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. (August 2013)
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1789.
- January 21 – William Hill Brown's anonymous sentimental epistolary novel The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature, usually considered the first American novel, is published in Boston.
- February 7 – Première of John Philip Kemble's production of Shakespeare's Coriolanus with himself in the title rôle and his sister Sarah Siddons as Volumnia, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
- December – Première of Olympe de Gouges's abolitionist play Zamore et Mirza (written 1784; published 1788) as L'Esclavage des nègres ("Slavery of the negroes"); shut down after three performances.
- December 28 – Première of Anton Tomaž Linhart's comedy Županova Micka ("Micka, the Mayor's Daughter", an adaptation of Joseph Richter's Die Feldmühle), the first theatrical work in the Slovene language.
- Publication in Calcutta of Sir William Jones's Śacontalā, or the fatal ring: an Indian drama, a translation of Kālidāsa's 4th/5th century play Abhijñānaśākuntalam, the first translation of a classical Indian drama into a Western language.
- Robert Burns is appointed an exciseman in Scotland.
- Tomás António Gonzaga is arrested for complicity in the Inconfidência Mineira in Brazil.
- Friedrich Schiller is appointed professor of history and philosophy at Jena.
- The Children's Magazine, the first American periodical for children, is published in Hartford, Connecticut. It lasts only three months.
- François Guillaume Ducray-Duminil – Petit Jacques et Georgette, ou les Petits montagnards auvergnats (Little Jacques and Georgette, or the Little Mountain Dwellers of Auvergne)