(British, 1930– )
Hughes was born in Alton, Hampshire, and attended Oxford and worked as a publishers’ reader and magazine editor before becoming a full-time writer in 1961. Begin with The Pork Butcher (1984), in which a former German soldier, aware that he is dying of cancer, returns to the small French town where he committed war crimes forty years before. War and guilt are equally central to The Major (1964), the best of his earlier novels, which recounts the career of an army officer whose reliance on excessively harsh discipline leads him to crisis and suicide. The main character in But for Bunter (1985) is a man who claims to be the original for Billy Bunter in the stories by Frank Richards. Inventive and entertaining, the book wittily explores the relationship between fact and fiction.
Piers Paul Read, Alan Judd DH