1960 in literature
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In poetry: 1957 1958 1959 -1960- 1961 1962 1963
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The year 1960 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- February–October – Astounding magazine is renamed Analog.
- Spring – August Derleth launches the poetry magazine, Hawk and Whippoorwill in the United States.
- March 22 – Joan Henry's play Look on Tempests is premièred at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End, the first play dealing with homosexuality to be passed for performance by the Lord Chamberlain.
- April 27 – Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker is premièred at the Arts Theatre Club in London's West End, transferring to the Duchess Theatre the following month, where it runs for 444 performances before departing London for Broadway, Pinter's first significant commercial success. Alan Bates and Donald Pleasence star in the original production.
- July 11 – Harper Lee's Southern Gothic Bildungsroman To Kill a Mockingbird is published in the United States.
- September 5 – Welsh poet Waldo Williams is imprisoned for six weeks for non-payment of income tax (a protest against defence spending).
- November 2 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case in the United Kingdom.
- November 8 – Richard Wright delivers a polemical lecture, "The Situation of the Black Artist and Intellectual in the United States", to students and members of the American Church in Paris, a few weeks before his death.
- November 10 – Lady Chatterley's Lover sells 200,000 copies in one day following its publication since being banned since 1928.
- November 17 – Michael Foot is re-elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and relinquishes the editorship of Tribune.
- November 19 – American novelist Norman Mailer stabs his wife, the artist Adele Morales.
- November 24 – Raymond Queneau founds Oulipo in France.
- Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, receives full screenwriting credit for his work on the films Exodus and Spartacus released this year.
- Hans Freudenthal invents the artificial language Lincos, intended for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence.
New prose fiction
- Chinua Achebe – No Longer at Ease
- Kingsley Amis – Take a Girl Like You
- Poul Anderson – The High Crusade
- Lynne Reid Banks – The L-Shaped Room
- Stan Barstow – A Kind of Loving
- John Barth – The Sot-Weed Factor
- Hamilton Basso – The Light Infantry Ball
- Augusto Roa Bastos – Hijo de hombre
- Charles Beaumont – Night Ride and Other Journeys
- Robert Bloch – Pleasant Dreams: Nightmares
- Algis Budrys – Rogue Moon
- Anthony Burgess
- Morley Callaghan – The Many Colored Coat
- John Dickson Carr – In Spite of Thunder
- Barry Crump – A Good Keen Man
- Philip K. Dick
- E.L. Doctorow – Welcome to Hard Times
- Carlo Cassola – La ragazza di Bube
- Louis-Ferdinand Céline – North
- Agatha Christie – The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding
- Roald Dahl – Kiss Kiss
- L. Sprague de Camp
- L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt – Wall of Serpents
- Jean-Paul Desbiens – The Insolences of Brother Anonymous
- Lawrence Durrell – Clea, the final volume of The Alexandria Quartet (begun 1957)
- Henry Farrell – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
- Ian Fleming – For Your Eyes Only (short story collection)
- Per Anders Fogelström – City of My Dreams
- Alan Garner – The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
- Graham Greene – A Burnt-Out Case
- Arthur Hailey – In High Places
- Donald Hamilton – Death of a Citizen
- James Leo Herlihy – All Fall Down
- Vintilă Horia – Dieu est né en exil
- Jabra Ibrahim Jabra – Hunters in a Narrow Street
- Greye La Spina – Invaders from the Dark
- Hubert Lampo – De komst van Joachim Stiller ("The Coming of Joachim Stiller")
- Jean Lartéguy – The Centurions
- Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird
- David Lodge – The Picturegoers
- John Masters – The Venus of Konpara
- Richard Matheson – The Beardless Warriors
- Judith Merrill – The Tomorrow People
- Walter M. Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
- Nancy Mitford – Don't Tell Alfred
- Alberto Moravia – La noia (The Empty Canvas)
- Edna O'Brien – The Country Girls
- Flannery O'Connor – The Violent Bear It Away
- Scott O'Dell – Island of the Blue Dolphins
- Wilder Penfield – The Torch
- Frederik Pohl – Drunkard's Walk
- Anthony Powell – Casanova's Chinese Restaurant
- James H. Schmitz – Agent of Vega
- Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham
- Nevil Shute – Trustee from the Toolroom (published posthumously)
- Clark Ashton Smith – The Abominations of Yondo
- Muriel Spark – The Ballad of Peckham Rye
- David Storey – This Sporting Life
- Rex Stout
- William Styron – Set This House on Fire
- John Updike – Rabbit, Run
- Irving Wallace – The Chapman Report
- Raymond Williams – Border Country
- John Wyndham – Trouble with Lichen
- Edward Albee – The Death of Bessie Smith and The Sandbox (both first performed)
- Samuel Beckett – The Old Tune (first broadcast)
- Robert Bolt – A Man for All Seasons (stage version) and The Tiger and the Horse
- Noël Coward – Waiting in the Wings
- Eugène Ionesco – Rhinoceros
- Ira Levin – Critic's Choice
- Bruce Mason – The End of the Golden Weather
- Tad Mosel – All the Way Home
- Harold Pinter – The Caretaker (first performed and published), The Room (first professional performance) and A Night Out (first broadcast)
- Terence Rattigan – Ross
- Nelson Rodrigues – Beijo no Asfalto ("The Asphalt Kiss")
- Wole Soyinka – A Dance of the Forests
- Gore Vidal – The Best Man
- Tennessee Williams – Period of Adjustment
- Douglas Livingstone – The Skull in the Mud
- Sylvia Plath – The Colossus and Other Poems
- Alan Sillitoe – The Rats and other poems
- Jan Twardowski – Znaki ufności
- Joy Adamson – Born Free
- Philippe Ariès – L'enfant et la vie familiale sous l'ancien régime
- Kingsley Amis – New Maps of Hell
- Peg Bracken – The I Hate to Cook Book
- Albert Camus – Resistance, Rebellion, and Death
- Aimé Césaire – Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial
- Jean-Paul Desbiens – Les insolences du Frère Untel
- Hans-Georg Gadamer – Truth and Method
- John Howard Griffin – Black Like Me
- Helen Keller – Light in my Darkness
- Arthur Koestler – The Lotus and the Robot
- A. S. Neill – Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
- Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier – Le Matin des Magiciens
- Jean-Paul Sartre – Critique de la raison dialectique (Critique of Dialectical Reason)
- William L. Shirer – The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
- W. T. Stace – The Teachings of the Mystics
- Elie Wiesel – Night (Previously published in French in 1958 as La Nuit)
- January 18 – Mark Rylance, English actor and theatre director
- February 19 – Helen Fielding, English novelist and screenwriter, creator of Bridget Jones
- April 28 – Ian Rankin, Scottish crime novelist
- May 21 – John O'Brien, American novelist (died 1994)
- July 13 – Ian Hislop, British satirist
- November 10 – Neil Gaiman, English author
- December 10 – Kenneth Branagh, British actor
- date unknown – Malcolm Pryce, British novelist
- January 4 – Albert Camus, Pied-Noir novelist, 46 (car accident)
- January 12 – Nevil Shute, English-born novelist, 60 (stroke)
- January 14 – Ralph Chubb, English poet, printer and artist, 67
- January 28 – Zora Neale Hurston, African-American folklorist, anthropologist, and author, 69
- May 30 – Boris Pasternak, Russian novelist, poet and translator, 70
- August 29 – Vicki Baum, Austrian novelist, 72
- November 20 – Ya'akov Cohen, Israeli poet, 79
- November 28 – Richard Wright, controversial African-American writer, 52 (heart attack)
- December 26 – Tetsuro Watsuji, Japanese philosopher, 71
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Criticism: E. B. White
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Ian Wolfram Cornwall, The Making of Man
- Eric Gregory Award: Christopher Levenson
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Rex Warner, Imperial Caesar
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Canon Adam Fox, The Life of Dean Inge
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Joseph Krumgold, Onion John
- Nobel Prize for literature: Saint-John Perse
- Premio Nadal: Ramiro Pinilla, Ciegas hormigas
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Jerome Weidman, George Abbott for book, Jerry Bock for music, and Sheldon Harnick for lyrics, Fiorello!
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Allen Drury, Advise and Consent
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: W. D. Snodgrass, Heart's Needle
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: John Betjeman
- De Jongh, Nicholas (1992). Not in Front of the Audience: Homosexuality on stage. Routledge. pp. 119–122. ISBN 0-415-03362-4.
- Pouteau, Jacques (25 March 1960). "London Sees Play of Type Formerly Banned". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
- Galens, David M., ed. (2000). "Overview: The Caretaker". Drama for Students. Literature Resource Center 7. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
- "The Caretaker – Première". HaroldPinter.org. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
- "Welsh Nationalist Sent to Prison". The Times (54869) (London). 1960-09-06. p. 6.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Lady Chatterley's Lover sold out". On This Day. BBC. 1960-11-10. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- "Norman Mailer Arrested in Stabbing of Wife at a Party". The New York Times. 1960-11-22. Retrieved 2013-10-31.