(1930–2005), English novelist, born in Alton, Hampshire, educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he edited Isis. Hughes served in the Royal Air Force (1949–50), worked as an editor in London, wrote film scripts in Sweden (his first wife was the Swedish actress Mai Zetterling), and lived in France for several years. He has also been a film critic and a regular reviewer of fiction. In his own fiction war and its effects on individuals is a dominant theme. An ingenious story-teller adept at creating memorable characters, Hughes has written several novels of deceptive power including Memories of Dying (1976) and The Imperial German Dinner Service (1983). His most significant book is The Pork Butcher (1984), the affecting story of a man from Thomas Mann's Lübeck, dying from cancer and plagued with guilt of his wartime past. Suffused with irony, it is a remarkable study of individual and international hopelessness. But for Bunter (1985) continues the theme. The semi-autobiographical novel, The Little Book (1996), is a compelling book of revelations heightened by elements of the surreal.
From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).