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1953 in Literature
This article presents lists of literary events and publications in 1953.
- January 5 - Waiting For Godot, a play by Irish writer Samuel Beckett, has its first public stage première in French as En attendant Godot at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris. Beckett's novel The Unnamable is also published in French this year.
- January 22 - The Crucible, a historical drama by Arthur Miller written as an allegory of McCarthyism, opens on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre.
- February 19 - Censorship: The State of Georgia approves the first literature censorship board in the United States.
- April 13 - The face of popular literature changes with the publication of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale, introducing the British spy character James Bond.
- May - Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin is published. In 2001, the semi-autobiographical book will be named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editors of the American Modern Library.
- June 17 - Uprising of 1953 in East Germany: Bertolt Brecht continues uninterrupted with rehearsal for the première of Erwin Strittmatter's Katzgraben: Szenen aus dem Bauernleben with the Berliner Ensemble, an incident which inspires Günter Grass's Die Plebejer proben den Aufstand ("The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising", 1966).
- July 13 - Opening of first Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada in Stratford, Ontario.
- October - The literary magazine Encounter begins publication in London under the editorship of American political journalist Irving Kristol and English poet Stephen Spender with covert sponsorship by the Central Intelligence Agency.
- October 21 - Shortly after being made a Knight Bachelor, English actor Sir John Gielgud is convicted of "persistently importuning male persons for an immoral purpose" (cottaging) in Chelsea, London.
- Ronald Harwood becomes Sir Donald Wolfit's dresser.
- John Dickson Carr writing as Carter Dickson publishes his final Sir Henry Merrivale mystery novel.
- After five years as an English teacher, Frederick Buechner moves to New York City to become a full-time writer.
- Federico García Lorca's Obras Completas (Complete Works) are published in Spain, as a prohibition on his work is lifted there.
- American novelist Howard Fast is awarded the Stalin Peace Prize.
- Brian O'Nolan is obliged to retire from a senior post in the Civil Service of the Republic of Ireland.
- French journalist Jean Borel's article "Zola a-t-il été assassiné?" in Libération suggests that Émile Zola's death in 1902 was not accidental.
- City Lights Bookstore is established in San Francisco by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin.
Children and young people
- January 7 - Dionne Brand, Canadian poet
- February 5 - Giannina Braschi, Puerto Rican-born poet and novelist
- February 10 - John Shirley, American science fiction and horror writer
- February 18 - Peter Robinson, English poet
- March 12 - Carl Hiaasen, American journalist and novelist
- March 25 - John Tierney, American journalist
- April 3
- April 20 - Sebastian Faulks, English novelist
- April 23 - Roberto Bolaño, Chilean-born fiction writer (died 2003)
- May 10 - Christopher Paul Curtis, American children's writer
- May 12 - Neil Astley, English author, poet, and academic
- May 19 - Victoria Wood, English comedian and writer (died 2016)
- July 29 - Frank McGuinness, Irish dramatist, poet and novelist
- August 1 - Howard Kurtz, American journalist and author
- August 10 - Mark Doty, American poet and memoirist
- September 5 - Herman Koch, Dutch fiction writer and actor
- September 10 - Pat Cadigan, American science fiction author
- September 23 - Nicholas Witchell, English television journalist
- November 5 - Joyce Maynard, American memoirist and fiction writer
- Unknown date - George Dyson, American science historian
- April 4 - Rachilde (Marguerite Vallette-Eymery), French author (born 1860)
- April 6 - Idris Davies, Welsh poet in Welsh and English (abdominal cancer, born 1905)
- April 9 - C. E. M. Joad, English philosopher and broadcaster (born 1891)
- April 13 - Alice Milligan, Irish poet (born 1865)
- April 24 - Alfred Vierkandt, German sociologist (born 1867)
- June 5 - Moelona, Welsh-language novelist and translator (born 1877)
- June 25 - Richard Jebb, English journalist (born 1874)
- July 6 - Julia de Burgos, Puerto Rican poet in Spanish (pneumonia, born 1914)
- July 16 - Hilaire Belloc, English humorous poet, essayist and travel writer (born 1870)
- August 30 - Maurice Nicoll, English psychiatrist and writer on psychology (born 1884)
- November 8
- November 9 - Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and author (pneumonia, born 1914)
- November 27
- November 30 - Francis Picabia, French poet and painter 1879)
- December 8 - Claude Scudamore Jarvis, writer, Arabist and naturalist (born 1879)
- Unknown dates
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Edward Osmond, A Valley Grows Up
- Christopher Award: Marie Killilea, Karen
- Governor General's Award for Poetry or Drama: Douglas LePan, The Net and the Sword 
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Margaret Kennedy, Troy Chimneys
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Carola Oman, Sir John Moore
- National Book Award for Fiction: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Ann Nolan Clark, Secret of the Andes
- Nobel Prize for Literature: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
- Premio Nadal: Luisa Forrellad, Siempre en capilla
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: William Inge, Picnic
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Archibald MacLeish, Collected Poems 1917-1952
- Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: Arthur Waley
- ^ "The Top 100? 100 best novels list draws heavy dose of criticism", via CNN. By Jamie Allen, May 6, 1999
- ^ "Fine For "Persistently Importuning"". The Times (52759). London. 22 October 1953. p. 5.
Described on the charge sheet as a clerk.
- ^ O'Toole, Fintan (2011-01-01). "The Fantastic Flann O'Brien". The Irish Times. Retrieved .
A combination of his gradually deepening alcoholism and his habit of making derogatory remarks about senior politicians in his newspaper columns led to his forced retirement from the civil service in 1953. (He departed, recalled a colleague, "in a final fanfare of f***s".)
- ^ Mounier-Kuhn, Angélique (2014-08-08). "L'asphyxie d'Émile Zola". Le Temps. pp. 8-9.
- ^ "Cumulative List of Winners of the Governor General's Literary Awards", Canada Council. Web, February 10, 2011