This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1887.
- February – Oscar Wilde publishes "The Canterville Ghost", his first short story, in The Court and Society Review.
- March 30 – Théâtre Libre, established by André Antoine to promote naturalism in theatre, gives its first performances in Paris, originally as an amateur ensemble.
- April 22 – Syracuse University in New York State purchases the Ranke Library from the estate of historian Leopold von Ranke, outbidding the Prussian government.
- November – Arthur Conan Doyle's first detective novel, A Study in Scarlet, is published in Beeton's Christmas Annual by Ward Lock & Co. in London, introducing the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson (illustrated by D. H. Friston).
- December 5 – The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) comes into effect.
- December 15 – The Romanian literary magazine Revista Nouă is launched in Bucharest by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, who answers a request made by Ioan Bianu, Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea, Alexandru Vlahuță and others. The first issue, illustrated by George Demetrescu Mirea, hosts Delavrancea's Hagi Tudose and Petre Ispirescu's Sarea în bucate (a localized folkloric version of the King Leir myth).
- Futabatei Shimei writes and begins to publish The Drifting Cloud (浮雲, Ukigumo), the first modern novel in Japan.
- George Hutchinson establishes Hutchinson & Co. as a publisher in London.
- John Lane and Elkin Mathews set up in partnership under the name The Bodley Head in London, originally as antiquarian booksellers.
Children and young peopleEdit
- February 1 – Charles Nordhoff, English-born author (died 1947)
- February 3 – Georg Trakl, Austrian poet (died of overdose 1914)
- February 11 – John van Melle, South African writer (died 1953)
- February 18 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek poet (died 1957)
- March 3 – Rupert Brooke, English poet (died 1915)
- March 9 – Ion Buzdugan, Romanian poet and political figure (died 1967)
- March 14 – Sylvia Beach (Nancy Woodbridge Beach), American publisher and memoirist (died 1962)
- May 15 – Edwin Muir, Scottish poet and translator (died 1959)
- June 2 – Orrick Glenday Johns, American poet and playwright (died 1946)
- July 1 – Amber Reeves, New Zealand-born English scholar, feminist and novelist (died 1981)
- September 1 – Blaise Cendrars (Frédéric-Louis Sauser), Swiss-born French writer (died 1961)
- September 8 – Constantin Beldie, Romanian literary promoter and memoirist (died 1954)
- October 1 – Barbu Nemțeanu, Romanian poet and translator (died 1919)
- December 15 – A. de Herz, Romanian playwright and journalist (died 1936)
- February 10 – Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood), English novelist (born 1814)
- February 19 – Multatuli (Eduard Douwes Dekker), Dutch-born writer (born 1820)
- April 23 – John Ceiriog Hughes, Welsh poet and folk song collector (born 1832)
- May 4 – William Murdoch, Scottish-born Canadian poet (born 1823)
- August 20 – Jules Laforgue, French poet (born 1860)
- August 25 – Emma Jane Guyton (Worboise), English novelist and magazine editor (born 1825)
- October 12 – Dinah Craik, English novelist and poet (born 1826)
- November 2 – Alfred Domett, English-born New Zealand poet and politician (born 1811)
- November 19 – Emma Lazarus, American poet (born 1849)
- December 5 – Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (born 1804)
- Unknown date – Frances Browne, Irish poet and novelist (born 1816)