1980 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1980.
- June 5
- The Royal Shakespeare Company opens its production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, adapted from Charles Dickens' novel by David Edgar, at the Aldwych Theatre, London.
- Willy Russell's comedy Educating Rita opens 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 a tetralogy of historical novels, the Buru Quartet, is published in Indonesia after his release from ten years' political imprisonment; it is banned in the country the following year.
- September – A production of Shakespeare's Macbeth with Peter O'Toole in the lead opens at the Old Vic Theatre, London. It is often considered one of the greatest disasters in theatre history.
- September 23 – The Field Day Theatre Company presents its first production, the première 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 after his divorce from the actress Vivien Merchant.
- December 8 – Mark David Chapman shoots John Lennon in New York City while carrying a copy of J. D. Salinger's 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, which he claims "is my statement."
- 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.
- The first Tibetan-language literature journal, Tibetan Literature and Art (Bod kyi rtsom rig sgyu rtsal), is published by the Tibet Autonomous Region Writers Association (TARWA); it features short stories.
- The National Library of Indonesia is created by merger.
- Douglas Adams – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- Warren Adler – The War of the Roses
- Woody Allen – Side Effects
- V. C. Andrews – Petals on the Wind
- 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
- L. Sprague de Camp
- Mircea Diaconu – La noi, când vine iarna
- E. L. Doctorow – Loon Lake
- Marguerite Duras – L'Homme assis dans le couloir
- Allan W. Eckert – Song of the Wild
- Umberto Eco – The Name of the Rose (Il Nome della Rosa)
- Shusaku Endo (遠藤 周作) – The Samurai (侍)
- Ken Follett – The Key to Rebecca
- Frederick Forsyth – The Devil's Alternative
- Mary Jayne Gold – Crossroads Marseilles 1940
- William Golding – Rites of Passage
- Graham Greene – Dr. Fischer of Geneva
- Douglas Hill
- Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp – The Treasure of Tranicos
- P. D. James – Innocent Blood
- Stephen King – Firestarter
- Judith Krantz – Princess Daisy
- Björn Kurtén – Dance of the Tiger
- Manuel Mujica Láinez – El gran teatro
- John le Carré – Smiley's People
- Madeleine L'Engle – A Ring of Endless Light
- Robert Ludlum – The Bourne Identity
- James A. Michener – The Covenant
- Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹) – Pinball, 1973 (1973 年のピンボール, Sen-Kyūhyaku-Nanajū-San-Nen no Pinbōru)
- Ryū Murakami (村上 龍) – Coin Locker Babies (コインロッカー・ベイビーズ)
- Cees Nooteboom – Rituals
- Robert B. Parker – Looking for Rachel Wallace
- Pepetela – Mayombe
- Ellis Peters – Monk's Hood
- Tom Phillips – A Humument: a treated Victorian novel (1st trade edition)
- Belva Plain – Random Winds
- Paulette Poujol-Oriol – Le Creuset (The Crucible)
- 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
Children and young people
- Richard Adams
- The Girl in a Swing
- The Iron Wolf and Other Stories
- Vivien Alcock – The Haunting of Cassie Palmer
- Lynne Reid Banks – The Indian in the Cupboard
- Jill Barklem – Brambly Hedge series:
- Ruskin Bond – The Cherry Tree
- Matt Christopher – Wild Pitch
- Roald Dahl – The Twits
- Thomas M. Disch – The Brave Little Toaster
- Buchi Emecheta – Titch the Cat
- Ruth Manning-Sanders – A Book of Spooks and Spectres
- Thomas Meehan – Annie: An old-fashioned story
- Robert Munsch – The Paper Bag Princess
- Susan Musgrave
- Hag Head
- Ruth Park – Playing Beatie Bow
- Avril Rowlands – God's Wonderful Railway
- Marjorie W. Sharmat – Gila Monsters Meet you at the Airport
- Mary Stewart – A Walk in Wolf Wood
- Howard Brenton – The Romans in Britain
- Andrea Dunbar – The Arbor
- David Edgar (adaptation) – The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
- Ronald Harwood – The Dresser
- Ron Hutchinson – The Irish Play
- Kenneth Ross – Breaker Morant
- Willy Russell – Educating Rita
- Sam Shepard – True West
- Tony Benn – Arguments for Socialism
- Pierre Berton – The Invasion of Canada
- Maryanne Blacker and Pamela Clark – Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book
- David Bohm – Wholeness and the Implicate Order
- L. Sprague de Camp – The Ragged Edge of Science
- L. Sprague de Camp (as editor) – The Spell of Conan
- Graham Chapman et al. – A Liar's Autobiography
- Marilyn Ferguson – The Aquarian Conspiracy
- Stanley Fish – Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities
- Julien Gracq – Reading Writing
- Graham Greene – Ways of Escape
- Stephen Hawking – A Brief History of Time
- Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman – No One Here Gets Out Alive
- János Kornai – Economics of Shortage (Hiány)
- Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers – Grimoire of Armadel translation from French (posthumous)
- Ram Swarup – The Word as Revelation: Names of Gods
- Michael Medved and Harry Medved – The Golden Turkey Awards
- Carl Sagan – Cosmos
- Randy Shilts – And the Band Played On
- Alvin Toffler – The Third Wave
- January 3
- January 11 – Barbara Pym, English novelist (cancer, born 1913)
- February 25 – Caradog Prichard, Welsh poet and novelist in Welsh (born 1904)
- March 12 – Eugeniu Ștefănescu-Est, Romanian poet, novelist and cartoonist (born 1881)
- March 25 – James Wright, American poet (born 1927)
- March 26 – Roland Barthes, French literary theorist (born 1915)
- April 15 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, novelist and dramatist (born 1905)
- April 24 – Alejo Carpentier, French Cuban novelist and writer (cancer, born 1904)
- May 7 – Margaret Cole, English political writer, biographer and activist (born 1893)
- May 16 – Marin Preda, Romanian novelist (asphyxiation, born 1922)
- June 7 – Henry Miller, American novelist (born 1891)
- July 1 – C. P. Snow, English novelist and scientist (born 1905)
- July 6 – Mart Raud, Estonian poet, playwright and writer (born 1903)
- July 9 – Vinicius de Moraes, Brazilian poet and songwriter (born 1913)
- July 26 – Kenneth Tynan, English-born theater critic (pulmonary emphysema, born 1927)
- August 8 – David Mercer, English dramatist (born 1928)
- August 10 – Gareth Evans, British philosopher (lung cancer (born 1946)
- September 18 – Katherine Anne Porter, American novelist and essayist (born 1890)
- November 9 – Patrick Campbell, Irish journalist and wit (born 1913)
- December 2 – Romain Gary (Roman Kacew), French novelist (suicide, born 1914)
- December 8 – John Lennon, English musician, songwriter and author (murdered, born 1940)
- December 12 – Ben Travers, English playwright, screenwriter and novelist (born 1886)
- December 27 – Todhunter Ballard, American genre novelist (born 1903)
- December 31 – Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher (born 1911)
- 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
- Miles Franklin Award: Jessica Anderson, The Impersonators
- 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.
- Kolas, Ashield; Thowsen, Monika P. (2005). On the Margins of Tibet: Cultural Survival on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier. pp. 40–41, 138–139.
- "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".