1958 in literature
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1955 1956 1957 -1958- 1959 1960 1961
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In poetry: 1955 1956 1957 -1958- 1959 1960 1961
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The year 1958 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- January 7 - Tennessee Williams' one-act plays Suddenly, Last Summer and Something Unspoken première off-Broadway.
- March 29 - Stage première of Max Frisch's dark comedy Biedermann und die Brandstifter (known in English as The Fire Raisers) at the Schauspielhaus Zürich.
- April 28 - Première of Harold Pinter's play The Birthday Party at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in England.
- May 19 - London début of Harold Pinter's play The Birthday Party at the Lyric Opera House (Hammersmith). It closes after a week but its reputation is saved by a review by Harold Hobson in The Sunday Times on May 25.
- May 27 - 19-year-old Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey is staged by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London.
- August 18 - Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.
- October 14 - Brendan Behan's play The Hostage is first performed in an English version by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London. Also this year, Behan's autobiographical Borstal Boy is published in London; on November 12 it is banned in Ireland by the Censorship of Publications Board.
- October 23 - Announcement of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Boris Pasternak leads to denunciation of him in the Soviet Union and threats to expel him.
- October 28 - Samuel Beckett's monologue Krapp's Last Tape is first performed by Patrick Magee at the Royal Court Theatre, London. Also this year, Beckett's novel The Unnamable is first published in English.
- First volume of The Civil War by Shelby Foote is published.
- Rumours of a library ban on Enid Blyton's books in New Zealand.
- Herbert Marcuse begins teaching at Brandeis University.
- Jack Kerouac writes and narrates the "beat" movie, Pull My Daisy (released 1959).
- Ken Kesey is awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship to enrol in the creative writing program at Stanford University.
- Mervyn Peake begins to develop Parkinson's Disease.
- Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart
- Kingsley Amis - I Like It Here
- Jorge Amado - Gabriela, Cravo e Canela (Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon)
- Louis Aragon - La Semaine Sainte
- H. E. Bates - The Darling Buds of May
- Samuel Beckett - The Unnamable
- Thomas Berger - Crazy in Berlin
- James Blish - A Case of Conscience
- Joseph Payne Brennan - Nine Horrors and a Dream
- Algis Budrys
- Truman Capote - Breakfast at Tiffany's
- John Dickson Carr - The Dead Man's Knock
- Rosario Castellanos - Balún-Canán
- Raymond Chandler - Playback
- Agatha Christie - Ordeal by Innocence
- Richard Condon - The Oldest Confession
- A. J. Cronin
- L. Sprague de Camp - An Elephant for Aristotle
- Patrick Dennis - Around the World with Auntie Mame
- August Derleth
- Marguerite Duras - Moderato Cantabile
- Lawrence Durrell
- Nawal El Saadawi - Memoirs of a Woman Doctor
- Ian Fleming - Dr. No
- Carlos Fuentes - Where the Air Is Clear (first published in Spanish as La región más transparente)
- Peter George - Red Alert
- Graham Greene - Our Man in Havana
- Cyril Hare - He Should Have Died Hereafter
- Marlen Haushofer - We Murder Stella
- Georgette Heyer - Venetia
- Harold L. Humes - The Underground City
- Jack Kerouac - The Dharma Bums
- Frances Parkinson Keyes - Victorine
- Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa - The Leopard (published posthumously)
- Manuel Lopes - O Galo Que Cantou na Baía
- John D. MacDonald - The Executioners
- Ross Macdonald - The Doomsters
- Richard Matheson - A Stir of Echoes
- A. A. Milne translated by Alexander Lenard - Winnie ille Pu
- Alberto Moravia - La ciociara
- R. K. Narayan - The Guide
- Kenzaburō Ōe - Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids
- Barbara Pym - A Glass of Blessings
- Mary Renault - The King Must Die
- Anya Seton - The Winthrop Woman
- Dr. Seuss - Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
- Alan Sillitoe - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
- Terry Southern (as Maxwell Kenton) - Candy
- Rex Stout
- Yves Thériault - Agaguk
- Robert Traver - Anatomy of a Murder
- Leon Uris - Exodus
- Jack Vance - The Languages of Pao
- Rex Warner - Young Caesar
- Jerome Weidman - The Enemy Camp
- Angus Wilson - The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot
- Raymond Abrashkin & Jay Williams - Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine
- Enid Blyton - Five Get into a Fix
- Philippa Pearce - Tom's Midnight Garden
- Dr. Seuss - Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
- Elizabeth George Speare - The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- Rosemary Sutcliff - Warrior Scarlet
- Samuel Beckett - Krapp's Last Tape
- Brendan Behan - The Hostage
- Bertolt Brecht - The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (first performed)
- Max Frisch - The Fire Raisers and Phiipp Hotz's Fury
- Jean Genet - The Blacks (first published)
- Sławomir Mrożek - Policja ("The Police")
- Heiner Müller and Inge Müller - Der Lohndrücker ("The Scab")
- Barry Reckord - Flesh to a Tiger
- Elmer Rice - Cue for Passion
- Peter Shaffer - Five Finger Exercise
- N. F. Simpson - The Hole
- Wole Soyinka - The Swamp Dwellers
- Arnold Wesker - Chicken Soup with Barley (first performed)
- Tennessee Williams - Suddenly, Last Summer
- Mohan Rakesh - Ashadh Ka Ek Din
- Ko Un - Hyondae Munhak
- Eli Siegel - Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems
- Clark Ashton Smith - Spells and Philtres
- Octavio Paz - La estación violenta
- Brendan Behan - Borstal Boy
- Shelby Foote – The Civil War: A Narrative – Vol 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville
- John Kenneth Galbraith - The Affluent Society
- J. Edgar Hoover - Masters of Deceit
- Aldous Huxley - Brave New World Revisited
- Claude Lévi-Strauss – Structural Anthropology
- John Maynard Smith - The Theory of Evolution
- John Steinbeck – Once There Was A War
- Raymond Williams – Culture and Society 1780-1950
- April 15 – Benjamin Zephaniah, English dub poet
- May 8 – Roddy Doyle, Irish novelist
- May 22 – Wayne Johnston, Canadian novelist
- June 10 – James F. Conant, American philosopher
- July 5 – Veronica Guerin, Irish journalist (murdered 1996)
- October 30 – Flora Fraser, English biographer
- Dates unknown
- February 4 – Henry Kuttner, American science fiction author (born 1915)
- February 6 – Charles Langbridge Morgan, English novelist and dramatist (born 1894)
- March 15 – Michael Joseph, English publisher (born 1897)
- March 17 – Margiad Evans, Anglo-Welsh writer and poet (born 1909)
- March 21 – Cyril M. Kornbluth, American science fiction writer (born 1923)
- March 24 – Seumas O'Sullivan, Irish poet (born 1879)
- April 7 – Elliot Paul, American writer (born 1892)
- May 5 – James Branch Cabell, American fantasy fiction author (born 1879)
- June 28 – Alfred Noyes, English poet (born 1880)
- August 29 – Marjorie Flack, American author and illustrator (born 1897)
- September 11 – Robert W. Service, English-born Canadian comic poet (born 1874; died in France)
- October 24 – G. E. Moore, English philosopher (born 1873)
- October 30 – Rose Macaulay, English novelist (born 1881)
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Philippa Pearce, Tom's Midnight Garden
- Hugo Award for Best Novel: Fritz Leiber, The Big Time
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Angus Wilson, The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Joyce Hemlow, The History of Fanny Burney
- Miles Franklin Award: Randolph Stow, To the Islands
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Harold Keith, Rifles for Watie
- Newdigate prize: Jon Stallworthy
- Nobel Prize in literature: Boris Pasternak
- Premio Nadal: J. Vidal Cadellans, No era de los nuestros
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Ketti Frings, Look Homeward, Angel
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: James Agee, A Death In The Family
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Robert Penn Warren, Promises: Poems 1954-1956