|Covid-19|February 12 – Henrik Ibsen's symbolic drama The Lady from the Sea (1888) receives its first performances simultaneously in Oslo (in Norwegian) and Weimar (in German).
March 14 – August Strindberg's naturalistic drama Miss Julie (Fröken Julie, 1888) receives its first performance, by the Scandinavian Experimental Theatre at the University of Copenhagen with his wife Siri von Essen in the title rôle.
April 24 – The Garrick Theatre in London, financed by playwright W. S. Gilbert, opens with a performance of Pinero's The Profligate.
May 30 – English publisher Henry Vizetelly is prosecuted for obscenity for the second time in London; he is again fined and imprisoned for his English translations of Émile Zola's works.
June – Algernon Methuen begins publishing books in England, the origin of Methuen Publishing.
August 30 – Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are entertained together at dinner at the Langham Hotel, London, by the American Joseph Marshall Stoddart of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine who commissions from them respectively the stories The Sign of the Four and The Picture of Dorian Gray which appear next year in the magazine.
September 3 – Jerome K. Jerome's comic fictional English travelogue set on the River Thames, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), is published in Bristol.
November – Leo Tolstoy's novella The Kreutzer Sonata is circulated in clandestine copies; in December the Russian authorities confirm that trade publication will not be permitted.
September 14 – The Volkstheater, Vienna opens with a performance of Der Fleck auf der Ehr ("The Stain on Honour") by its Dramaturg, Ludwig Anzengruber, who dies on December 10 from blood poisoning.
December 12 – English poet Robert Browning dies at Ca' Rezzonico in Venice on the same day his book Asolando; Fancies and facts is published; he is buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Anton Manwel Caruana's Ineż Farruġ is the first novel originated in the Maltese language.
Marcel Proust begins a year's service in the French army, stationed at Coligny Barracks in Orléans.
Theodore Roosevelt publishes the first of four volumes of The Winning of the West in the United States, with three more by 1896.
Gabriele D'Annunzio – Il piacere (The Pleasure)
Herman Bang – Tine (Tina)
Blind Love (unfinished)
The Legacy of Cain
Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett – New Amazonia
Marie Corelli – Ardath
Arthur Conan Doyle
The Mystery of Cloomber
George Gissing – The Nether World
H. Rider Haggard – Cleopatra
Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men in a Boat
"John Law" (Margaret Harkness) – In Darkest London
George A. Moore – Mike Fletcher
Armando Palacio Valdés – Sister San Sulpicio (La hermana San Sulpicio)
Bolesław Prus – The Doll (Lalka; serialization concludes)
Molly Elliot Seawell – Hale-Weston
Robert Louis Stevenson – The Master of Ballantrae
Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne – The Wrong Box
Hermann Sudermann – The Cats' Bridge (Der Katzensteg)
Leo Tolstoy – The Kreutzer Sonata (Крейцерова соната, Kreitzerova Sonata)
Mark Twain – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Giovanni Verga – Mastro-don Gesualdo
Julius Vogel – Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny
Bertha von Suttner – Die Waffen nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!)
Edgar Wallace – The Dark Eyes of London
Oscar Wilde – "The Portrait of Mr. W. H." (short story in Blackwood's Magazine)
Lewis Carroll – Sylvie and Bruno
Andrew Lang – The Blue Fairy Book
Jules Verne – The Purchase of the North Pole (Sans dessus dessous)
Anton Chekhov – A Marriage Proposal (Предложение)
Sydney Grundy – A Pair of Spectacles (adapted from Labiche and Delacour's Les Petits Oiseaux)
Maurice Maeterlinck – Princess Maleine (La Princesse Maleine)
Hermann Sudermann – Honour (Die Ehre)
Leo Tolstoy – The Fruits of Enlightenment (Плоды просвещения)
A. C. Torr (Fred Leslie) and Herbert F. Clark – Ruy Blas and the Blasé Roué (burlesque)
Herman Gorter – Mei (May)
Verner von Heidenstam – Vallfart och vandringsår (Pilgrimage: the Wandering Years)
William Butler Yeats – The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (including "Down by the Salley Gardens")
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky – The Voice of the Silence
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk – Positive Theory of Capital
T. H. Huxley – Agnosticism
Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers – The Key of Solomon the King (Clavicula Solomonis)
Friedrich Nietzsche – Götzen-Dämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophiert (Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer)
Papus – Le Tarot des Bohémiens
William Mackintire Salter – Ethical Religion
Oscar Wilde – The Decay of Lying
Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th edition (completed in 24 main volumes)
March 1 – Kanoko Okamoto (岡本 かの子, Ohnuki Kano), Japanese novelist and poet (died 1939)
April 7 – Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet, Nobel Prize laureate (died 1957)
April 18 – Horace Alexander, English current-affairs writer and ornithologist (died 1989)
May 12 – Ouyang Yuqian (欧阳予倩), Chinese dramatist (died 1962)
June 23 – Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet (died 1966)
July 5 – Jean Cocteau, French writer (died 1963)
July 17 – Erle Stanley Gardner, American author (died 1970)
August 5 – Conrad Aiken, American novelist and poet (died 1973)
September 15 – Claude McKay, Jamaican American writer (died 1948)
September 23 – Walter Lippmann, American writer (died 1974)
September 25 – C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator (died 1930)
September 26 – Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (died 1976)
October 18 – Fannie Hurst, American novelist (died 1968)
November 12 – DeWitt Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader's Digest) (died 1981)
January 3 – James Halliwell-Phillipps, English bibliophile (born 1820)
January 17 – Juan Montalvo, Ecuadorian writer (born 1832)
April 23 – Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, French novelist (born 1808)
June 8 – Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet (born 1844)
June 15 – Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet (born 1850)
August 5 – Fanny Lewald, German novelist (born 1811)
August 19 – Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, French Symbolist writer (born 1838)
September 10 – Amy Levy, English feminist poet and novelist (suicide, born 1861)
September 23 – Wilkie Collins, English novelist (born 1824)
October 25 – Émile Augier, French dramatist (born 1820)
November 18 – William Allingham, Irish poet (born 1824)
December 10 – Ludwig Anzengruber, Austrian poet (born 1839)
December 12 – Robert Browning, English poet (born 1812)
December 23 - Constance Naden, English poet and philosopher (born 1858)
Gaisford Prize – Harold Trevor Baker
1889 in literature Wikipedia
This article presents lists of literary events and publications in 1889.