Modern Literature Time Chart

A chart showing the publication dates of works of literature in the context of important historical, social, and cultural events

1914-1919  1920-1929  1930-1939  1940-1949  1950-1959  1960-1969  1970-1979  1980-1989  1990-1999  2000-2003

2000 - 2003


A selection of publications

Kate Atkinson: Emotionally Weird
Peter Carey: True History of the Kelly Gang
Seamus Heaney: The Midnight Verdict
Philip Roth: The Human Stain
K Sello Duiker: Thirteen Cents
Zadie Smith: White Teeth
Ivan Vladislavic: Propaganda by Monuments

Historic and political events

Stock market crash of companies.
USA: Navy ship attacked by suicide bombers.
France: Concorde crashes in Paris.
Iraq: Rejects new weapons inspection program.

Social history

UK: Tate Modern gallery opens. Science: Completion of draft of the sequence of the human nuclear genome.


Achmat Dangor: Bitter Fruit
John Irving: The Fourth Hand
David Lodge: Thinks ...
Zakes Mda: The Heart of Redness
Salman Rushdie: Fury
K Sello Duiker: The Quiet Violence of Dreams
Amy Tan: The Bonesetter's Daughter
Anne Tyler: Back When We Were Grownups
Ivan Vladislavic: The Restless Supermarket
Zoe Wicomb: David's Story

USA: George W Bush, Republican, becomes President in controversial election.
'September 11th' attack on World Trade Centre and Pentagon. Anthrax attacks in mail.
India: Gujarat earthquake kills 30,000 and leaves 200,000 homeless.

UK: Lord Jeffrey Archer jailed. Ronald Biggs, train robber, gives himself up. Cinema: The Lord of the Rings, part 1.


Lionel Abrahams: The White Life of Felix Greenspan
Edward Albee: The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?
Kate Atkinson: Not the End of the World
Margaret Atwood: Negotiating with the Dead
Michael Frayn: Spies
Yann Martel: Life of Pi
Ian McEwan: Atonement
Ann Patchett: Bel Canto
Richard Russo: Empire Falls
Carol Shields: Unless

USA: US-led action in Afghanistan against Taleban and al Qaeda. Sniper attacks on the public in Washington.
Ireland: Power-sharing suspended.
Bali: Terrorist bombing of night-club.
Iraq: Disarmament crisis continues. UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

Introduction of euro banknotes and coins in some European countries. UK: Party in the Palace for Queen’s Golden Jubilee. USA: Department of Homeland Security established. Science: Odyssey Mars probe finds evidence of water ice. Cinema: The Lord of the Rings, part 2.


Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake
Pat Barker: Double Vision
Peter Carey: My Life as a Fake
Nilo Cruz: Anna in the Tropics
Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex
Valerie Martin: Property
Toni Morrison: Love
Paul Muldoon: Moy Sand and Gravel
D B C Pierre: Vernon God Little

UK: State visit by George Bush.
Iraq: USA, Britain, and coalition invade Iraq.
Turkey: Terrorists bomb synagogues, and British interests.
Iran: Earthquake kills 30,000.

UK: Concorde supersonic aircraft taken out of service. Technology: NASA experimenting with laser-powered model aircraft. Cinema: The Lord of the Rings, part 3.

1914-1919  1920-1929  1930-1939  1940-1949  1950-1959  1960-1969  1970-1979  1980-1989  1990-1999  2000-2003

The following sources are acknowledged for assistance in compiling this time chart:
Bloom, Clive, & Day, Gary, eds. Literature and Culture in Modern Britain. Volume Three: 1956-1999. Longman. 2000.
Brannigan, John. Orwell to the Present: Literature in England 1945-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. 2003.
Compact Chronology of World History. Penguin Hutchinson Reference Library. Helicon Publishing and Penguin Books Ltd. 1996
Mercer, Derrik. ed. Chronicle of the 20th Century. Dorling Kindersley. 1995.
Microsoft Encarta 99 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation. 1993-1998


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