Mid-Twentieth Century Literature
1941 to 1960 CE

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1941
Blithe Spirit
Noel Coward
England
Drama
 
USA
Story
 
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
James Thurber
USA
Story
 
A Curtain of Green
Eudora Welty
USA
Stories
 
The Outsider
Albert Camus
Algeria
Novel
 
The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand
USA
Novel
1944
Antigone
Jean Anouilh
France
Drama
 
Our Lady of the Flowers
Jean Genet
France
Novel
 
No Exit
Jean-Paul Sartre
France
Drama
 
Fictions
Jorge Luis Borges
Argentina
Stories
 
The Horse’s Mouth
Joyce Cary
England
Novel
1945
The Tin Flute
Gabrielle Roy
Canada
Novel
 
Loving
Henry Green
England
Novel
 
England
Novella
 
Evelyn Waugh
England
Novel
 
The Madwoman of Chaillot
Jean Giraudoux
France
Drama
 
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Bertolt Brecht
Germany
Drama
 
The Glass Bead Game
Herman Hesse
Germany
Novel
 
The Glass Menagerie
Tennessee Williams
USA
Drama
 
Black Boy
Richard Wright
USA
Novel
1945–1949
Roads to Freedom
Jean-Paul Sartre
France
Novels
1946
Zorba the Greek
Nikos Kazantzakis
Greece
Novel
 
Mr. President
Miguel Angel Asturias
Guatemala
Novel
 
Lord Weary's Castle
Robert Lowell
USA
Poetry
 
The Iceman Cometh
Eugene O’Neill
USA
Drama
 
All the King’s Men
Robert Penn Warren
USA
Novel
 
Fern Hill
Dylan Thomas
Wales
Poem
 
Bridge on the Drina
Ivo Andric
Yugoslavia
Novel
1946–1958
Paterson
William Carlos Williams
USA
Poetry
1946–1959
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake
England
Novels
1947
Under the Volcano
Malcolm Lowry
Canada
Novel
 
The Path to the Nest of Spiders
Italo Calvino
Italy
Novel
 
The Age of Anxiety
W.H. Auden
England
Poetry
 
The Maids
Jean Genet
France
Drama
 
Eustace and Hilda
L.P. Hartley
England
Novel
 
Snow Country
Yasunari Kawabata
Japan
Novel
 
A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams
USA
Drama
1948
Ring Round the Moon
Jean Anouilh
France
Drama
 
Cry, the Beloved Country
Alan Paton
South Africa
Novel
 
The Heart of the Matter
Graham Greene
England
Novel
 
Death Fugue
Paul Célan
Romania
Poem
1949
The Second Sex
Simone de Beauvoir
France
Novel
 
Men of Maize
Miguel Angel Asturias
Guatemala
Novel
 
The Third Man
Graham Greene
England
Novel
 
The Man With the Golden Arm
Nelson Algren
USA
Novel
 
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller
USA
Drama
 
The Sheltering Sky
Paul Bowles
USA
Novel
 
Shane
Jack Schaefer
USA
Novel
1950
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis
England
Novel
 
England
Novel
 
The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury
USA
Stories
 
USA
Stories
 
Come Back, Little Sheba
William Inge
USA
Drama
1951
Memoirs of Hadrian
Marguerite Yourcenar
Belgium
Novel
 
The Day of the Triffids
John Wyndham
England
Novel
 
The End of the Affair
Graham Greene
England
Novel
 
Spartacus
Howard Fast
USA
Novel
 
The Autumn Garden
Lillian Hellman
USA
Novel
 
From Here to Eternity
James Jones
USA
Novel
 
Lie Down in Darkness
William Styron
USA
Novel
 
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas
Wales
Poem
1951–1953
The Trilogy
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
Novels
1951–1975
A Dance to the Music of Time
Anthony Powell
England
Novels
1951–1993
USA
Novels
1952
The Chairs
Eugene Ionesco
France
Drama
 
Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
Drama
 
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
USA
Novel
 
Wise Blood
Flannery O'Connor
USA
Novel
 
Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White
USA
Novel
1953
Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
England
Novel
 
The Adventures of Augie March
Saul Bellow
USA
Novel
 
The Waking
Theodore Roethke
USA
Poetry
 
Ray Bradbury
USA
Novel
1954
Lucky Jim
Kingsley Amis
England
Novel
 
Lord of the Flies
William Golding
England
Novel
 
Under the Net
Iris Murdoch
England
Novel
 
The Mandarins
Simone de Beauvoir
France
Novel
 
Go Tell It on the Mountain
James Baldwin
USA
Novel
 
Under Milk Wood
Dylan Thomas
Wales
Drama
1954–1955
Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
England
Novels
1955
Judith Hearne
Brian Moore
Canada
Novel
 
Pedro Paramo
Juan Rulfo
Mexico
Novel
 
The Quiet American
Graham Greene
England
Novel
 
The Less Deceived
Philip Larkin
England
Poetry
 
The Recognitions
William Gaddis
USA
Novel
 
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Patricia Highsmith
USA
Novel
 
Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg
USA
Poetry
 
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Flannery O'Connor
USA
Story
 
A Child's Christmas in Wales
Dylan Thomas
Wales
Memoir
1956
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
João Guimarães Rosa
Brazil
Novel
 
Look Back in Anger
John Osburn
England
Drama
 
The Visit
Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Switzer.
Drama
 
Long Day’s Journey into Night
Eugene O’Neill
USA
Drama
 
Things of This World
Richard Wilbur
USA
Poetry
 
Night
Elie Wiesel
USA
Memoir
 
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tennessee Williams
USA
Drama
1956–1957
The Cairo Trilogy
Naguib Mahfouz
Egypt
Novels
1957
Voss
Patrick White
Australia
Novel
 
Room at the Top
John Braine
England
Novel
 
England
Novel
 
Jealousy
Alain Robbe-Grillet
France
Novel
 
Endgame
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
Drama
 
Doctor Zhivago
Boris Pasternak
Russia
Novel
 
The Wapshot Chronicle
John Cheever
USA
Novel
 
USA
Novel
 
Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand
USA
Novel
1957–1960
The Alexandria Quartet
Laurence Durrell
England
Novels
1958
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
Jorge Amado
Brazil
Novel
 
The Caretaker
Harold Pinter
England
Drama
 
The Once and Future King
T.H. White
England
Novel
 
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Alan Sillitoe
England
Novel
 
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
Nigeria
Novel
 
The Leopard
Giusseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa
Italy
Novel
 
Lolita
Valdimir Nabokov
Russia
Novel
 
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Truman Capote
USA
Novella
 
A Coney Island of the Mind
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
USA
Poetry
 
The Tin Drum
Günter Grass
Germany
Novel
 
The Golden Notebook
Doris Lessing
England
Novel
 
Henderson the Rain King
Saul Bellow
USA
Novel
 
Naked Lunch
William S. Burroughs
USA
Novel
 
Life Studies
Robert Lowell
USA
Poetry
1960
The Woman at the Washington Zoo
Randal Jarrell
USA
Poetry
 
To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee
USA
Novel
 
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller
USA
Novel
1960–1990
Rabbit Angstrom
John Updike
USA
Novels

 
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How works were selected | What columns mean

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The Complete Stories
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Mildred Pierce
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The Little Prince
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Animal Farm
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The Naked and the Dead
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Nineteen Eighty-Four
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Cabbagetown
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A Town Like Alice
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I, Robot
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Foundation
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The Old Man and the Sea
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East of Eden
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The Long Goodbye
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The Demolished Man
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Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs
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The Stars My Destination
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On the Beach
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On the Road
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