novelist and poet, born in Paris and brought up in India, Cameroon, and England. He worked for some years in drama, both performing and teaching, before leaving England in 1990 to live in France. He rose to prominence with his first novel, Ulverton (1992), a dense subversive tour de force which places Ulverton, a fictional Wessex village, at the still centre of three centuries of social, linguistic, and historical flux, with each chapter narrated in a different but appropriate style. Further novels include Still (1995), Pieces of Light (1998), Nineteen Twenty‐One (2001), No Telling (2003), and The Rules of Perspective (2005). He has also published several volumes of poetry, including From the Neanderthal (1999). All his work is in some way connected with the continuum of history and an exploration of Englishness.