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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
- Haidar Haidar – Walimah li A'ashab al-Bahr (وليمة لأعشاب البحر, A Feast for the Seaweeds)
- 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
- Jo Jung-rae – The Tae Baek Mountains (태백산맥, publication begins)
- Ernst Jünger – Aladdin's Problem
- William Kennedy – Ironweed
- Stephen King – Christine
- Danilo Kiš – The Encyclopedia of the Dead (Enciklopedija mrtvih)
- 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
- Satyajit Ray – Shonku Ekai Aksho (Shonku, All in All, collected Professor Shonku stories)
- 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 people
- Chris Van Allsburg – The Wreck of the Zephyr
- Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (with Willi Glasauer) – Beauty and the Beast
- Roald Dahl – The Witches
- Mem Fox – Possum Magic
- Rumer Godden
- Four Dolls
- The Valiant Chatti-Maker
- 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
- July 2 – Tao Lin (林韬), Chinese novelist and poet
- November 17 – Christopher Paolini, American fantasy novelist
- December 6 – Jason Reynolds, African American children's novelist and poet
- unknown date – Sarah Howe, Hong Kong-born poet writing in English
- 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
- Hugo Award for Best Novel: Foundation's Edge by Isaac Asimov
- Premio Nadal: Salvador García Aguilar, Regocijo en el hombre
- "Irina Ratushinskaya: Soviet dissident who turned captivity into poetry". The Independent. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- 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.