Pincher Martin     William Golding     Abigail Van Buren     Dear Abby     Bang the Drum Slowly     Mark Harris     The Sweet Science     A. J. Liebling     Peyton Place     Grace Metalious     The White Negro     Norman Mailer     The Nun's Story     Kathryn Hulme     The Diary of Anne Frank

1956 Fifties

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1950s Books

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Fiction 1956


Pincher Martin 1956Pincher Martin by William Golding - Most known for his classic Lord of the Flies a few years earlier, this brief novel of a shipwrecked sailor surviving on a barren rock is not only full of human introspection, but its twist ending has been replayed often in movies, TV (Twilight Zone) and literature. William Golding



bang the drum slowly 1956

Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris - A classic baseball book with the pathos of an outcast dying player. Made into a TV movie starring Paul Newman and later a memorable performance by Robert DeNiro in the 1973 movie of the same name. Bang the Drum Slowly.



peyton place 1956



Peyton Place by Grace Metalious - Written off by critics and hated by clergy this steamy novel of a small New England town remained on the NY Times bestseller list for 59 weeks and sold 20 million copies. Grace Metalious died of cirrhosis of the liver a few years later at age 39. Peyton Place





The Nun's Story 1956The Nun's Story by Kathryn Hulme - Fictionalized story of the author's friend Marie Louise Habets who in Africa and through World War II was torn between her faith and her personal aspirations of being a nurse. Later a critically acclaimed movie starring Audrey Hepburn in the leading role.


Kingsley Amis - That Uncertain Feeling

Poul Anderson - Planet of No Return
Isaac Asimov - The Naked Sun
James Baldwin - Giovanni's Room
Saul Bellow - Seize the Day
Pierre Berton - The Mysterious North
Alfred Bester - The Stars My Destination
Anthony Burgess - Time for a Tiger
Pearl S. Buck - Imperial Woman
Agatha Christie - Dead Man's Folly
Arthur C. Clarke - The City and the Stars
A. J. Cronin - Thing of Beauty
Philip K. Dick - The Man Who Japed
Gordon R. Dickson - Alien From Arcturus
Gerald Durrell - My Family and Other Animals
Ian Fleming - Diamonds Are Forever
Romain Gary - Les racines du ciel
Henri René Guieu - Les Monstres du Néant
Marguerite Henry - Misty of Chincoteague
Frank Herbert - The Dragon in the Sea
Georgette Heyer - Sprig Muslin
C. S. Lewis - The Last Battle
Rose Macaulay - The Towers of Trebizond
Ed McBain - Cop Hater
Naguib Mahfouz - Cairo Trilogy
Nicholas Monsarrat - The Tribe That Lost Its Head
Farley Mowat - Lost in the Barrens
Agnar Mykle - Song of the Red Ruby
Edwin O'Connor - The Last Hurrah
Pier Paolo Pasolini - Ragazzi di vita
Mervyn Peake - Boy in Darkness
Mary Renault - The Last of the Wine
Kenneth Roberts - Boon Island
João Guimarães Rosa - The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
Françoise Sagan - A Certain Smile
Samuel Selvon - The Lonely Londoners
Irwin Shaw - Lucy Crown
Khushwant Singh - Train to Pakistan
Rex Stout - Might as Well Be Dead
Rex Stout - Three Witnesses
Kay Thompson - Eloise
A. E. van Vogt - The Wizard of Linn
Angus Wilson - Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
P. G. Wodehouse - French Leave
Eiji Yoshikawa - Heike Story





Literary News 1956


dear abby 1956Pauline Phillips using the pen name Abigail Van Buren debuts in newspaper syndication with an advice column called "Dear Abby". column 1st appears in newspapers. Her twin sister also began an advice column at the same time under the name Ann Landers. Dear Abby


Nobel Prize for Literature – Juan Ramón Jiménez


Fiction: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
Drama: Diary of Anne Frank by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich



Non Fiction 1956


The sweet Science 1956


The Sweet Science by A. J. Liebling -
This book of essays concerning boxing in the early 1950's is said to be the best boxing book by the best boxing author who touches the humanity of the sport. The Sweet Science.




The white negro 1956


The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster by Norman Mailer - A 9000 word essay on a generation of young white people who adopted black culture through Jazz and Swing. Those who influenced the "hipsters" of the 1940's and the "Beat Generation" of the 1950's. The White Negro



1956 Tony Awards (theater)


anne frank 1956

Anne Frank


Outstanding Play: The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett
Outstanding Dramatic Actor: Paul Muni, Inherit the Wind
Outstanding Dramatic Actress: Julie Harris, The Lark
Outstanding Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actor: Ed Begley, Inherit the Wind
Outstanding Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actress: Una Merke The Ponder Heart
Outstanding Director: Tyrone Guthrie, The Matchmaker, Six Characters in Search of an Author & Tamburlaine the Great


year that was



1960 History
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1961 History
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1962 History
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1963 History
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1964 History
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1965 History
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1966 History
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1967 History
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1968 History
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1969 History
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1971 History
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1973 History
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1975 history

1975 books
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1979 history
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The Year That Was
A retro, nostalgic multimedia journey through the years
Fiftes - Ticky Tacky - 1950s
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