Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five - We follow Billy Pilgrim who as a German prisoner of war experiences the 1945 bombing of Dresden. Through the social comment of running his father's Cadillac dealership through the fifties and his sexual journey to the planet Tralfamadore. A classic anti war novel that made Vonnegut an up and coming counterculture guru, literary success and the funniest writer of a generation. and so it goes.
Mario Puzo - The Godfather - The fictionalized history of the New York Mafia from 1945 to 1955 through the life of its leader Vito Corleone. Puzo, a journalist who covered the mafia during much of this time period gives a base of reality to the violent crime drama
Michael Crichton - The Andromeda Strain - This techno-thriller concerns a team of scientists who find a deadly extraterrestrial microorganism which they have to contain in a closed laboratory before it ends life on earth. It establishes Crichton as a best-selling author who goes on to pen many best selling novels including Jurassic Park. He is presently claiming (long with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh) that Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by the liberal scientific community.
Philip Roth - Portnoy's Complaint - The title of this novel which is of the sexual revolution of the times has come to mean male sexual dysfunction of any kind. It is an erotic theme narrative from the psychiatrist's couch on what it is to be Jewish and seeking sexual desire which is frustrated in not being able to enjoy it. It was banned in Australia.
Irwin Shaw - Rich Man, Poor Man - This novel follows the lives of two brothers from the end of WW2 to the time it was published in the late Sixties. One brother a blue collar poor troublemaker and the other a good and wealthy success. It began as a short story in Playboy, to this international best selling novel, to what is considered the first successful television mini series in 1976.
Irving Wallace - The Seven Minutes
William H. Armstrong - Sounder
Ray Bradbury - I Sing the Body Electric
John Fowles - The French Lieutenant's Woman
Jorge Amado - Tenda dos Milagres (Tent of Miracles)
Kingsley Amis - The Green Man
Penelope Ashe - Naked Came the Stranger
Margaret Atwood - The Edible Woman
William S. Burroughs - The Last Words of Dutch Schultz
Merton H. Coleman - That Godless Woman
March Cost - The Veiled Sultan
John Cheever - Bullet Park
A. J. Cronin - A Pocketful of Rye
Marion Eames - Y Stafell Ddirgel (The Secret Room)
Graham Greene - Travels with My Aunt
Sam Greenlee - The Spook Who Sat By the Door
Frank Herbert - Dune Messiah
David H. Keller - The Folsom Flint and Other Curious Tales
Elmore Leonard - The Big Bounce
Doris Lessing - The Four-Gated City
H.P. Lovecraft and Others - Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
Yukio Mishima - Runaway Horses
Michael Moorcock - Behold the Man
C. L. Moore - Jirel of Joiry
Vladimir Nabokov - Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
Don Pendleton - War Against The Mafia
Chaim Potok - The Promise
Manuel Puig - Little Painted Mouths
Ellery Queen - The Campus Murders
Pauline Réage - Retour à Roissy
Mordecai Richler - The Street
Harold Robbins - The Inheritors
Raymond Spence - Nothing Black But A Cadillac
Rex Stout - Death of a Dude
Edward Streeter - Ham Martin, Class of '17
Jacqueline Susann - The Love Machine
Theodore Taylor - The Cay
Colin Thiele - Blue Fin
More on each new book of 1969 at Wikipedia
Literary News 1969
Naked Came the Stranger became a best seller by Penelope Ashe. But it turned out that the novel was really a literary hoax written by a cadre of authors to prove that crap, as long as it has enough trashy sexual content, sells. The 19 men and 5 women who were Penelope Ashe came on the David Frost show to expose themselves and the hoax.
Author Alexander Solzhenitsyn expelled from Soviet Writers Union
Pulitzer prize for non fiction awarded to Norman Mailer for Armies of the Night.
Pulitzer prize for fiction awarded to N. Scott Momaday for House Made of Dawn
Pulitzer prize for drama awarded to Howard Sackler for The Great White Hope
Nobel Prize for Literature - Samuel Beckett
Maya Angelou - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - A coming of age autobiography of the childhood of the author. It begins when she is 3 years old in Arkansas and ends when she becomes a mother at 16. It came out of the Martin Luther King assassination to give hope in the story of a young girl who overcame adversity, racism and rape. Conservatives have made it the third most banned book in American schools since 1990.
Desmond Morris - The Human Zoo - This follow up to the author's best seller The Naked Ape, compares the problems of humans living in cities to that of animals living in zoos. How each cope with the unnaturalness of it.
Antonia Fraser - Mary Queen of Scots.
Peter Geach - God and the Soul.
Play: The Great White Hope
Actor—Play: James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope
Actress—Play: Julie Harris, Forty Carats
Supporting or Featured Actor—Play: Al Pacino, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?
Supporting or Featured Actress—Play: Jane Alexander, The Great White Hope
Director—Play: Peter Dews, Hadrian VII
How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All by The Firesign Theatre. Though the second album this album put the L.A. local comedy troupe on the map. Radio satire of the 1950's by Phil Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor.
To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With by Bill Cosby. Wins the Grammy for the 5th year in a row.