novelist, actor, and television playwright, born in Preston. He began his career as an actor after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first novel, Albert's Memorial (1972), about the tragi‐comic friendship between widowed Mary and homosexual Paul, was followed by Happy Endings (1974), about the relationship between a 12‐year‐old boy and a schoolteacher. Walter (1978) is the story of a sensitive young man with severe learning difficulties; a TV adaptation with Ian McKellen was chosen to launch Channel Four in 1982. Winter Doves (1979) is a sequel. Other works include Sunrising (1984), a historical novel set in the 1830s, Missing Persons (1986), Crying out Loud (1988), and Second Best (1991), about a single man's attempt to adopt a 10‐year‐old boy. Cook's work displays a deep and humane sympathy with the disadvantaged and the sexually marginalized.
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).