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D. M. Thomas

British poet
The basics
Occupation Writer Translator
Country United Kingdom
AKA Donald Michael Thomas
Date of birth Redruth, Cornwall
Education New College
Authority Library of congress id ISNI id IMDB id Openlibrary id VIAF id
The details

Donald Michael Thomas, known as D. M. Thomas (born 27 January 1935), is a British novelist, poet, playwright and translator.
Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall, UK. He attended Trewirgie Primary School and Redruth Grammar School before graduating with First Class Honours in English from New College, Oxford in 1959. He lived and worked in Australia and the United States before returning to his native Britain.
He published poetry and some prose in the British Science fiction magazine New Worlds (from 1968). The work that made him famous is his erotic and somewhat fantastical novel The White Hotel (1981), the story of a woman undergoing psychoanalysis, which has proved very popular in continental Europe and the United States. It was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1981, coming a close second, according to one of the judges, to the winner, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. It has also elicited considerable controversy, as some of its passages are taken from Anatoly Kuznetsov's Babi Yar, a novel about the Holocaust. In general, however, Thomas's use of such "composite material" (material taken from other sources and imitations of other writers) is seen as more postmodern than plagiarist.
In the 1950s, at height of the Cold War, Thomas studied Russian during his National Service. He retained a lifelong interest in Russian culture and literature. This culminated in a series of well-received translations of Russian poetry in the 1980s.



  • Logan Stone (Cape Goliard, 1971)
  • Orpheus in Hell (Sceptre, 1977)
  • The Flute Player (Gollancz, 1979)
  • Birthstone (Gollancz, 1980)
  • The White Hotel (Viking, 1981)
  • Ararat (Gollancz, 1983)
  • Swallow (Gollancz, 1984)
  • Sphinx (Gollancz, 1986)
  • Summit (Gollancz, 1987)
  • Lying Together (Gollancz, 1990)
  • Flying in to Love (Scribner's, 1992)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition (Bloomsbury, 1993)
  • Eating Pavlova (Carrol and Graf, 1994)
  • Lady with a Laptop (Carrol and Graf, 1996)
  • Memories and Hallucinations (Gollancz, 1998)
  • Charlotte (Duck, 2000)
  • Hunters in the Snow (The Cornovia Press, 2014) ISBN 1-908878-12-6


  • Love and Other Deaths (Elek Books, 1975)
  • The Honeymoon Voyage (Secker and Warburg, 1978)
  • Dreaming in Bronze (Secker and Warburg, 1981)
  • The Puberty Tree (Bloodaxe Books, 1992)
  • Flight and Smoke (Francis Boutle, 2010)
  • Two Countries (Francis Boutle, 2011)
  • Vintage Ghosts (Francis Boutle, 2012)
  • Mrs English and other women (Francis Boutle, 2014)


  • Yevgeny Yevtushenko, A dove in Santiago : A novella in verse (Secker and Warburg, 1982)
  • Alexander Pushkin, The Bronze Horseman and Other Poems (Penguin, 1983)
  • Anna Akhmatova, You Will Hear Thunder (Ohio UP, 1985)
  • Alexander Pushkin, Onegin (Francis Boutle, 2011)


  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn : A Century in His Life (St. Martins, 1998)
  • Bleak Hotel: The Hollywood Saga of the White Hotel (Quartet Books, 2008)


  • Hell Fire Corner (2004)

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