1968 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1968.
- January 1 – Cecil Day-Lewis is announced as the new Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom.
- March 28 – Glidrose Publications releases the James Bond novel, Colonel Sun by "Robert Markham" (a pseudonym for Kingsley Amis). Initially intended as a relaunch of the Bond book series following the death in 1964 of the character's creator, Ian Fleming, Colonel Sun instead ends up being the final book of the series (discounting a "biography" of Bond and a pair of film script adaptations) until John Gardner revives the literary James Bond in 1981.
- April – The United States edition of Andrew Garve's thriller The Long Short Cut becomes the first book printed completely using electronic composition.
- May – The Action Theater in Munich is disbanded after its theater is wrecked by one of its founders, jealous of director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's growing power within the group.
- June 17 – Tom Stoppard's parody The Real Inspector Hound opens at the Criterion Theatre in London's West End, starring Richard Briers and Ronnie Barker.
- July 28 – Last Exit to Brooklyn is cleared of obscenity in the English appeal court; John Mortimer appears for the defence. This is the last prosecution of a book under the U.K. Obscene Publications Acts.
- August – Tom Wolfe's books The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Pump House Gang are published on the same day. Both go on to become best-sellers and cement Wolfe's status as one of the generation's leading social critics, chroniclers of the counterculture of the 1960s and practitioners of New Journalism.
- September 26 – Theatres Act 1968 (royal assent July 26) ends censorship of the theatre in the United Kingdom.
- October – Colin Spencer's comedy Spitting Image, one of the first plays with openly gay male leads, premières in London
- October 31 – Alan Bennett's first stage play, Forty Years On, opens at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End, under the direction of Patrick Garland and starring Sir John Gielgud, Paul Eddington and the playwright.
- The first translations and book-length discussion of Enheduanna's work is published. She is a Sumerian priestess and poet of the 23rd century BC and the earliest named author known to history.
- Dean R. Koontz's first novel, Star Quest, is published by Ace Books in the United States.
- N. Scott Momaday's novel House Made of Dawn is published, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 and initiating the Native American Renaissance.
- The Arvon Foundation is established by young poets John Fairfax and John Moat in the UK to promote creative writing.
- Lloyd Alexander – The High King
- Isaac Asimov – Asimov's Mysteries
- James Blish – Black Easter
- Nelson Bond – Nightmares and Daydreams
- Elizabeth Bowen – Eva Trout
- Richard Brautigan – In Watermelon Sugar
- Rolf Dieter Brinkmann – Keiner weiß mehr (Nobody knows anymore)
- John Brunner
- Anthony Burgess – Enderby Outside
- Martin Caidin – The God Machine
- Taylor Caldwell – Testimony of Two Men
- John Christopher – The Pool of Fire
- John Dickson Carr
- Dark of the Moon
- Papa La-Bas
- Agatha Christie – By the Pricking of My Thumbs
- Arthur C. Clarke – 2001: A Space Odyssey
- L. Sprague de Camp
- August Derleth
- Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
- Allen Drury – Preserve and Protect
- Lawrence Durrell – Tunc
- Arthur Hailey – Airport
- Michael Harrison – The Exploits of Chevalier Dupin
- Georgette Heyer – Cousin Kate
- Barry Hines – A Kestrel for a Knave
- Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp
- John Irving – Setting Free the Bears
- Dorothy M. Johnson – Indian Country
- James Jones – The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories
- Halldór Laxness – Kristnihald undir jökli (Christianity under the Glacier)
- John le Carré – A Small Town in Germany
- John D. MacDonald
- Norman Mailer – Armies of the Night
- Robert Markham – Colonel Sun
- Patrick Modiano – La Place de l'étoile
- N. Scott Momaday – House Made of Dawn
- Brian Moore – I Am Mary Dunne
- Alice Munro – Dance of the Happy Shades (short stories)
- Andrew Osmond and Douglas Hurd – Send Him Victorious
- Anthony Powell – The Military Philosophers
- Jean Rhys – Tigers Are Better-Looking
- Mordecai Richler – Cocksure
- Giorgio Scerbanenco – I ragazzi del massacro
- Rudi Šeligo – Triptih Agate Schwarzkobler
- Robert Silverberg – The Masks of Time
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- Muriel Spark – The Public Image
- Angus John Mackintosh Stewart – Sandel
- Sri Lal Sukla – Raag Darbari
- John Updike – Couples
- Jack Vance – City of the Chasch
- Tarjei Vesaas – The Boat in the Evening
- Gore Vidal – Myra Breckinridge
- Christa Wolf – The Quest for Christa T. (Nachdenken über Christa T.)
- John Wyndham – Chocky
Children and young people
- Joan Aiken – The Whispering Mountain
- Elisabeth Beresford – The Wombles (first in the Wombles series of six titles)
- Don Freeman – Corduroy
- Clement Freud (with Frank Francis) – Grimble
- John Grant – Littlenose (first in the Littlenose series of 15 books)
- Rosemary Harris – The Moon in the Cloud
- Russell Hoban – The Mouse and His Child
- Ted Hughes – The Iron Man
- Judith Kerr – The Tiger Who Came to Tea
- Alexander Key – Escape to Witch Mountain
- Ursula Le Guin – A Wizard of Earthsea (first in the Earthsea series)
- Ruth Manning-Sanders – A Book of Mermaids
- David McKee – Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
- Robert C. O'Brien – The Silver Crown
- Seymour Simon – The Look-it-up Book of the Earth (non-fiction)
- Jill Tomlinson – The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
- Paul Zindel – The Pigman (first in The Pigman trilogy)
- Alan Bennett – Forty Years On
- Hugo Claus – Vrijdag (Friday)
- Mart Crowley – The Boys in the Band
- Thomas Kilroy – The Death and Resurrection of Mr Roche
- Colin Spencer – Spitting Image
- Tom Stoppard – The Real Inspector Hound
- Shūji Terayama (寺山 修司) – Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (書を捨てよ町へ出よう, Sho o Suteyo, Machi e Deyō)
- Michel Tremblay – Les Belles-Sœurs
- L. Sprague de Camp
- Carlos Castaneda – The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
- Eldridge Cleaver – Soul On Ice
- Paul R. Ehrlich – The Population Bomb
- Esther Hautzig – The Endless Steppe (autobiography)
- H. P. Lovecraft – Selected Letters II (1925–1929)
- Norman Mailer – Miami and the Siege of Chicago
- William Manchester – The Arms of Krupp: 1597-1968
- James Morris – Pax Britannica: The Climax of Empire
- Charles Rembar – The End of Obscenity: The Trials of Lady Chatterley, Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill
- Adam Smith – The Money Game
- Erich von Däniken – Chariots of the Gods? (Erinnerungen an die Zukunft)
- James D. Watson – The Double Helix
- January 30 – Rhoda Shipman, American comic book writer
- March 23 – Mitch Cullin, American novelist
- May 27 – Ekow Eshun, British Ghanaian writer, journalist and broadcaster
- June 11 – Bryan Perro, Canadian author
- July 6 – Tiit Aleksejev, Estonian novelist and playwright
- September 14 – Shuichi Yoshida (吉田修), Japanese novelist
- December 6 – Karl Ove Knausgård, Norwegian autobiographical novelist
- December 31 – Junot Díaz, Dominican American novelist
- Unknown date – K. V. Johansen, Canadian children's author
- January 1 – Donagh MacDonagh, Irish poet, playwright and judge (born 1912)
- January 14 – Dorothea Mackellar, Australian poet (born 1885)
- February 23 – Fannie Hurst, American novelist (born 1889)
- March 22 - Margaret Duley, Newfoundland novelist (born 1894)
- April 16 – Edna Ferber, American novelist, short story writer and playwright (born 1885)
- April 25 – Donald Davidson, American poet (born 1893)
- May 1 – Sir Harold Nicolson, British biographer (born 1886)
- May 30
- June 1 – Helen Keller, deaf-blind American author, activist and lecturer (born 1880)
- June 2 – A. A. Thomson, English cricket and travel writer (born 1894)
- August 21 - Germaine Guèvremont, Canadian writer (born 1893)
- September 29 – Sixto Pondal Ríos, Argentine screenwriter, poet and dramatist (born 1907)
- October 30 – Conrad Richter, American novelist (born 1890)
- November 17 – Mervyn Peake, English novelist (dementia, born 1911)
- November 25 – Upton Sinclair, American novelist and politician (born 1878)
- December 5 – Anna Kavan, British novelist, short story writer and painter (born 1901)
- December 10 – Tian Han, Chinese dramatist (born 1898)
- December 20 – John Steinbeck, American novelist (congestive heart failure, born 1902)
- December 24 – D. Gwenallt Jones, Welsh poet (born 1899)
- See 1968 Governor General's Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards.
- Prix Goncourt: Bernard Clavel, Les Fruits de l'hiver
- Prix Médicis: Élie Wiesel, Le Mendiant de Jérusalem
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Rosemary Harris, The Moon in the Cloud
- Cholmondeley Award: Harold Massingham, Edwin Morgan
- Eric Gregory Award: James Aitchison, Douglas Dunn, Brian Jones
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Maggie Ross, The Gasteropod
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Gordon Haight, George Eliot
- Newdigate prize: James Fenton
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: Robert Graves
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in Poetry, W. H. Auden
- Hugo Award: Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light
- Nebula Award: Alexei Panshin, Rite of Passage
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: E. L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: no award given
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: William Styron, The Confessions of Nat Turner
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Anthony Hecht, The Hard Hours
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Anthony Hecht, Mijn moeder
- Miles Franklin Award: Thomas Keneally, Three Cheers for the Paraclete
- Alfaguara Prize: Daniel Sueiro, Corte de corteza
- Premio Nadal: Álvaro Cunqueiro, El hombre que se parecía a Orestes
- Viareggio Prize: Libero Bigiaretti, La controfigura
- Marshall, Rita (January 2, 1968). "C. Day Lewis Is Poet Laureate". The Times (57138). London. p. 1.
- Altbach, Philip Gabriel; Hoshino, Edith S. (1995). International Book Publishing: An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-8153-0786-0.
- Kane, Joseph Nathan (1997). Famous First Facts: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History (5th ed.). The H.W. Wilson Company. p. 67. ISBN 0-8242-0930-3.
- Elsaesser, Thomas (1996). Fassbinder's Germany: History, Identity, Subject. Amsterdam University Press. p. 301. ISBN 90-5356-059-9.
- Sutherland, John; Fender, Stephen (2011). Love, Sex, Death & Words: surprising tales from a year in literature. London: Icon. pp. 283–4. ISBN 978-184831-247-0.
- The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 978-1-85986-000-7.
- Text of the Theatres Act 1968 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk .
- Hallo, William W.; Van Dijk, J. J. A. (1968). The Exaltation of Inanna. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Society for Slovene Studies (2006). Slovene studies. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Lachance, François (2002), "Tremblay, Michel", glbtq.com, archived from the original on August 14, 2007, retrieved 2007-08-18
- Sahlas, Demetrios J. (2003). "Dementia With Lewy Bodies and the Neurobehavioral Decline of Mervyn Peake". Archives of Neurology. 60 (6): 889. doi:10.1001/archneur.60.6.889. PMID 12810496.
- "John Steinbeck Biography". National Steinbeck Centre. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010.