1939 in literature

1939 in literature

The year 1939 in literature involved some significant events and new books.


*December 25 - "A Christmas Carol" is read before a radio audience for the first time.
*Frank Herbert lies about his age to get his first job as a local newspaper reporter.
*Jean-Paul Sartre is drafted into the French Army.
*Robert A. Heinlein's first published short story appears in "Astounding Magazine".

New books

*Eric Ambler - "The Mask of Dimitrios"
*Sholem Asch - "The Nazarene"
*William Attaway - "Let Me Breathe Thunder"
*Arna Wendell Bontemps - "Drums at Dusk"
*Pearl S. Buck - "The Patriot"
*Edgar Rice Burroughs - "Tarzan the Magnificent"
*John Dickson Carr writing as "Carter Dickson" - "The Reader is Warned"
*Aime Cesaire - "Cahier d'un Retour au Pays Natal"
*Raymond Chandler - "The Big Sleep"
*Agatha Christie
**"And Then There Were None"
**"Murder is Easy"
*William Faulkner - "If I Forget Thee Jerusalem (The Wild Palms/Old Man)"
*Vardis Fisher - "Children of God"
*Zona Gale - "Magna"
*Henry Green - "Party Going"
*Ernest Hemingway - "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"
*Zora Neale Hurston - "Moses, Man Of The Mountain"
*Aldous Huxley - "After Many a Summer"
*James Joyce - "Finnegans Wake"
*Arthur Koestler - "The Gladiators"
*Richard Llewellyn - "How Green Was My Valley"
*H. P. Lovecraft - "The Outsider and Others"
*Lucy Maud Montgomery - "Anne of Ingleside"
*John O'Hara - "Files on Parade"
*George Orwell - "Coming Up for Air"
*Elliot Paul - "The Mysterious Mickey Finn"
*Ellery Queen - "The Dragon's Teeth"
*Katherine Anne Porter - "Pale Horse, Pale Rider"
*Clayton Rawson - "The Footprints on the Ceiling"
*Seymour Reit- "The Friendly Ghost"
*Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - "Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des hommes)"
*John Steinbeck - "The Grapes of Wrath"
*Rex Stout - "Some Buried Caesar"
*Dalton Trumbo - "Johnny Got His Gun"
*S. S. Van Dine - "The Winter Murder Case"
*Elio Vittorini - "Conversations in Sicily" ("Conversazione in Sicilia")
*Ernest Vincent Wright - "Gadsby"

New drama

*Philip Barry - "The Philadelphia Story"
*Bertolt Brecht - "Mother Courage and Her Children (Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder)"
*T. S. Eliot - "The Family Reunion"
*Lillian Hellman - "The Little Foxes"
*George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart -"The Man Who Came to Dinner"
*Joseph Kesselring - "Arsenic and Old Lace"
*Clare Boothe Luce - "Margin of Erro


*T. S. Eliot - "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats"
*Javier del Granado - "Rosas Pálidas (Pale Roses)"


*Lord David Cecil - "The Young Melbourne and the Story of his Marriage with Caroline Lamb"
*Savitri Devi - "A Warning to the Hindus"
*Erwin Panofsky - "Studies in Iconology"
*Ed Ricketts - "Between Pacific Tides"
*Ronald Syme - "The Roman Revolution"


*Michael Moorcock, British science fiction author
*January 29 - Germaine Greer, feminist author
*April 12 - Alan Ayckbourn, dramatist
*June 5 - Margaret Drabble, novelist
*August 1 - Robert James Waller, American novelist
*October 6 - Melvyn Bragg, novelist, critic and television presenter
*October 9 - John Pilger, journalist
*October 10 - Clive James, writer, humorist and television personality
*November 17 - Auberon Waugh, journalist and son of Evelyn Waugh
*November 18 - Margaret Atwood, novelist and poet
*"date unknown" - Ferdinand Mount, journalist and novelist
*"date unknown" - Iris Gower, romantic novelist


*Solomon Cleaver, storyteller and novelist
*January 28 - William Butler Yeats, poet
*February 18 - Okamoto Kanoko, tanka poet
*February 22 - Antonio Machado, poet
*March 7 - Ludwig Fulda
*March 23 - Richard Halliburton, travel writer
*April 11 - S. S. Van Dine, crime fiction writer
*May 27 - Joseph Roth, novelist
*June 26 - Ford Madox Ford, novelist
*July 8 - Havelock Ellis, sexual psychologist and controversial writer
*September - Ethel M. Dell, romantic novelist
*September 6 - Arthur Rackham, book illustrator
*October 23 - Zane Grey, popular author of westerns
*December 2 - Llewelyn Powys, biographer and autobiographer


* James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Aldous Huxley "After Many a Summer Dies the Swan"
* James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: David C. Douglas, "English Scholars"
* Newbery Medal for children's literature: Elizabeth Enright, "Thimble Summer"
* Nobel Prize for literature: Frans Eemil Sillanpää
* Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Robert E. Sherwood, "Abe Lincoln in Illinois "
* Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: John Gould Fletcher: "Selected Poems"
* Pulitzer Prize for the Novel: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - "The Yearling"

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