1980 in literature
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In poetry: 1977 1978 1979 -1980- 1981 1982 1983
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The year 1980 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- June 5 - Opening of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, adapted from Charles Dickens' novel by David Edgar, at the Aldwych Theatre, London.
- June 5 - Opening of Willy Russell's comedy Educating Rita with Julie Walters in the title rôle at the Donmar Warehouse in London in a Royal Shakespeare Company production.
- August 25 - Pramoedya Ananta Toer's This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia), the first of his tetralogy of historical novels, the Buru Quartet, is published in Indonesia following his release from ten years of political imprisonment; it is prohibited in the country the following year.
- September - Performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth with Peter O'Toole in the lead opens at the Old Vic Theatre, London, often considered one of the greatest disasters in theatre history.
- September 23 - Field Day Theatre Company presents its first production, the premiere of Brian Friel's Translations at the Guildhall, Derry in Northern Ireland.
- November 27 - English playwright Harold Pinter marries biographer and novelist Lady Antonia Fraser following his divorce from the actress Vivien Merchant.
- Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer (published 1979), reaches #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list.
- Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate (Жизнь и судьба, completed 1959) is first published, in Western Europe.
- Marguerite Yourcenar becomes the first woman elected to the Académie française.
New prose fiction
- Douglas Adams - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- Richard Adams
- The Girl in a Swing
- The Iron Wolf and Other Stories
- Warren Adler - The War of the Roses
- Woody Allen - Side Effects
- Jean M. Auel - The Clan of the Cave Bear
- Thomas Berger - Neighbors
- Anthony Burgess - Earthly Powers
- Ramsey Campbell, editor - New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
- Bruce Chatwin - The Viceroy of Ouidah
- Mary Higgins Clark - The Cradle Will Fall
- J. M. Coetzee - Waiting for the Barbarians
- Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre -The Fifth Horseman
- Pat Conroy - The Lords of Discipline
- Basil Copper - Necropolis
- Roald Dahl - The Twits
- L. Sprague de Camp
- Thomas M. Disch - The Brave Little Toaster
- E. L. Doctorow - Loon Lake
- Allan W. Eckert - Song of the Wild
- Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose (Il Nome della Rosa)
- Ken Follett - The Key to Rebecca
- Frederick Forsyth - The Devil's Alternative
- Mary Jayne Gold - Crossroads Marseilles 1940
- William Golding - Rites of Passage
- Douglas Hill
- Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp - The Treasure of Tranicos
- L. Ron Hubbard - Battlefield Earth
- P. D. James - Innocent Blood
- Stephen King - Firestarter
- Judith Krantz - Princess Daisy
- Björn Kurtén - Dance of the Tiger
- John le Carré - Smiley's People
- Madeleine L'Engle - A Ring of Endless Light
- Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity
- Ruth Manning-Sanders - A Book of Spooks and Spectres
- James A. Michener - The Covenant
- Haruki Murakami - Pinball, 1973 (1973年のピンボール, Sen-Kyūhyaku-Nanajū-San-Nen no Pinbōru)
- Cees Nooteboom - Rituals
- Robert B. Parker - Looking for Rachel Wallace
- Ellis Peters - Monk's Hood
- Belva Plain - Random Winds
- Marin Preda - Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni ("The Most Beloved of Earthlings")
- Herman Raucher - There Should Have Been Castles
- Mordecai Richler - Joshua Then and Now
- Marilynne Robinson - Housekeeping
- Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children
- Sidney Sheldon - Rage of Angels
- Gay Talese - Thy Neighbor's Wife
- Walter Tevis - Mockingbird
- John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
- Gene Wolfe - The Shadow of the Torturer
- Roger Zelazny
- Howard Brenton - The Romans in Britain
- David Edgar (adapted) - The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
- Kenneth Ross - Breaker Morant
- Willy Russell - Educating Rita
- Sam Shepard - True West
- Pierre Berton - The Invasion of Canada
- Graham Chapman et al. - A Liar's Autobiography
- L. Sprague de Camp - The Ragged Edge of Science
- L. Sprague de Camp, editor - The Spell of Conan
- Graham Greene - Ways of Escape
- Jerry Hopkins & Danny Sugerman - No One Here Gets Out Alive
- Michael Medved & Harry Medved - The Golden Turkey Awards
- Carl Sagan - Cosmos
- Alvin Toffler - The Third Wave
- January 3
- January 11 - Barbara Pym, English novelist, 66 (cancer)
- February 25 - Caradog Prichard, Welsh-language poet and novelist
- March 25 - James Wright, American poet, 52
- April 15 - Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, novelist and dramatist, 74
- April 24 - Alejo Carpentier, French Cuban novelist and writer, 75 (cancer)
- May 16 - Marin Preda, Romanian novelist, 57 (asphyxiation)
- June 7 - Henry Miller, American novelist, 88
- July 1 - C. P. Snow, English novelist and scientist, 74
- July 6 - Mart Raud, Estonian poet, playwright and writer, 76
- July 9 - Vinicius de Moraes, Brazilian poet and songwriter, 66
- July 26 - Kenneth Tynan, influential English-born theatre critic, 53 (pulmonary emphysema)
- August 8 - David Mercer, English dramatist, 62
- August 10 - Gareth Evans, British philosopher, 34 (lung cancer)
- September 18 - Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist and essayist, 90
- November 9 - Patrick Campbell, Irish journalist and wit, 67
- November 22 - Mae West, American actress and dramatist, 87
- December 2 - Romain Gary, French novelist, 66 (suicide by gunshot)
- December 8 - John Lennon, English-born musician, author, 40 (murder by gunshot)
- December 12 - Ben Travers, English farceur, 94
- December 31 - Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher, 69
- The Australian/Vogel Literary Award: Inaugural award to Archie Weller, The Day Of The Dog; the award is initially given to Paul Radley, who, in 1996, admits that his manuscript was actually written by his uncle.
- Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry: David Campbell, Man in the Honeysuckle
- See 1980 Governor General's Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards.
- Prix Goncourt: Yves Navarre, Le Jardin d'acclimatation
- Prix Médicis French: Jean-Luc Benoziglio, Cabinet-portrait who refused the prize, thus it was given to Jean Lahougue's Comptine des Height
- Prix Médicis International: Andre Brink, Une saison blanche et sèche
- Booker Prize: William Golding, Rites of Passage
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Peter Dickinson, City of Gold
- Cholmondeley Award: George Barker, Terence Tiller, Roy Fuller
- Eric Gregory Award: Robert Minhinnick, Michael Hulse, Blake Morrison, Medbh McGuckian
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Robert B. Martin, Tennyson: The Unquiet Heart
- Whitbread Best Book Award: David Lodge, How Far Can You Go?
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama: Edward Albee
- Caldecott Medal: Barbara Cooney, Ox-Cart Man
- Dos Passos Prize: Graham Greene
- Nebula Award: Gregory Benford, Timescape
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Joan Blos, A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Lanford Wilson, Talley's Folly
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Donald Justice, Selected Poems
- Hugo Award for Best Novel: Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise
- Premio Cervantes : Juan Carlos Onetti
- Premio Nadal: Juan Ramón Zaragoza, Concerto grosso
- Tribute to Peter O'Toole. films42.com. 2003. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- Parsons, Nicholas (1981). Dipped in Vitriol. London: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-26556-3.
- "Around the World Kenyan is Convicted in Death of Joy Adamson".
- Interview with Paul Nakware Ekai.
- Scriitorul Marin Preda, moartea ca o povara (Romanian).
- Bona, D. (1987). Romain Gary. Paris: Mercure de France-Lacombe. pp. 397-398.
- "Australian of the Year Awards".