D M Thomas - Novelist and Poet

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D. M. (Donald Michael) Thomas was born in the tin-mining village of Carnkie, near Redruth, in 1935. His father was a plasterer. In 1949 he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, where his sister was living with her Australian husband. He returned to Cornwall in 1951 and began his National Service two years later. During this period he learnt Russian.

In 1955, Thomas went to New College, Oxford to read English, and obtained a first class honours degree. He married Maureen in 1958 and had two children, Catlin and Sean, with her. The year after his marriage, Thomas became an English teacher at Teignmouth Grammar School. During this period, he began to write poetry. He continued to work in education until 1979, when he became a full-time writer.

Thomas married Denise in 1976, following his divorce from Maureen. His son, Ross, was born the following year. His third novel, “The White Hotel”, became an international best-seller and was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

In 1987 he moved back to Cornwall, where he has lived since then. Denise died from cancer in 1998 and Thomas married his third wife, Victoria, with whom he lives in Truro. His works include several novels, collections of poetry, translations from Russian and a biography of Solzhenitsyn. His first stage play, “Hell Fire Corner”, had its premier in the Hall for Cornwall, Truro in 2004.