This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1932.
- March – Captain W. E. Johns' English character Biggles (James Bigglesworth) is introduced as a World War I pilot in the short story "The White Fokker" in the first issue of Popular Flying magazine (dated April) ed by Johns. In August, the first collection of Biggles stories, The Camels are Coming, is published.
- April 23 – To celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday:
- April 26 – 32-year-old American poet Hart Crane throws himself overboard from the steamship Orizaba in the Gulf of Mexico en route from Mexico to New York in a state of alcoholic depression; his body is never recovered.
- May – First issue of the English journal of literary criticism Scrutiny: a quarterly review ed by F. R. Leavis.
- June 28 – Following a visit to the United States, Alice Hargreaves, the inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, meets publisher Peter Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for Peter Pan, at a Lewis Carroll centenary exhibition in a London bookshop.
- July – W. B. Yeats leases Riversdale house in the Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham and publishes Words for Music Perhaps, and Other Poems.
- October 3 – The Times newspaper of London first appears set in the Times New Roman typeface devised by Stanley Morison.
- November 16 – Compton Mackenzie is prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act in the U.K. for material in his Greek Memories.
- October – Nineteen Irish writers led by Yeats and George Bernard Shaw form an Academy of Irish Letters primarily to oppose the Censorship of Publications Board.
- December – E. V. Knox replaces Sir Owen Seaman as or of Punch magazine.
- Samuel Beckett's first novel, Dream of Fair to Middling Women, is written in Paris and rejected by several publishers.
- The first issues of Graham Greene's novel Stamboul Train (published by Heinemann in London) are withdrawn and the text altered under threat of a libel action by J. B. Priestley.
- Serialization of the first three volumes of Mikhail Sholokhov's novel And Quiet Flows the Don («Тихий Дон») concludes in the Soviet magazine October.
- In Vietnam, the New Poetry (Thơ mới) period begins, marked by an article and a poem of Phan Khôi, inaugurating modern literature in that country.
Children and young people
- January 5 – Umberto Eco, Italian novelist and semiotician (died 2016)
- January 18 – Robert Anton Wilson, American novelist and playwright (died 2007)
- January 19 – George MacBeth, Scottish poet and novelist (died 1992)
- February 7 – Gay Talese, American literary journalist
- February 15 – Troy Kennedy Martin, Scottish scriptwriter (died 2009)
- February 16 – Aharon Appelfeld, Israeli novelist and poet
- March 4 – Ryszard Kapuściński, Polish journalist, traveller, poet and writer (died 2007)
- March 18 – John Updike, American novelist and poet (died 2009)
- March 31 – John Jakes, American historical novelist
- May 7 – Jenny Joseph, English poet (died 2018)
- May 8 – Julieta Campos, Cuban-Mexican author and translator (died 2007)
- May 24 – Arnold Wesker, English dramatist (died 2016)
- June 5 – Christy Brown, Irish autobiographer and poet (died 1981)
- June 6 – Sara Banerji, English author and sculptor
- June 18 – Geoffrey Hill, English poet (died 2016)
- July 17 – Karla Kuskin, American children's writer and illustrator (died 2009)
- July 18 – Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet and writer (died 2017)
- August 16 – Christopher Okigbo, Nigerian poet (died 1967)
- August 17 – V. S. Naipaul, Trinidad-born novelist (died 2018)
- August 27 – Antonia Fraser, English biographer, novelist and historian
- September 7 – Malcolm Bradbury, English novelist (died 2000)
- October 27 – Sylvia Plath, American poet (died 1963)
- October 31 – Katherine Paterson, Chinese-American author
- January 12 – Ella Hepworth Dixon, English writer, novelist and or (born 1857)
- January 21 – Lytton Strachey, English biographer (cancer, born 1880)
- January 28 – F. M. Mayor, English novelist (born 1872)
- February 10 – Edgar Wallace, English crime writer (diabetes, born 1875)
- February 15 – Minnie Maddern Fiske, American actress and playwright (born 1865)
- March 16 – Harold Monro, British poet and poetry bookshop proprietor (alcohol-related, born 1879)
- April 20 – Giuseppe Peano, Italian mathematician and philosopher (born 1858)
- April 23
- April 26 – Hart Crane, American poet (suicide, born 1899)
- May 22 – Augusta, Lady Gregory, Irish dramatist (born 1852)
- June 17 – Sir John Quick, Australian politician and author (born 1852)
- July 6 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish-born children's and short-story writer (born 1859)
- July 20 – René Bazin, French novelist (born 1853)
- July 22 – J. Meade Falkner, English novelist and poet (born 1858)
- August 29 – Raymond Knister, Canadian writer (drowned, born 1899)
- September 5 – Paul Bern, German-American screenwriter (suicide, born 1889)
- October 5 – Christopher Brennan, Australian poet (born 1870)
- October 14 – Ahmed Shawqi, Egyptian poet (born 1868)
- November 13 – Catherine Isabella Dodd, English education writer and novelist (born 1860)
- November 17 – Charles W. Chesnutt, American writer (born 1858)
- November 23 – Henry S. Whitehead, American genre novelist (gastric ailment, born 1882)