26 Literary Events of the Past Decade

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It’s time-travel time! Let’s see what literary events marked the past decade.


Neil Gaiman becomes the first author to win both the Carnegie Medal in Literature and the Newbery Medal for the same book — The Graveyard Book.

Book censorship in the Republic of Ireland by the state ceases as all prior bans expire.


September 24 – The first 100 Thousand Poets for Change Day takes place, the organization having been founded by Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion in March.


January 1 – Copyright restrictions on James Joyce’s major works are lifted on the first day of the year, 70 years having passed last year since his death.

April – While attending the London Book Fair, exiled Chinese writer Ma Jian uses red paint to smear a cross over his face and a copy of his banned book Beijing Coma and calls Chinese publishers a “mouthpiece of the Chinese communist party” after being “manhandled” while attempting to present the book to Liu Binjie at the fair.

Timbuktu Manuscripts are evacuated under threat from Islamist rebels by Dr. Abdel Kader Haidara and Stephanie Diakité.


21 January – An annual Orwell Day is instituted.

26 January – Fleeing Islamist insurgents set fire to library buildings in Timbuktu containing manuscripts, mostly in Arabic, dating back to 1204.

7 March – World Book Day becomes a UNESCO-designated event marked in more than 100 countries.

October – Jo Nesbø reveals himself as Tom Johansen, author of three forthcoming novels.

Libro de los Epítomes, an early sixteenth century library catalogue compiled by Ferdinand Columbus, is rediscovered after nearly 500 years in the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection in Copenhagen.


January – Parts of two previously unknown poems by the female Greek poet Sappho are discovered on ancient papyrus.

May 22 – J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1926 translation of Beowulf is first published.

June 10 – As part of a Northern Iraq offensive, ISIL and aligned Salafi jihadist forces take Mosul, leading to extensive book burning at its libraries, as part of the destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL.


March 10 – Jacek Dukaj’s cyberpunk novel The Old Axolotl is published in its original Polish version as Starość aksolotla as purely electronic literature including hypertext and 3D printable character models.

July 7 – Jeff Lindsay releases his final novel in the “Dexter” series, writing off Dexter Morgan two years after the final episode in the television series.

November 25 – Singapore’s Media Development Authority lifts prohibitions on 240 publications under the Undesirable Publications Act.

English author Iain Pears’ novel Arcadia is accompanied as an electronic book by an interactive app allowing readers to switch between multiple narratives.


May 24 – Hundreds of US writers, including Stephen King, Robert Polito and Nicole Krauss, sign an “open letter to the American people” urging them not to support Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.


March – Emulating Kerouac’s On the Road, Ross Goodwin drives from New York to New Orleans with an artificial intelligence in a laptop hooked up to various sensors, whose output the AI turns into words that are printed on rolls of thermal paper; the result is published unedited as 1 the Road in 2018.

August – The Chinese crime novelist Liu Yongbiao is arrested, and eventually sentenced to death, for four murders committed 22 years before.

August 30 – A hard disk drive containing unfinished works by English comic fantasy novelist Sir Terry Pratchett (died 2015) is crushed by a steamroller on his instructions

December – Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” is published in The New Yorker and becomes a viral phenomenon online.


September 16 – Lady Mary Wroth’s pastoral closet drama Love’s Victory receives its first fully professional, publicly staged (filmed) performance, at Penshurst Place in England, where it was probably written about 1618.It is the first known original pastoral drama and thought to be the first original dramatic comedy to be written by a woman.

October 26 – Under the Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, a referendum in the Republic approves removing the offence of publishing or uttering blasphemous matter from the Constitution.


February 2 – The family of the U.S. fiction writer J. D. Salinger, in an interview published in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, confirm that he left a large unpublished body of work on his death in 2010, which they are preparing for publication.

April 11–13 – Trinity College Dublin holds a three-day symposium, “Finnegans Wake at 80″, marking the 80th anniversary of the book’s publication.

Sourse: Wikipedia


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