Literature 1959-60

All members of the site are strongly encouraged to add to these lists based on their own interests and/or research. Additions do not need to be comprehensive. Before editing a page for the first time, please visit the 'Notice to Members' page. If you're not a member yet please send us a request via this site or email us directly at

The popular 1960 science fiction story Houston Houston, do you read? mentions ataraxia as the heroes are drugged to show their emotions. (Ataraxia is the state of mental calm attained by Skeptics in the writing of Sextus Empiricus).

Lady Chatterly's Lover is banned by the US postal service.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White is published.

Beat-affiliated poet, essayist and environmentalist Gary Snyder publishes a book of poetry Riprap in 1959:
Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
              placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
              in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
              riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way.
              straying planets,
These poems, people,
              lost ponies with
Dragging saddles –
              and rocky sure-foot trails.
The worlds like an endless
Game of Go.
              ants and pebbles
In the thin loam, each rock a word
              a creek-washed stone
Granite: ingrained
              with torment of fire and weight
Crystal and sediment linked hot
              all change, in thoughts,
As well as things.
                          Gary Snyder

Pulitzer prize awarded to James Agee for Death in the Family.

A Medicine for Melancholy, 1959, Ray Bradbury, American. Collection of short stories (science fiction).

Advertisement for Myself, 1959, Norman Mailer.

Henderson and the Rain King, 1959, Saul Bellows. Was recommended for the Pulizer in 1960 but didn't win. Synopsis: "Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status, and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as an inner voice crying out I want, I want, I want. Hoping to discover what the voice wants, Henderson goes to Africa."

Nobel prize in literature 1959 went to the Sicilian poet Salvatore Quasimodo.