1956 in literature
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In poetry: 1953 1954 1955 -1956- 1957 1958 1959
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The year 1956 in literature involved some significant events and new works.
- February 2 - Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical drama Long Day's Journey into Night (completed 1942) receives its posthumous world premiere at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, in Swedish (as Lång dags färd mot natt) in a production directed by Bengt Ekerot and starring Lars Hanson. The play's Broadway debut takes place at the Helen Hayes Theatre on November 7, shortly after its American premiere at the Shubert Theatre (New Haven).
- March 19 - Aldous Huxley marries author Laura Archera.
- April 23 - C. S. Lewis marries Joy Gresham at Oxford register office.
- June 16 - Ted Hughes marries Sylvia Plath at St George the Martyr Holborn in the London Borough of Camden.
- August 14 - Iris Murdoch marries John Bayley.
- Writing under the pseudonym of Emile Ajar, author Romain Gary becomes the only person ever to win the Prix Goncourt twice.
- Finished in 1952, Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street), is first published.
- First book in Ed McBain's long-running 87th Precinct series, Cop Hater, is published.
- Nineteen-year-old Hunter S. Thompson is arrested for robbery.
- Sixteen-year-old Michael Moorcock becomes editor of Tarzan Adventures.
- Jorge Luis Borges becomes a professor of literature at the University of Buenos Aires.
- Martin Gardner begins his Mathematical Games column in Scientific American.
New prose fiction
- Kingsley Amis - That Uncertain Feeling
- Poul Anderson - Planet of No Return
- Isaac Asimov - The Naked Sun
- James Baldwin - Giovanni's Room
- Saul Bellow - Seize the Day
- Pierre Berton - The Mysterious North
- Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination (as Tiger! Tiger!)
- Pearl S. Buck - Imperial Woman
- Anthony Burgess - Time for a Tiger
- Albert Camus - The Fall (La Chute)
- John Dickson Carr
- Patrick Butler for the Defense
- Fear is the Same (as by Carter Dickson)
- Agatha Christie - Dead Man's Folly
- Arthur C. Clarke - The City and the Stars
- A. J. Cronin
- Philip K. Dick
- Gordon R. Dickson
- Friedrich Dürrenmatt - A Dangerous Game
- Ian Fleming - Diamonds Are Forever
- Romain Gary - Les racines du ciel
- William Golding - Pincher Martin
- Henri René Guieu - Les Monstres du Néant
- Mark Harris - Bang the Drum Slowly
- Marguerite Henry - Misty of Chincoteague
- Frank Herbert - The Dragon in the Sea
- Georgette Heyer - Sprig Muslin
- Kathryn Hulme - The Nun's Story
- Feri Lainšček - Petelinji zajtrk
- C. S. Lewis
- Rose Macaulay - The Towers of Trebizond
- Ed McBain - Cop Hater
- Naguib Mahfouz
- Grace Metalious - Peyton Place
- Nicholas Monsarrat - The Tribe that Lost its Head
- Farley Mowat - Lost in the Barrens
- Agnar Mykle - Song of the Red Ruby
- Edwin O'Connor - The Last Hurrah
- Pier Paolo Pasolini - Ragazzi di vita
- Mervyn Peake - Boy in Darkness
- Mary Renault - The Last of the Wine
- Kenneth Roberts - Boon Island
- João Guimarães Rosa - The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (Grande Sertão: Veredas)
- Françoise Sagan - A Certain Smile
- Samuel Selvon - The Lonely Londoners
- Ian Serraillier - The Silver Sword
- Irwin Shaw - Lucy Crown
- Khushwant Singh - Train to Pakistan
- Rex Stout
- Kay Thompson - Eloise
- A. E. van Vogt - The Wizard of Linn
- Angus Wilson - Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
- P. G. Wodehouse - French Leave
- Kateb Yacine - Nedjma
- Eiji Yoshikawa - Heike Story
- Jean Anouilh - Poor Bitos
- Ferdinand Bruckner - The Fight with the Angel
- José Manuel Castañón - Moletú-Volevá
- Friedrich Dürrenmatt - The Visit
- Günter Grass - Flood
- Hugh Leonard - The Birthday Party
- Saunders Lewis - Siwan
- Arthur Miller - A View from the Bridge (revised version)
- Yukio Mishima - Rokumeikan
- Heiner Müller - The Scab
- Eugene O'Neill - Long Day's Journey into Night
- John Osborne - Look Back in Anger
- Arnold Wesker - Chicken Soup with Barley (written)
- Carl Zuckmayer - The Cold Light
- Gerald Durrell - My Family and Other Animals
- A. J. Liebling - The Sweet Science
- Norman Mailer - The White Negro
- Lobsang Rampa - The Third Eye
- January 2 - Storm Constantine, British science fiction and fantasy author
- January 8 - Jack Womack, novelist
- March 23 - Steven Saylor, historical novelist
- May 4 - David Guterson, journalist and novelist
- May 18 - John Godber, dramatist
- May 20 - Boris Akunin, novelist and essayist
- June 9 - Patricia Cornwell, crime novelist
- October 9 - Robert Reed, science fiction author
- October 13 - Chris Carter, screenwriter
- November 26 - John McCarthy, journalist and kidnap victim
- date unknown
- January 14 - Sheila Kaye-Smith, novelist
- January 29 - H L Mencken (born 1880), writer
- January 31 - A.A. Milne, dramatist and children's author
- March 30 - Edmund Clerihew Bentley, novelist and inventor of the clerihew
- May 20 - Max Beerbohm, humorist
- June 22 - Walter de la Mare, poet
- July 8 - Giovanni Papini, essayist, poet, novelist
- August 14 - Bertolt Brecht, dramatist
- September 6 - Michael Ventris, linguist
- December 13 - Arthur Grimble, travel writer
- December 25 - Robert Walser, novelist
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle
- Duff Cooper Prize: Alan Moorehead, Gallipoli
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: St John Greer Ervine, George Bernard Shaw
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Jean Lee Latham, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
- Nobel Prize for literature: Juan Ramón Jiménez
- Premio Nadal: José Luis Martín Descalzo, La frontera de Dios
- Prix Goncourt: Romain Gary for The Roots of Heaven
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Diary of Anne Frank
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: MacKinlay Kantor - Andersonville
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Elizabeth Bishop: Poems - North & South
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: Edmund Blunden
- "Shubert Theater". CAPA New Haven. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Laura Huxley, This Timeless Moment (1969), ISBN 0-89087-968-0
- Hooper, Walter. C.S. Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life and Works. books.google.com. p. 79. Retrieved 3 December 2011.