A Mississippi Writer Timeline

A Compendium of Births, Deaths, Publications, Awards, and Other Events in Mississippi’s Literary History

Note: In most cases, timeline entries are added as articles on individual authors are added to this web site. The hyperlinks listed below connect to biographical and critical articles about that author. Articles on individual writers will continue to be added in the coming months. If an author’s name does not appear on this timeline or if it appears but is not a hyperlink, the article for that author has not yet been added to the database. Please try again later.


[Books] Publications:

[Stage Play] Tennessee Williams's play Period of Adjustment produced on Broadway.

[Film] Premiere of the film The Fugitive Kind, based on the play by Tennessee Williams.

[Death] November 28: Richard Wright dies of a heart attack in Paris.


[Books] Publications:

[Stage Play] December 28: Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams opens on Broadway at the Royale Theatre in New York.

[Film] Premiere of the film Sanctuary, based on the novels Sanctuary and Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner.

[Film] Premiere of the films The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone and Summer and Smoke, both based on works by Tennessee Williams.


[Books] Publications:

[Birth] March 26: Phillip Thompson born in Columbus, Mississippi.

[Film] Premiere of the films Sweet Bird of Youth and Period of Adjustment, based on works by Tennessee Williams.

[Award] William Faulkner receives his second Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Reivers and a Gold Medal for Fiction from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

[Award] Walker Percy receives the National Book Award for fiction for his novel The Moviegoer.

[News] September 30: As James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, riots begin on campus in which two people were killed and many others injured. National Guard troops are quickly committed and President Kennedy orders 20,000 federal troops to the area.

[Death] July 6: William Faulkner dies of a heart attack in Byhalia, Mississippi. He is buried July 7 in St. Peter's Cemetery in Oxford.


[Books] Publications:
  • Black Cloud, White Cloud: Two Novellas and Two Stories, by Ellen Douglas (Houghton).
  • My Brother Bill: An Affectionate Reminiscence, by John Faulkner (Trident Press).
  • The Civil War: A Narrative. Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian, history by Shelby Foote (Random House).
  • Sissie, a novel by John Alfred Williams (Farrar. Straus)
  • Lawd Today, a novel by Richard Wright (Avon).

[Birth] Donna Tartt born in Greenwood, Mississippi.

[Stage Play] January 16: Tennessee Williams play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore opens on Broadway. It closes after 69 performances.

[Death] January 6: Stark Young died in New York. He was buried in Friendship Cemetery in Como, Mississippi.

[Death] March 28: John Faulkner died in Oxford, Mississippi and was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford. Because of disagreement over the spelling of his name, it is spelled “Falkner” on one side of the stone, “Faulkner” on the other, and “Fa(u)lkner” on the flat stone topping his grave.

[Death] June 12: Civil rights activist Medgar Evers was shot and killed by an assassin’s bullet in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi. The accused assassin, white supremacist Byron de La Beckwith, is tried twice over the next few years but each trial ends in mistrial as the all-white juries could not reach a verdict. He would finally be convicted for the crime more than 30 years after Evers’ death.


[Books] Publications:
  • Upton and the Army , by Stephen E. Ambrose (Louisiana State University Press)
  • The Loser, by Borden Deal (Doubleday)
  • Faulkner at West Point, interviewsby William Faulkner, edited by Joseph L. Fant and Robert Ashley (Random House).
  • Three Novels: Follow Me, Down, Jordan County, Love in a Dry Season, fiction by Shelby Foote (Dial Press).
  • The Protectors: The Heroic Story of the Narcotics Agents, Citizens and Officials in Their Unending, Unsung Battles against Organized Crime in America and Abroad, by "J. Dennis Gregory" [John Alfred Williams] (Farrar, Straus).
  • The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, a play by Tennessee Williams (New Directions).
  • Grand, a play by Tennessee Williams (House of Books).
  • The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, a play by Tennessee Williams (New Directions).
  • The Shoe Bird, a juvenile book by Eudora Welty (Harcourt).

[Film] Premiere of the film Night of the Iguana, based on the play by Tennessee Williams.

[News] August: During the height of "Freedom Summer," a massive voter registration and education effort for blacks, three civil rights workers — Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner — disappear near Philadelphia, Mississippi. After a massive investigation by the FBI and other federal agencies, their bodies are found forty days after their disappearance in an earthen dam in Neshoba County. A Neshoba County deputy sheriff and six other defendant are later found guilty in federal court for violating the civil rights of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.

[Death] April 16: David Edgar Guyton dies.


[Books] Publications:
  • The Tobacco Men, by Borden Deal (Holt)
  • A Long Way to Go, by Borden Deal (Doubleday)
  • William Faulkner of Oxford, edited by James W. Webb and A. Wigfall Green with selections by Murry C. Falkner (Louisiana State University Press).
  • Time Piece, screenplay by Jim Henson (produced by Contemporary Films).
  • The South Today: 100 Years after Appomatox, edited and foreward by Willie Morris (Harper).
  • Thirteen Stories, by Eudora Welty, edited and introduction by Ruth M. Vande Kieft (Harcourt).
  • This Is My Country Too, by John Alfred Williams (New American Library).

[Death] April 3: Muna Lee dies of lung cancer in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


[Books] Publications:

[Award] Walker Percy nominated for the National Book Award for fiction for his novel The Last Gentleman .

[Stage Play] Tennessee Williams’s play Slapstick Tragedy produced on Broadway.

[Film] Premiere of the film This Property Is Condemned, based on the play by Tennessee Williams.


[Books] Publications:

[Stage Play] Tennessee Williams's play The Two-Character Play produced in London.

[News] Willie Morris becomes editor-in-chief of Harper's magazine, a position he will hold until 1971.

[Award] Willie Morris receives a Houghton-Mifflin Company Literary fellowship and the Carr P. Collins Award for North Toward Home.


[Books] Publications:
  • The Advocate, by Borden Deal (Doubleday).
  • Where the Dreams Cross, by Ellen Douglas (Houghton).
  • Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner 1926-1962, by William Faulkner, edited by James B. Meriwether and Michael Millgate (Random House).
  • New Orleans Sketches, by William Faulkner, edited by Carvel Collins (Random House).
  • Pascagoula: Singing River City, by Jay Higginbotham (Gill Press).
  • Mobile: City by the Bay, by Jay Higginbotham (Azalea City Printers).
  • Coming of Age in Mississippi, autobiography by Anne Moody (Dial Press).
  • Kingdom of the Earth, a play by Tennessee Williams (New Directions).
  • Letters to Joe C. Brown, by Richard Wright, edited by Thomas Knipp (Kent State University Libraries).

[News] December 21: Sterling Plumpp married Falvia Delgrazia Jackson.

[Stage Play] Tennessee Williams's play The Seven Descents of Myrtle produced on Broadway.

[Stage Play] "Daddy's Goodness," a play by Richard Wright, is first produced Off-Broadway at St. Mark's Playhouse.

[Film] Premiere of the film Boom, based on the stage play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymoreby Tennessee Williams.

[Award] Willie Morris receives the Francis Parkman Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters for North Toward Home.

[Award] Eudora Welty receives an O. Henry Award.


[Books] Publications:
  • The Cube, teleplay by Jim Henson (broadcast by NBC-TV).
  • The Journal of Sauvole: Historical Journal of the Establishment of the French in Louisiana, translated and edited by Jay Higginbotham (Colonial Books).
  • Fort Maurepas: The Birth of Louisiana, by Jay Higginbotham (Colonial Books).
  • In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, a play by Tennessee Williams (Dramatists Play Service).
  • A Sweet Devouring, nonfiction by Eudora Welty (Albondocani Press).
  • Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light: A Novel of Some Probability, a novel by John Alfred Williams (Little, Brown).

[Stage Play] Tennessee Williams's play In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel produced on Broady.

[Film] Premiere of the film The Reivers, based on the novel by William Faulkner.

[Film] Premiere of the film Last of the Mobile Hot Shots, based on the play The Seven Descents of Myrtle by Tennessee Williams.


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