1966 in literature
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In poetry: 1963 1964 1965 -1966- 1967 1968 1969
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The year 1966 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- February – Boots UK closes the last of its circulating "Booklovers' Library" branches in its pharmacy chain stores.
- February 10 – Author Jacqueline Susann has her first novel, Valley of the Dolls, published. From a friend, she obtains a list of the bookstores upon which The New York Times relies for sales figures to determine its bestseller list. She then uses her own money to buy large quantities of the book at these stores resulting in her novel going to #1 on the list. Valley of the Dolls comes to rank among the best selling novels of all time.
- February 14 – Dissident writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky are sentenced to hard labour for "anti-Soviet activity".
- March 9 – J. R. R. Tolkien writes to Roger Verhulst, expressing his concerns about a proposed book about him by W. H. Auden, saying "I regard such things as premature impertinences ... I cannot believe that they have a usefulness to justify the distaste and irritation given to the victim", but adding "I owe Mr. Auden a debt of gratitude for the generosity with which he has supported and encouraged me since the first appearance of The Lord of the Rings".
- March 21 – In the landmark obscenity case of Memoirs v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court of the United States rules that the hitherto-banned novel Fanny Hill (John Cleland's Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, 1749) does not meet the Roth Standard for obscenity.
- June 14 – The Roman Curia abolishes the Index Librorum Prohibitorum after 427 years.
- June 16 – Blackwell's open the 930 m2 Norrington Room in their main bookshop in Broad Street, Oxford.
- June 23 – Publication of Octopussy and the Living Daylights, the final collection of James Bond short stories by the character's creator, Ian Fleming, who had died in 1964.
- July 24 – Poet and critic Frank O'Hara is hit by a dune buggy on Fire Island beach. He dies of his injuries the following day.
- August 24 – Tom Stoppard's tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead receives its première at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- September 8 – First UNESCO International Literacy Day celebrated.
- October 21 – Jacques Derrida delivers a lecture La Structure, le signe et le jeu dans le discours des sciences humaines ("Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the human sciences") to a structuralism colloquium at Johns Hopkins University, bringing his work on literary theory to international prominence.
- November 3–4 – 1966 Flood of the Arno River in Florence causes severe damage to the contents of libraries including the National Central Library and Gabinetto Vieusseux.
- November 28 – Truman Capote's Black and White Ball ('The Party of the Century') is held in New York City. Guest of honor, Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, later said: "Truman called me up that summer and said, 'I think you need cheering up. And I'm going to give you a ball.'...I was...sort of baffled....I felt a little bit like Truman was going to give the ball anyway and that I was part of the props."
- First modern revival of a play by Bhāsa, Madhyamavyayoga, directed by Shanta Gandhi in a Hindi translation.
- Chinua Achebe – A Man of the People
- Elechi Amadi – The Concubine
- Robert H. Adleman – The Devil's Brigade
- Lloyd Alexander – The Castle of Llyr
- Kingsley Amis – The Anti-Death League
- Isaac Asimov – Fantastic Voyage
- Margaret Atwood
- Louis Auchincloss – The Embezzler
- J. G. Ballard
- Henry Bauchau – La Déchirure
- Paul Bowles – Up Above the World
- Ray Bradbury – S is for Space
- Mihail Bulgakov – The Master and Margarita
- Truman Capote – In Cold Blood
- John Dickson Carr – Panic in Box C
- Agatha Christie – Third Girl
- James Clavell – Tai-Pan
- Robert Crichton – The Secret of Santa Vittoria
- Roald Dahl – The Magic Finger
- August Derleth and Mark Schorer – Colonel Markesan and Less Pleasant People
- Philip K. Dick
- Allen Drury – Capable of Honor
- Friedrich Dürrenmatt – Der Meteor
- Shusaku Endo – Silence
- Ian Fleming – Octopussy and The Living Daylights
- John Fowles – The Magus
- Robert A. Heinlein – The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
- Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp – Conan the Adventurer
- Aidan Higgins – Langrishe, Go Down
- Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon
- Anatoly Kuznetsov – Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel
- J. M. G. Le Clézio – Le déluge
- José Lezama Lima – Paradiso
- H. P. Lovecraft and Divers Hands – The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces
- John D. MacDonald – One Fearful Yellow Eye
- Alistair Maclean – When Eight Bells Toll
- Larry McMurtry – Last Picture Show
- Bernard Malamud – The Fixer
- Grace Ogot – The Promised Land
- Marcel Pagnol
- Anthony Powell – The Soldier's Art
- Thomas Pynchon – The Crying of Lot 49
- Seabury Quinn – Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder
- Jean Rhys – Wide Sargasso Sea
- Karl Ristikivi – Rõõmulaul
- Leonardo Sciascia – A ciascuno il suo
- Paul Scott – The Jewel in the Crown
- Adela Rogers St. Johns – Tell No Man
- Rex Stout – Death of a Doxy
- William Styron – The Confessions of Nat Turner
- Jacqueline Susann – Valley of the Dolls
- Leslie Thomas – The Virgin Soldiers
- Roderick Thorp – The Detective
- Jack Vance – The Eyes of the Overworld
- Mario Vargas Llosa – The Green House
- Patrick White – The Solid Mandala
- Roger Zelazny
- Barbara Garson – MacBird
- Günter Grass – Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand ("The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising")
- Gwenlyn Parry – Saer Doliau ("Doll Doctor")
- Tom Stoppard – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
- Zdeněk Svěrák, Jiří Šebánek and Ladislav Smoljak – Akt ("The Nude"), in which the Czech fictional character Jára Cimrman is first introduced
- Luis Valdez – Quinta Temporada
Main article: 1966 in poetry
- Geoffrey Blainey – The Tyranny of Distance: How Distance Shaped Australia's History
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography, volume 1.
- Truman Capote – In Cold Blood
- William Crossing – The Dartmoor Worker (anthology)
- L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp – Spirits, Stars, and Spells
- Edward J. Epstein – Inquest
- Michel Foucault – The Order of Things (Les Mots et les choses: une archéologie des sciences humaines)
- P. J. Kavanagh – The Perfect Stranger
- Mark Lane – Rush to Judgment
- Alasdair MacIntyre – A Short History of Ethics
- Nancy Mitford – The Sun King
- María Moliner – Diccionario de uso del español
- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. – A Thousand Days
- Hunter S. Thompson – Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
- Frances Yates – The Art of Memory
- February 24 – Alain Mabanckou, Francophone Congolese novelist
- April 12 – Jim Duffy, Irish political writer
- July 21 – Sarah Waters, Welsh novelist
- November – Jane Holland (Victoria Lamb, etc.), English poet and novelist
- September 24 – Rhys Hughes, Welsh short-story writer
- December 29 – Christian Kracht, Swiss novelist and journalist
- Unknown date – Helen Zahavi, English novelist and translator
- January 18 – Kathleen Norris, American novelist (born 1880)
- February 12 – Elio Vittorini, Italian novelist, (born 1908)
- March 10 – Frank O'Connor, Irish short-story writer, (born 1903)
- April 1 – Brian O'Nolan (Flann O'Brien), Irish satirist (heart attack, born 1911)
- April 2 – C. S. Forester, English historical novelist (born 1899)
- April 10 – Evelyn Waugh, English novelist, biographer and travel writer (heart failure, born 1903)
- April 13 – Georges Duhamel, French novelist (born 1884)
- June 7 – Jean Arp, Alsatian poet, sculptor and painter (born 1886)
- June 10 – Henry Treece, English historical novelist (born 1911)
- June 30 – Margery Allingham, English crime novelist (born 1904)
- July 20 – Anne Beffort, Luxembourg literary writer and biographer (born 1880)
- July 25 – Frank O'Hara, American poet (ruptured liver, born 1926)
- August 6 – Cordwainer Smith (Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger), American science fiction author (heart attack, born 1913)
- August 12 – Artur Alliksaar, Estonian poet (cancer, born 1923)
- September 25 – Mina Loy, English-born poet and artist (born 1882)
- September 28 – André Breton, French Surrealist poet and author (born 1896)
- October 30 – Yórgos Theotokás, Greek novelist (born 1906)
- November 26 – Siegfried Kracauer, German journalist and critic (born 1889)
- December 23 – Heimito von Doderer, Austrian author (born 1896)
- Cholmondeley Award: Ted Walker, Stevie Smith
- Eric Gregory Award: Robin Fulton, Seamus Heaney, Hugo Williams
- See 1966 Governor General's Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards.
- Hugo Award: Frank Herbert, Dune and Roger Zelazny, ...And Call Me Conrad
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Christine Brooke-Rose, Such, and Aidan Higgins, Langrishe, Go Down
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Geoffrey Keynes, The Life of William Harvey
- Miles Franklin Award: Peter Mathers, Trap
- Nebula Award (first): Samuel R. Delany, Babel-17 and Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Elizabeth Borton de Treviño, I, Juan de Pareja
- Nobel Prize for literature: Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Nelly Sachs
- Premio Nadal: Vicente Soto, La zancada
- Prix Goncourt: Edmonde Charles-Roux, Oublier Palerme
- Prix Médicis: Marie-Claire Blais, Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: no award given
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Katherine Anne Porter, Collected Stories
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Richard Eberhart, Selected Poems
- Viareggio Prize: Alfonso Gatto, La storia delle vittime
- "Boots Booklovers Library". Information Science Today. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- Tolkien Gateway.
- Graham, Rigby (Winter 1966). "Two views of the Norrington Room". The Private Library 7 (4): 84–6.
- Belanger, Craig. "Frank O'Hara." Frank O'Hara (2005): 1. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 12 May 2011.
- George Plimpton (1997). Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career. New York, Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-23249-7, p. 248