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1953
British writer Ian Fleming published his first James Bond book, "Casino Royale."
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1953
Thomas Guinzburg, Donald Hall, Harold Humes, Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014) and George Plimpton founded the Paris Review. William Styron (1925-2006) helped establish the Paris Review. Matthiessen later admitted that he was a CIA recruit and used his work with the Review as a cover.
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1954
Charles Belden (b.1904), writer, died. His 1933 play “The Mystery of the Wax Museum” was turned into the 1953 film "House of Wax," the first 3-D movie, starring Vincent Price and Charles Bronson.
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1954
Alan Le May (1899-1964) authored his novel “The Searchers” (1954). The story was based on Brit Johnson, a black Texas ranch foreman, who was killed by Kiowa raiders in 1871.
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1954
Harriette Arnow authored “The Dollmaker.” The novel documented the move by Gertie Nevel from self-sufficient poverty in Kentucky to urban poverty in Detroit. It was made into a movie in 1984.
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1954
Carl G. Jung (1875-1961), Swiss-born psychoanalyst, published his work “Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.”
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1955 Sep 15
Olympia Press in Paris published Vadimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita.”
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1955 Nov 1
Dale Carnegie (b.1888), author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1937), died of Hodgkin’s disease. In 2006 he was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in Jefferson City, Missouri; joining the likes of Harry S Truman and Walt Disney.
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1955
John O’Hara authored “Ten Frederick North,” a novel about thwarted political ambition.
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1955
Halldor Laxness (1902-1998), Icelandic author, won the Nobel Prize in Literature. His 1946 novel "Independent People" helped him win the prize.
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1955
William Waugh (1903-1966), English novelist born as Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, authored “Officers and Gentlemen.”
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1955
J.P. Donleavy (1926-2017), Irish-American writer, authored his novel “The Ginger Man”.
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1956 Sep
Sanche de Gramont (23), a graduate of Yale, departed for Algeria. He spent 16 months there as a French lieutenant working for a pro-French newspaper. He later changed his name to Ted Morgan and in 2006 authored “My Battle of Algiers.”
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1956
Khushwant Singh (1915-2014), Indian lawyer and journalist, authored "Train to Pakistan," a short, powerful novel about the horrors of partition, when colonial India was carved into modern India and Pakistan and about 1 million people died amid the chaos. It became a classic.
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1956
Elie Wiesel (27), Holocaust surviver, authored his memoir “Night.”
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1957 Jun 27
Malcolm Lowry (b.1909), English novelist, died in Sussex, England. He is best known for his novel “Under the Volcano” (1947). In 2007 Michael Hofmann edited “The Voyage That Never Ends: Malcolm Lowry in His Own Words.”
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1957 Jul 23
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (b.1896), Sicilian aristocrat and writer, died. His classic novel “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard), was published in 1958. It included the line: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” David Gilmour later authored the biography “The Last Leopard” (1991).
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1957
Mrs. Leonard "Etya" Gechtoff, owner of the East and West Gallery in SF coined the term "beatnik" following the launch of Sputnik. For the self-labeled Beat Movement of the 1950s and '60s, "beat" originally meant "exhausted." It was later sometimes interpreted as "beatific" and also derisively as "beatnik." Centered in the Bohemian artist communities in California and New York, the movement was social and literary with adherents adopting a style of seedy dress and the "hip" vocabulary of jazz musicians. Major figures of the movement were novelist Jack Kerouac and poet Allen Ginsberg.
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1957
Carl G. Jung (1875-1961), Swiss-born psychoanalyst, published his work “Memories, Dreams, Reflections.”
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1957
Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), expatriate British writer, authored “Justine,” the first volume his 4-part Alexandria Quartet (1957-1960).
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1957
Lawrence Durrell authored “Bitter Lemons.” The autobiographical work described the three years (1953–1956) he spent on the island of Cyprus.
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1957
Italo Calvino, Italian writer, authored his novel “Il Barone Rampante” (The Baron in the Trees). It tells the adventures of a boy who climbs up a tree to spend the rest of his life inhabiting an arboreal kingdom.
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1957
The Vietnam Writers’ Association (VWA) was founded on the lines of cultural association in the Soviet bloc. In 2014 the alternative League of Independent Vietnamese Writers was founded.
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1958 Aug 18
The 1st US edition of the novel "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov was published by Putnam. The 1st French edition was in 1955.
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1958
Graham Greene published his novel “Our Man in Havana.” It captured Cuba on the cusp of sweeping change.
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1958
Carlos Fuentes (b.1928), Mexican author, published his first novel “Where the Air Is Clear.” It was set in Mexico City in 1956-1957 when he was a student there on the G.I. Bill.
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1958
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Russian writer, completed the first draft of "In the First Circle," a novel, set during Stalin's rule. It was about the effects of incarceration and forced labor on the minds and souls of innocent and intelligent men. He immediately put it through two revisions. He wrote 4th draft in 1962. In 1968 it was first published in the West. A Russian edition came out in 1978. A new edition in 2009 included parts left out in earlier editions.
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1958
Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010), English writer, authored his novel “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.”
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1958
Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), expatriate British writer, authored “Mountolive,” the third volume his 4-part Alexandria Quartet (1957-1960).
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1959 Jan 27
Aldous Huxley (64), British author of Brave New World (1932), attended a conference at the Univ. of California Medical school and warned that manipulation of personality by drugs is already here.
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1959 Mar 18
The publisher of Big Table Magazine deposited at the Chicago Post Office several hundred copies of its first issue of Big Table Magazine. The contents consisted of a novel by Jack Kerouac, "Old Angel Midnight," two poems by Edward Dahlberg, "Ten Episodes from Naked Lunch" by William S. Burroughs and three poems by Gregory Corso. The Post Office General Counsel later alleged that the first and third articles were obscene and filthy. The magazine was published by Roland Pitschel (1942-2009) and his sister.
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1959
Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010), English writer, authored his novel “The Loneliness of a Long-distance Runner.”
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1960 Jan 4
Albert Camus (1913-1960), French writer, died in an automobile accident at age 46. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1957. His work included the play “Caligula” and a collection of journalistic pieces for the clandestine newspaper Combat (1944-1947). In 1997 Oliver Todd wrote the biography “Albert Camus.” In 1979 Herbert Lottman also wrote a biography: “Albert Camus.” In 2006 Camus’ WW II pieces, edited by Jacqueline Levi-Valensi, were published as ”Camus at Combat.” In 2010 Virgil Tanase authored “Albert Camus.”
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1960
John Barth authored his novel “The Sot-Weed Factor.”
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1960
Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967), Luxembourg-born US publisher and inventor, won his own Hugo award as "The Father of Magazine Science Fiction."
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1960
Harper Lee (b.1926), American novelist, authored "To Kill a Mockingbird." It was made into a film in 1962. In 2006 Charles J. Shields authored “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee.”
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1960
Edmund Wilson and Joseph Mitchell authored “Apologies to the Iroquois.” It memorialized the seizure by Robert Moses, the unelected head of the New York Power Authority, of 600 acres by eminent domain for a power reservoir near Niagara Falls.
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1960
Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), Japanese writer, authored “Utage No Ato “After the Banquet), a somewhat disguised account of certain aspects of an actual political campaign.
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1960
Graham Green (1904-1991) authored “A Burnt-Out Case,” centered on a leper colony in the Congo.
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1960
Naftali Herts Kon (b.1910) was imprisoned in Warsaw on fabricated charges of spying for Israel. He had just completed a report from Romania on the persecution of political opponents and Jews. Kon had spent the years between 1949 and 1956 at Soviet labor camps among other persecuted intellectuals. He died in Israel in 1971, never having recovered from the loss of his writings.
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1960
Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990), expatriate British writer, authored “Clea,” the fourth volume his 4-part Alexandria Quartet (1957-1960).
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1961 Jan 10
Dashiell Hammett (66), author, died in NYC from throat cancer. In 1983 Diane Johnson authored his biography. His books included “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Thin Man,” both of which were turned into films. He wrote “The Maltese Falcon” while living in San Francisco at 891 Post St., which was also given as the address of detective Sam Spade.
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1961 Jul 1
Louis-Ferdinand Celine (b.1894), French physician, author, anti-Semite, died. His books included “Journey to the End of Night” (1932).
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1961 Dec 12
Frantz Fanon (b.1925), Martinique-born writer, psychiatrist, and revolutionary died in Washington, DC. His work foretold of Third World liberation struggles. His book “Wretched of the Earth” (1961) celebrated anti-colonial revolutionaries. In 2008 John Edgar Wideman authored his novel “Fanon” based on Fanon’s life.
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1961
Ludovic Kennedy (1919-2009), Scotland-born writer, authored “10 Rillington Place,” the story of Timothy Evans, who was hanged on 1950 for a murder he did not commit. The book was later said to have played a role in ending capital punishment in Britain.
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1962 Jan 16
R.H. Tawney (b.1880), English economic historian, died. His books include “Equality” (1931). It was here that he wrote “Freedom for the pike is death to the minnows.”
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1962 Jun 1
The Conference of African Writers of English Expression opened at Makerere, Uganda. The CIA was the original funder of the Makerere conference in an effort to influence the eventual decolonization of east Africa.
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1962 Jun 2
Vita Sackville-West (b.1892), English poet, novelist and gardener, died. She helped create her own gardens in Sissinghurst, Kent. She was famous for her exuberant aristocratic life, her strong marriage, and her passionate affairs with women like novelist Virginia Woolf. Her son Nigel gave her estate to the National Trust, a conservation charity. In 2008 Adam Nicolson authored “Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History.”
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1962
Helen Gurley Brown (1922-2012) authored "Sex and the Single Girl." In 2009 Jennifer Scanlon authored “Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown.” In 2016 Brooke Hauser authored “Enter Helen: Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman.”
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1962
Jack Kerouac authored his novel “Big Sur.” Poet Lenore Kandel (1932-2009) was portrayed as Romana Swartz in the novel. Poet Lew Welch was portrayed as Dave Wain.
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1962
Anthony Burgess authored his dystopian novel “A Clockwork Orange.” It was made into a 1971 movie by Stanley Kubrick.
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1962
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian educator, authored “The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man.” In it he analyzes the effects of mass media, especially the printing press, on European culture and human consciousness.
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1962
Sebastian de Grazia (1917-2000), political scientist and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, authored “Of Time, Work and Leisure.”
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1963 Feb 11
Sylvia Plath (30), American writer, committed suicide by gas in London after Ted Hughes left her for another woman. Her autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar" was published this year. She had been married to English poet Ted Hughes (d.1998), who in 1998 published a 198 page book of verse "Birthday Letters" based on their relationship. The woman for whom Hughes left Plath committed suicide 5 years later. Plath’s 1981 "Collected Poems" won a Pulitzer Prize. The Plath book of poems "Ariel" was published after her death. In 2000 her uncensored diaries: "The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath," were edited by Karen V. Kukil. Carl Rollyson authored “American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath” (2013). Andrew Wilson authored “Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted” (2013).
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1963 Jun 17
John Cowper Powys (b.1872), English author, died. In 2007 Morine Krissdottir authored “Descent of Memory: The Life of John Cowper Powys.” His 10 novels included “Wolf Solent,” the story of a young man’s rebellion against the modern world.
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1963 Nov 22
Aldous L. Huxley (69), English author (Devils of Loudon, Brave New World), died in Los Angeles.
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1963 Nov 22
C.S. Lewis, English author the Narnia series and other books, died of osteoporosis. In 2005 Alan Jacobs authored “The Narnian,” a biography of Lewis. In 2013 Alister McGrath authored “C.S. Lewis--A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet.”
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1963
James Michener (d.1997 at 90) wrote his novel "Caravans," the fruit of wide-ranging trips to Afghanistan in the mid-1950s.
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1963
John le Carre (b.1931 as David Cornwell) authored “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”
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1964 Mar 20
Brendan Behan (b.1923), Irish playwright and author, died in Dublin.
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