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This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1983.
- April – The Russian samizdat poet Irina Ratushinskaya is sentenced to imprisonment in a labor camp for dissident activity. While there she continues to write poetry clandestinely.
- June 2 – The Francophone Senegalese poet and politician Léopold Sédar Senghor becomes the first black African writer elected as a member of the Académie française.
- July – Barbara Cartland, who reaches the age of 82, writes 23 romantic novels this year.
- November – Bruce Bethke's short story Cyberpunk, written in 1980, is published in Amazing Stories magazine in the United States and as a novel online, giving a name to the entire science fiction subgenre of cyberpunk.
- unknown date – Salvage for the Saint by Peter Bloxsom and John Kruse is published, as the final book in a series of novels, novellas and short stories featuring the Leslie Charteris creation "The Saint", which started in 1928. (An attempt to revive the series in 1997 is unsuccessful.)
- Nelson Algren (posthumous) – The Devil's Stocking
- Isaac Asimov – The Robots of Dawn
- Greg Bear – The Wind from a Burning Woman
- Samuel Beckett – Worstward Ho
- Thomas Berger – The Feud
- Thomas Bernhard – The Loser (Der Untergeher)
- Jorge Luis Borges – Shakespeare's Memory (La memoria de Shakespeare, short stories)
- Marion Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon
- Morley Callaghan – A Time for Judas
- Raymond Carver – Cathedral
- Sandra Cisneros – The House on Mango Street
- Hugo Claus – The Sorrow of Belgium (Het verdriet van België)
- J. M. Coetzee – Life and Times of Michael K
- Jackie Collins – Hollywood Wives
- Basil Copper – The House of the Wolf
- Bernard Cornwell
- Bernard and Judy Cornwell (as Susannah Kells) – A Crowning Glory
- György Dalos – 1985
- L. Sprague de Camp
- Jim Dodge – Fup
- Stephen R. Donaldson – White Gold Wielder: Book Three of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
- Nora Ephron – Heartburn
- Ken Follett – On Wings of Eagles
- Ernest J. Gaines – A Gathering of Old Men
- John Gardner – Icebreaker
- Maarten 't Hart – De kroongetuige
- Mark Helprin – Winter's Tale
- Amado V. Hernandez – Luha ng Buwaya (Crocodile's Tear)
- Susan Hill – The Woman in Black
- Elfriede Jelinek – The Piano Teacher (Die Klavierspielerin)
- Elizabeth Jolley – Woman in a Lamp Shade
- Ernst Jünger – Aladdin's Problem
- William Kennedy – Ironweed
- Stephen King – Christine
- Dean R. Koontz – Phantoms
- Louis L'Amour – The Lonesome Gods
- Derek Lambert – The Judas Code
- John le Carré – The Little Drummer Girl
- Mary Mackey – The Last Warrior Queen
- Norman Mailer – Ancient Evenings
- James A. Michener – Poland
- R. K. Narayan – A Tiger for Malgudi
- Robert B. Parker – The Widening Gyre
- Ellis Peters
- Tim Powers – The Anubis Gates
- Terry Pratchett – The Colour of Magic
- Salman Rushdie – Shame
- Joanna Russ – The Zanzibar Cat
- Danielle Steel – Changes
- Walter Tevis – The Queen's Gambit
- Gore Vidal – Duluth
- Evangeline Walton – The Sword is Forged
- Fay Weldon – The Life and Loves of a She-Devil
- A. N. Wilson – Scandal
- Robert Anton Wilson – Prometheus Rising
- Christa Wolf – Cassandra (Kassandra)
- Roger Zelazny – Unicorn Variations (stories and essays)
Children and young peopleEdit
- Chris Van Allsburg – The Wreck of the Zephyr
- Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (with Willi Glasauer) – Beauty and the Beast
- Roald Dahl – The Witches
- Lynley Dodd – Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy (first of the Hairy Maclary and Friends series)
- Mem Fox – Possum Magic
- Marc Gallant (with Wayne Anderson, Keleck, James Marsh, Braldt Bralds, Yōko Ochida, Michel Guiré-Vaka, B. G. Sharma, Lidia Postma, Bushiri Mruta Awazi, Jean Christian Knaff, Luba Simansky, Binette Schroeder, Étienne Delessert, Martin Leman, Jocelyne Pache, Boris Vallejo, Claude Lapointe, Nicholas Price, Josef Paleček, Waldemar Świerzy, Ivan Generalić, Mark Hess, Alain Gauthier, Robert Giusti, and Robert Rodriguez) - The Cow Book
- Rumer Godden
- Dick King-Smith – The Sheep-Pig (also as Babe, the Gallant Pig)
- Harold Lamb (with George Barr and Alicia Austin) - The Sea of the Ravens
- Astrid Lindgren – The Runaway Sleigh Ride! (Titta Madicken, det snöar!)
- Bill Peet – No Such Things
- Jean Giono (with Willi Glasauer) – The Man Who Planted Trees
- Samuel Beckett – Nacht und Träume (television play, first broadcast)
- Ray Cooney – Run for Your Wife
- David Mamet – Glengarry Glen Ross
- Tom Murphy – The Gigli Concert
- Christina Reid – Tea in a China Cup
- Larry Shue – The Foreigner
- Neil Simon – Brighton Beach Memoirs
- Botho Strauß – The Park (Der Park)
- Benedict Anderson – Imagined Communities
- Pascal Bruckner – The Tears of the White Man
- L. Sprague de Camp – The Fringe of the Unknown
- L. Sprague de Camp, Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin – Dark Valley Destiny
- Tom Dardis – Harold Lloyd: The Man on the Clock
- Terry Eagleton – Literary Theory: An Introduction
- Anthony Grey – The Prime Minister Was a Spy
- Shantabai Kamble – Majya Jalmachi Chittarkatha (The Kaleidoscopic Story of My Life)
- Susan Oliver – Odyssey: A Daring Transatlantic Journey
- Renée Richards – Second Serve: The Renée Richards Story
- Anna Rosmus – Widerstand und Verfolgung am Beispiel Passau 1933–1945 (Resistance and Persecution – The Case of Passau 1933–1945)
- Nawal El Saadawi – Mudhakkirâtî fî sijn an-nisâʾ (Memoirs from the Women's Prison)
- Colin Thubron – Among the Russians
- Julia Urquidi – Lo que Varguitas no dijo (What Little Vargas Did not Say)
- A. N. Wilson – The Life of John Milton: A Biography
- January 5 – Chapman Grant, American historian and publisher (born 1887)
- February 14 – Brita von Horn, Swedish theater director, dramatist and novelist (born 1886)
- February 25 – Tennessee Williams (Thomas Lanier Williams III), American playwright (born 1911)
- March 3 – Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi), Belgian comics creator (born 1907)
- April 12 – Desmond Bagley, English novelist (complications from stroke, born 1923))
- May 4 – Shūji Terayama (寺山 修司), Japanese poet, dramatist, and film director (cirrhosis, born 1935)
- May 21 – Amal Abul-Qassem Donqol, Egyptian poet (born 1940)
- June 19 – Vilmundur Gylfason, Icelandic historian, poet and politician (suicide, born 1948)
- June 27 – Alden Nowlan, Canadian poet, novelist and playwright (born 1933)
- August 12 – Mikey Smith, Jamaican dub poet (stoned to death; born 1954)
- September 16 – Roy Andries De Groot, English-born American food writer (born 1910)
- December 5 – John Robinson, English religious writer and bishop (born 1919)
- The Australian/Vogel Literary Award: Jenny Summerville, Shields Of Trell
- Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry: Vivian Smith, Tide Country
- Miles Franklin Award: No award presented
- See 1983 Governor General's Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards.
- Prix Goncourt: Frédérick Tristan, Les Égarés
- Prix Médicis French: Jean Echenoz, Cherokee
- Prix Médicis International: Kenneth White, La Route bleue
- Booker Prize: J. M. Coetzee -Life and Times of Michael K
- Carnegie Medal for children's literature: Jan Mark, Handles
- Cholmondeley Award: John Fuller, Craig Raine, Anthony Thwaite
- Eric Gregory Award: Martin Stokes, Hilary Davies, Michael O'Neill, Lisa St Aubin De Teran, Deidre Shanahan
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction: Jonathan Keates, Allegro Postillions
- James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography: Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years
- Newdigate prize: Peter McDonald
- Whitbread Best Book Award: John Fuller, Flying to Nowhere
- Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize: Kate Daniels, The White Wave
- Nebula Award: David Brin, Startide Rising
- Newbery Medal for children's literature: Cynthia Voigt, Dicey's Song
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Marsha Norman, 'Night, Mother
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Alice Walker – The Color Purple
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Galway Kinnell – Selected Poems
- Pulitzer Prize for History: The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 by Rhys Isaac
- Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction: Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by Susan Sheehan
- "Irina Ratushinskaya: Soviet dissident who turned captivity into poetry". The Independent. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 2022-05-01. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- "Samuel Beckett, the maestro of failure". the Guardian. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
- John Le Carré (16 October 2008). The Little Drummer Girl: Soon to be a major TV series. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84456-910-6.
- "Literary Birthday - 17 November - Christopher Paolini". Writers Write. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- "Jason Reynolds named Library of Congress' national ambassador for young people's literature". CBS News. 2020-01-13. Archived from the original on 2020-05-23. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
- "Sarah Howe - Biography". Sarah Howe. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
- "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1983". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- Neil James (1999). Writers on Writing. Halstead Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-875684-27-4.
- Australian Book Review. Australian Book Review. 2001. p. 49.
- Douglas W. Alden (December 1985). French XX Bibliography. Associated University Presse. p. 9598. ISBN 978-0-933444-45-4.
- Lumea. 1984. p. 29.
- Luke Strongman (2002). The Booker Prize and the Legacy of Empire. Rodopi. p. 78. ISBN 90-420-1488-1.
- The Publishers Weekly. F. Leypoldt. 1984. p. 45.
- Ed. Mohit K. Ray (September 2007). The Atlantic Companion to Literature in English. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 435. ISBN 978-81-269-0832-5.
- Europa Publications (2 August 2004). International Who's Who in Poetry 2005. Routledge. p. 1551. ISBN 978-1-135-35519-7.
- Jenny Stringer; John Sutherland (1996). The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-century Literature in English. Oxford University Press. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-19-212271-1.
- Elizabeth A. Brennan; Elizabeth C. Clarage (1999). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 542. ISBN 978-1-57356-111-2.