D. M. Thomas
Donald Michael Thomas, known as D. M. Thomas (born 27 January 1935), is a Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

ist, poet
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, and translator
Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of...


Thomas was born in Redruth
Redruth is a town and civil parish traditionally in the Penwith Hundred in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It has a population of 12,352. Redruth lies approximately at the junction of the A393 and A3047 roads, on the route of the old London to Land's End trunk road , and is approximately west of...

, Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, UK. He attended Trewirgie Primary School and Redruth Grammar School
Redruth Grammar School
Redruth Grammar School in Redruth, Cornwall, was a boys school between 1907 and 1976.-History:The school was opened on 5 October 1907 by General Sir Redvers Buller. It was originally built to accommodate 150 pupils and to serve the Camborne-Redruth area, extending from Gwithian in the west to St....

 before graduating with First Class Honours in English
English studies
English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language , English linguistics English studies is an academic discipline that includes the study of literatures written in the English language (including literatures from the U.K., U.S.,...

 from New College, Oxford
New College, Oxford
New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.- Overview :The College's official name, College of St Mary, is the same as that of the older Oriel College; hence, it has been referred to as the "New College of St Mary", and is now almost always...

 in 1959. He lived and worked in Australia and the United States before returning to his native Cornwall.

He published poetry and some prose in the British Science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 magazine New Worlds
New Worlds (magazine)
New Worlds was a British science fiction magazine which was first published professionally in 1946. For 25 years it was widely considered the leading science fiction magazine in Britain, publishing 201 issues up to 1971...

(from 1968). The work that made him famous is his erotic and somewhat fantastical novel The White Hotel
The White Hotel
The White Hotel is a novel written by the English poet, translator and novelist D. M. Thomas. It was first published in January 1981 by Gollancz in Great Britain and in March 1981 by The Viking Press in the United States...

(1981), the story of a woman undergoing psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, which has proved very popular in continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

 and the United States. It was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1981 coming a close second to the winner, Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children'. It has also elicited considerable controversy, as some of its passages are taken from Anatoly Kuznetsov
Anatoly Kuznetsov
Anatoly Vasilievich Kuznetsov was a Russian language Soviet writer who described his experiences in German-occupied Kiev during WWII in his internationally acclaimed novel Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel...

's Babi Yar, a novel about the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

. In general, however, Thomas's use of such "composite material" (material taken from other sources and imitations of other writers) is seen as more postmodern than plagiarist.

In the 1950s, at height of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, Thomas studied Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 during his National Service
National service
National service is a common name for mandatory government service programmes . The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes...

. He retained a lifelong interest in Russian culture
Russian culture
Russian culture is associated with the country of Russia and, sometimes, specifically with ethnic Russians. It has a rich history and can boast a long tradition of excellence in every aspect of the arts, especially when it comes to literature and philosophy, classical music and ballet, architecture...

 and literature
Russian literature
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

. This culminated in a series of well-received translations of Russian poetry in the 1980s.


  • Logan Stone (Cape Goliard, 1971)
  • Orpheus in Hell (Sceptre, 1977)
  • The Flute Player (Gollancz
    Victor Gollancz Ltd
    Victor Gollancz Ltd was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century. It was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz and specialised in the publication of high quality literature, nonfiction and popular fiction, including science fiction. Upon Gollancz's death in 1967, ownership...

    , 1979)
  • Birthstone (Gollancz, 1980)
  • The White Hotel
    The White Hotel
    The White Hotel is a novel written by the English poet, translator and novelist D. M. Thomas. It was first published in January 1981 by Gollancz in Great Britain and in March 1981 by The Viking Press in the United States...

    (Viking, 1981)
  • Ararat (Gollancz, 1983)
  • Swallow (Gollancz, 1984)
  • Sphinx (Gollancz, 1986)
  • Summit (Gollancz, 1987)
  • Lying Together (Gollancz, 1990)
  • Flying in to Love (Scribner's, 1992)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition (Bloomsbury, 1993)
  • Eating Pavlova (Carrol and Graf, 1994)
  • Lady with a Laptop (Carrol and Graf, 1996)
  • Memories and Hallucinations (Gollancz, 1998)
  • Charlotte (Duck, 2000)


  • The Honeymoon Voyage (Secker and Warburg, 1978)
  • Dreaming in Bronze (Secker and Warburg, 1981)
  • The Puberty Tree (Bloodaxe Books, 1992)
  • Flight and Smoke (Francis Boutle, 2010)


  • Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko
    Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.-Early life:...

    , A dove in Santiago : A novella in verse (Secker and Warburg, 1982)
  • Alexander Pushkin, The Bronze Horseman and Other Poems (Penguin, 1983)
  • Anna Akhmatova
    Anna Akhmatova
    Anna Andreyevna Gorenko , better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova , was a Russian and Soviet modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon.Harrington p11...

    , You Will Hear Thunder (Ohio UP, 1985)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.