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is published for the first time as Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven 14 juni 1942 – 1 augustus 1944 ("The Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944") in Amsterdam, two years after the writer's death in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
- August 24 - First Edinburgh Festival of the Arts opens in Scotland.
- September - The German literary association Group 47 forms.
- September 12 - American novelist John Dos Passos is in an automobile accident that kills his wife and costs him the sight in one eye.
- November 24 - McCarthyism: Dalton Trumbo refuses to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Ring Lardner, Jr., attends, but refuses to answer any questions. The United States House of Representatives votes 346 – 17 to approve citations of Contempt of Congress against all the "Hollywood Ten" screenwriters and directors who have refused to co-operate with the Committee concerning allegations of communist influences in the movie business. The ten men are blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios on the following day.
- December 23 - Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in New York directed by Elia Kazan and starring Jessica Tandy and Marlon Brando in his first major stage rôle.
- Woody Guthrie completes his novel House of Earth; it will not be published until 2013.
- Jack Kerouac makes the journey which he will later chronicle in his book On the Road.
- Séamus Ó Néill's novel Tonn Tuile is the first book published by Irish language publisher Sáirséal agus Dill in Dublin.
- Dorothy Parker divorces Alan Campbell for the first time.
- Pramoedya Ananta Toer begins a 2-year imprisonment by the Dutch authorities in Jakarta for his support for the Indonesian National Revolution, during which he begins to write his first major novel, Perburuan ("The Fugitive", 1950).
New prose fiction
- Cynthia Asquith - This Mortal Coil
- Carolyn Sherwin Bailey - Miss Hickory
- François Boyer - Les Jeux Inconnus
- Ray Bradbury - Dark Carnival (debut book)
- Margaret Wise Brown - Goodnight Moon
- Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan and the Foreign Legion
- Italo Calvino - The Path to the Nest of Spiders (Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno)
- Albert Camus - The Plague (La Peste)
- John Dickson Carr
- Agatha Christie - The Labours of Hercules
- Thomas B. Costain - The Moneyman
- Jean Genet - Querelle de Brest
- Robert A. Heinlein - Rocket Ship Galileo
- William Hope Hodgson - Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder
- Carl Jacobi - Revelations in Black
- Yasunari Kawabata - Snow Country
- Fritz Leiber, Jr. - Night's Black Agents
- Malcolm Lowry - Under the Volcano
- Thomas Mann - Doctor Faustus
- Gabriel García Márquez - Eyes of a Blue Dog
- W. Somerset Maugham
- Creatures of Circumstance
- Oscar Micheaux - Masquerade, a Historical Novel
- James A. Michener - Tales of the South Pacific
- W. O. Mitchell - Who Has Seen the Wind?
- Alberto Moravia - The Woman of Rome (La Romana)
- Willard Motley - Knock On Any Door
- Vladimir Nabokov - Bend Sinister
- Cesare Pavese - Il compagno
- Arthur Ransome - Great Northern?
- Kenneth Roberts - Lydia Bailey
- Frank Richards - Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School
- Michael Sadleir - Forlorn Sunset
- Samuel Shellabarger - Prince of Foxes
- Mickey Spillane - I, the Jury
- John Steinbeck
- Rex Stout - Too Many Women
- Phoebe Atwood Taylor (as Alice Tilton) - The Iron Clew
- Philip Toynbee - Tea with Mrs Goodman
- Boris Vian
- Evelyn Waugh
- Jack Williamson - With Folded Hands
- Jean Anouilh - Invitation to the Castle
- Jean Genet - The Maids
- Arthur Miller - All My Sons
- Tennessee Williams - A Streetcar Named Desire
- Kingsley Amis - Bright November
- Aimé Césaire - Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (expanded edition in book format)
- August Derleth editor - Dark of the Moon: Poems of Fantasy and the Macabre
- Abba Kovner - Ad Lo-Or ("Until No-Light")
- Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer - Dialectic of Enlightenment
- Cleanth Brooks - The Well Wrought Urn: Studies in the Structure of Poetry
- Emil Brunner - The Divine Imperative
- L. Sprague de Camp - The Evolution of Naval Weapons
- Bernard DeVoto - Across the Wide Missouri
- Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl
- Walter Lippmann - The Cold War
- George Orwell - Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool
- Samuel Putnam - Paris Was Our Mistress: Memoirs of a Lost & Found Generation
- January 14 - Richard Laymon, suspense novelist
- February 3 - Paul Auster, novelist
- April 18 - Kathy Acker, writer (died 1997)
- April 12 - Tom Clancy, American novelist (died 2013)
- May 27 - Felix Dennis, English publisher and poet (died 2014)
- June 19 - Salman Rushdie, Indian-born British novelist
- July 2 - Jürg Amann, Swiss dramatist
- August 23 - Willy Russell, English dramatist
- September 8 - Marianne Wiggins, novelist
- September 21 - Stephen King, suspense novelist
- October 19 - Giorgio Cavazzano, Italian comics artist and illustrator
- December 26 - Jean Echenoz, French novelist
- Undated - Borka Pavićević, Montenegrin dramaturge
- February 1 - J. D. Beresford, short story writer
- February 15 - Margaret Marshall Saunders, Canadian author
- March 12 - Winston Churchill, American novelist
- April - Anna Wickham, modernist poet, 63 (suicide)
- April 24 - Willa Cather, novelist, 73
- September 25 - Afawarq Gabra Iyasus, Ethiopian author and linguist
- November 12 - Baroness Orczy, "Scarlet Pimpernel" author
- December 7 - Tristan Bernard - French writer and lawyer
- December 15 - Arthur Machen, journalist, novelist and short story writer, 84
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Walter de la Mare, Collected Stories for Children
- Frost Medal: Gustav Davidson
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: L. P. Hartley, Eustace and Hilda
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Rev. C. C. E. Raven, English Naturalists from Neckham to Ray
- Knight Bachelor: Ralph Richardson
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, Miss Hickory
- Nobel Prize for literature: André Gide
- Premio Nadal: Miguel Delibes, La sombra del ciprés es alargada
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: no award given
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Robert Lowell: Lord Weary's Castle
- Pulitzer Prize for the Novel: Robert Penn Warren - All the King's Men