D. M. Thomas (Donald Michael Thomas) Biography
(1935– ), (Donald Michael Thomas), Symphony in Moscow, Love and Other Deaths, The Honeymoon Voyage
British poet, novelist, and translator, born in Redruth, Cornwall; he spent much of his childhood in Australia. He was educated at New College, Oxford. His collections of poetry include Symphony in Moscow (1974), Love and Other Deaths (1975), The Honeymoon Voyage (1978), Dreaming in Bronze (1981), and Selected Poems (1983). Much of his earlier verse combined elements of science fiction and eroticism in an entertaining manner. From the mid-1970s onward he concentrated increasingly on psychologically penetrating examinations of emotional states and personal relationships. News from the Front (1983), a collaboration with Sylvia Kantaris, examines tensions in a sexual liaison with remarkable candour. Latterly, he has considered himself ‘a poet who mainly writes novels’. His first, The Flute-Player (1979), forms a tribute to the spirit of Russian artists oppressed by totalitarian policies. The bizarre narrative of Birthstone (1980) combines humour, elements of the occult, and erotic fantasy in a Cornish setting. The White Hotel (1981) is his most celebrated work. Ararat (1983) is the first part of his Russian Nights sequence, an impressionistically encompassing survey of political and cultural conditions in post-war Eastern Europe, which continues with Swallow (1984), Sphinx (1986), Summit (1987), and Lying Together (1990). Among his numerous translations are versions of Alexander Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman (1982) and Boris Godunov (1985). His other works include the novel Pictures at an Exhibition (1993) and an experimental autobiography entitled Memories and Hallucinations (1988).
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