This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1959.
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. (December 2012)
- January 31 – Sandu Tudor begins a 40-year sentence at Jilava prison for "conspiracy against social order" and "intense activity against the working class", as meted out by a Romanian communist tribunal. He will die in 1962 at Aiud prison, possibly from torture.
- April 30 – Bertolt Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards receives its stage première. It was originally performed on radio in 1932.
- May 7 – Scientist and novelist C. P. Snow delivers in the Senate House, University of Cambridge a Rede Lecture on The Two Cultures, to do with a perceived breakdown of communication between the sciences and humanities. It is later 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 three books whose bans are overturned in court with assistance from the lawyer Charles Rembar in the United States, the others being Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill. The book, published in 1928, legally circulates in the U.S. after a 31-year obscenity ban.
- July 29 – The U.K. Obscene Publications Act becomes law, coming into force on August 29. It requires a work to be seen as a whole, permitting a "public good" defence against a prosecution for obscenity, and making prosecutions for obscene libel difficult.
- September – Anthony Burgess, teaching in Brunei, suffers a breakdown and is forced to return to the UK, where he becomes a full-time novelist.
- October 29 – Astérix the Gaul makes a first appearance in the first regular issue of the comic magazine Pilote.
- November 11 – In the United States, the short film Pull My Daisy is released, adapted from an unperformed play by Jack Kerouac, Beat Generation and narrated by him. It stars poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso.
- unknown dates
Children and young people
- January 8 – Ovidiu Pecican, Romanian writer and poet
- January 9 – Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemalan writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner
- January 20 – R. A. Salvatore, American science fiction and fantasy author
- January 28 – Megan McDonald, American children's author
- February 2 – Jari Tervo, Finnish author
- March 11 – Dejan Stojanović, Serbian-American poet and essayist
- March 15 – Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist
- March 18 – Frédéric-Yves Jeannet, French-born writer in French and Spanish
- April 15 – Emma Thompson, English actress and screenwriter
- April 30 – Alessandro Barbero, Italian historian, novelist and essayist
- c. May 1 – Yasmina Reza, French novelist and dramatist
- May 3 – Ben Elton, English comedian, novelist and screenwriter
- May 13 – Zeruya Shalev, Israeli novelist
- June 12 – Hilary McKay, English children's writer
- June 13 – Maurice G. Dantec, French science fiction author
- July 19 – Vigdis Hjorth, Norwegian novelist
- August 27 – Jeanette Winterson, English novelist
- September 9 – Matti Rönkä, Finnish television journalist and novelist
- September 29
- October 1 – Brian P. Cleary, American humorist, author and poet
- October 31 – Neal Stephenson, American science fiction writer
- November 1 – Susanna Clarke, English novelist
- November 22 – Christoph Klimke, German writer
- December 20 – Sandra Cisneros, Mexican-born American author
- January 3 – Edwin Muir, Scottish poet, novelist and translator (born 1887)
- January 14 – G. D. H. Cole, English political theorist, economist and historian (born 1889)
- January 29 – Pauline Smith, South African novelist (born 1882)
- February 20 – Laurence Housman, English playwright and writer (born 1865)
- February 22 – Percy F. Westerman, English children's author (born 1876)
- February 23 – Luis Palés Matos, Puerto Rican poet (heart failure) (born 1898)
- February 28 – Maxwell Anderson, American playwright and film writer (born 1888)
- March 4 – W. W. Greg, English literary scholar (born 1875)
- March 17 – Galaktion Tabidze (Galaktioni), Georgian poet (suicide, born 1892)
- March 26 – Raymond Chandler, American crime writer (born 1888)
- April 14 – Julien Josephson, American screenwriter (born 1881)
- May 18 – Apsley Cherry-Garrard, English memoirist and explorer (born 1886)
- May 20 – Alfred Schütz, Austrian philosopher and sociologist (born 1899)
- June 1 – Sax Rohmer (Arthur Henry Ward), English novelist (born 1883)
- June 23 – Boris Vian, French novelist (heart attack, born 1920)
- June 30 – José Vasconcelos, Mexican poet and political writer (born 1882)
- July 3 – Johan Bojer, Norwegian novelist (born 1872)
- July 26 – Manuel Altolaguirre, Spanish poet, editor and publisher (car accident, born 1905)
- August 8 – Emil František Burian, Czech poet, journalist and playwright (born 1904)
- September 14 – Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Nepali poet, playwright, and novelist (born 1909)
- September 18 – Benjamin Péret, French poet and Surrealist (born 1899)
- October 12 – Arnolt Bronnen, Austrian playwright and director (born 1895)
- 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
- Prix Goncourt: André Schwarz-Bart, Le dernier des Justes
- 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
- Diaconescu, Ioana (2006). "Sandu Tudor și gruparea 'Rugul Aprins'". România Literară (in Romanian) (43). Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Grove Press, Inc. v. Christenberry, 175 F. Supp. 488 (SDNY 1959), 21 July 1959.
- Tim Kindseth (6 June 2010). "Anthony Burgess's Take on Brunei". TIME magazine. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Les BD oubliées D'Astérix". BDoubliées (in French). Retrieved 2013-10-03.
- Sarah Lyall (January 26, 2012). "Which is cooler: To accept a knighthood from the queen, or to turn one down?". New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
- Scot Peacock (September 2001). Contemporary Authors New Revision Series. Cengage Gale. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7876-4608-0.
- John Cusatis (2010). Research Guide to American Literature. Infobase Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-4381-3405-5.
- France. French Embassy, Press and Information Division. 1971. p. 17.
- Janet Davies (15 January 2014). The Welsh Language: A History. University of Wales Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-78316-020-4.
- Sanders, Vicki (Autumn 1988). "Dancing and the Dark Soul of Japan: An Aesthetic Analysis of "Butō"". Asian Theatre Journal. 5 (2): 148. JSTOR 25161489.
- January 22, 1961 St. Petersburg Times