1959 in literature
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|List of years in literature (table)|
|... 1949 . 1950 . 1951 . 1952 . 1953 . 1954 . 1955 ...
1956 1957 1958 -1959- 1960 1961 1962
... 1963 . 1964 . 1965 . 1966 . 1967 . 1968 . 1969 ...
In poetry: 1956 1957 1958 -1959- 1960 1961 1962
|Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...|
The year 1959 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- April 30 - Theatrical première of Bertolt Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards, originally performed on radio in 1932.
- May 7 - Scientist and novelist C. P. Snow delivers an influential Rede Lecture on The Two Cultures, concerning a perceived breakdown of communication between the sciences and humanities, in the Senate House, University of Cambridge. It is subsequently published as The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.
- May 28 - The Mermaid Theatre opens in the City of London.
- July 21 - D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover is one of a trio of books (the others being Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill), the ban on which is fought and overturned in court with assistance by lawyer Charles Rembar in the United States; the book, published in 1928, legally circulates in the U.S. after a 31-year obscenity ban.
- October 29 - First appearance of Astérix the Gaul, in the first regular issue of the comic magazine Pilote.
- November 11 - Release in the United States of the short film Pull My Daisy, adapted from his unperformed play Beat Generation and narrated by Jack Kerouac and starring poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso.
- Aldous Huxley turns down the offer of a knighthood.
- Colin Dexter begins teaching at Corby Grammar School.
- Frank Herbert begins researching Dune.
- Frederik Pohl becomes editor of Galaxy magazine.
- Marcel Achard is elected to the Académie française.
- Literature Wales is established as The Academi.
- The first butoh performance piece, Kinjiki by Tatsumi Hijikata, premieres at a dance festival in Japan. It is based on the novel of the same name (Forbidden Colors) by Yukio Mishima and explores the taboos of male homosexuality and paedophilia.
- Isaac Asimov - Nine Tomorrows
- Saul Bellow - Henderson the Rain King
- Robert Bloch - Psycho
- Ray Bradbury - A Medicine for Melancholy
- John Brunner
- Echo in the Skull
- The World Swappers
- Algis Budrys - The Falling Torch
- William S. Burroughs - Naked Lunch
- Taylor Caldwell - Dear and Glorious Physician
- John Dickson Carr - Scandal at High Chimneys: A Victorian Melodrama
- Agatha Christie - Cat Among the Pigeons
- Ivy Compton-Burnett - A Heritage and Its History
- Richard Condon - The Manchurian Candidate
- Alexander Cordell - Rape of the Fair Country
- Julio Cortázar - Las armas secretas (short stories)
- Richard Crichton - The Great Impostor
- Allen Drury - Advise and Consent
- Alfred Duggan - Children of the Wolf
- Jane Duncan - My Friends the Miss Boyds
- Ian Fleming - Goldfinger
- Paul Gallico - Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris
- William Golding - Free Fall
- Günter Grass - The Tin Drum
- Vasily Grossman - Life and Fate (Жизнь и судьба; completed but not published until 1980s)
- Robert A. Heinlein
- Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House
- John Knowles - A Separate Peace
- William J. Lederer and Eugene L. Burdick - The Ugly American
- H. P. Lovecraft and Divers Hands - The Shuttered Room and Other Pieces
- John Lymington - Night of the Big Heat
- John D. MacDonald
- Colin MacInnes - Absolute Beginners
- Alistair MacLean - Night Without End
- Naguib Mahfouz - The Children of Gebelaawi
- Norman Mailer - Advertisements for Myself
- James A. Michener - Hawaii
- Mervyn Peake - Titus Alone
- Raymond Queneau - Zazie in the Metro
- Robert Randall (pseudonym of Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett) - The Dawning Light
- Mordecai Richler - The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
- Kate Roberts (author) - Te yn y grug (short stories)
- Philip Roth - Goodbye, Columbus
- Robert Ruark - Poor No More
- Nathalie Sarraute - Le Planétarium
- Alan Sillitoe - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
- Aimée Sommerfelt – The Road to Agra
- Terry Southern - The Magic Christian
- Rex Stout - Plot It Yourself
- John Updike - The Same Door
- Leon Uris - Exodus
- Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan
- Keith Waterhouse - Billy Liar
- Sheila Watson - The Double Hook
- Edward Albee - The Death of Bessie Smith (written)
- Jean Anouilh - Becket
- John Arden - Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
- Samuel Beckett - Embers (first broadcast)
- Bertolt Brecht - Saint Joan of the Stockyards (first performed)
- Albert Camus - The Possessed
- Jean Genet - The Blacks (first performed)
- Lorraine Hansberry - A Raisin in the Sun
- Eugène Ionesco - The Killer
- Judith Malina - The Connection
- Harold Pinter - The Caretaker (first published)
- Jean-Paul Sartre - The Condemned of Altona
- N. F. Simpson - One Way Pendulum
- Wole Soyinka - The Lion and the Jewel
- Arnold Wesker - Roots and The Kitchen
- Tennessee Williams - Sweet Bird of Youth
- Kenneth Anger - Hollywood Babylon
- Thomas B. Costain - The Three Edwards (Third book in the Plantagenet or Pageant of England series)
- L. Sprague de Camp - Engines
- August Derleth
- Savitri Devi - Impeachment of Man
- C. S. Forester - Sink the Bismarck! aka The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck
- Erving Goffman - The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
- Laurie Lee - Cider With Rosie
- Miguel León-Portilla - Visión de los vencidos: Relaciones indígenas de la conquista
- Garrett Mattingly - The Defeat of the Spanish Armada
- Karl Popper - The Logic of Scientific Discovery
- Cornelius Ryan - The Longest Day
- William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White - The Elements of Style
- January 8 - Ovidiu Pecican, Romanian historian, essayist, novelist, short-story writer, literary critic, poet, playwright, and journalist
- January 9 - Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemalan writer, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- January 20 - R. A. Salvatore, science fiction and fantasy author
- February 2 – Jari Tervo, Finnish author
- March 15 - Ben Okri, poet and novelist
- March 11 - Dejan Stojanović, Serbian-American poet, writer, essayist, philosopher, businessman, and former journalist
- March 18 - Frédéric-Yves Jeannet, French-born novelist and critic
- April 15 - Emma Thompson, British actress and writer
- April 30 - Alessandro Barbero, Italian historian, novelist and essayist
- May 1 (probable) - Yasmina Reza, French novelist and dramatist
- May 3 - Ben Elton, comedian, novelist and screenwriter
- June 13 - Maurice G. Dantec, science fiction author
- August 27 - Jeanette Winterson, novelist
- September 9 - Matti Rönkä, Finnish TV journalist and novelist
- September 29 – Benjamin Sehene, Rwandan writer
- October 1 - Brian P. Cleary, American humorist, author, poet
- October 31 - Neal Stephenson, science fiction writer
- December 20 - Sandra Cisneros, Mexican-born author
- January 3 - Edwin Muir, poet, novelist and translator, 71
- January 29 - Pauline Smith, novelist, 76
- February 20 – Laurence Housman, English playwright and writer, 93
- February 22 - Percy F. Westerman, children's author, 82
- February 23 - Luis Palés Matos, Puerto Rican poet, 60 (heart failure)
- February 28 - Maxwell Anderson, playwright, film writer, 70
- March 17 - Galaktion Tabidze, Georgian poet, 66 (suicide by jumping from window)
- March 22 - Olga Knipper, Russian actress, widow of Anton Chekhov and star of many of his plays, 90
- March 26 - Raymond Chandler, crime novelist, 70
- April 14 - Julien Josephson, screenwriter, 77
- May 18 - Apsley Cherry-Garrard, explorer and memoirist, 73
- May 20 - Alfred Schütz, philosopher and sociologist, 60
- June 1 - Sax Rohmer, novelist, 76
- June 23 - Boris Vian, French novelist, 39 (heart attack)
- June 30 - José Vasconcelos, Mexican poet and political writer, 77
- July 3 - Johan Bojer, Norwegian novelist, 87
- July 26 - Manuel Altolaguirre, Spanish poet, editor and publisher, member of the Generation of '27, 54 (car accident)
- August 8 - Emil František Burian, Czech poet, journalist, singer, actor, musician, composer, dramatic adviser, playwright and director, 55
- September 18 - Benjamin Péret, poet and a founder of the Surrealist movement, 60
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers
- Hugo Award for Best Novel: James Blish, A Case of Conscience
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Morris West, The Devil's Advocate
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Christopher Hassall, Edward Marsh
- Miles Franklin Award: Vance Palmer, The Big Fellow
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- Nobel Prize for literature: Salvatore Quasimodo
- Premio Nadal: Ana María Matute, Primera memoria
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Archibald MacLeish, J. B.
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Robert Lewis Taylor, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Stanley Kunitz, Selected Poems 1928-1958
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: Francis Cornford
- Grove Press, Inc. v. Christenberry, 175 F. Supp. 488 (SDNY 1959), 21 July 1959.
- "Les BD oubliées D'Astérix". BDoubliées (in French). Retrieved 2013-10-03.