Hughes, David (John) 1930–2005

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Hughes, David (John) 1930–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 27, 1930, in Alton, Hampshire, England; died April 11, 2005, in London, England. Critic, editor, and author. Hughes was a respected film critic and novelist best known for his award-winning novel The Pork Butcher (1984). After serving in the British Royal Air Force from 1949 to 1951 he attended Oxford University, earning a B.A. in 1953 and an M.A. in 1965. While in college, he gained publishing and journalism experience, working briefly in book publishing with Rupert Hart-Davis and for the periodicals London and Town. His early novels include Man off Beat (1957) and Sealed with a Loving Kiss (1959). He also wrote the nonfiction book J. B. Priestly: An Informal Study of His Work (1958). Married to actress Mai Zetterling in 1958, Hughes focused for many years on film, television, and children's fiction. He lived in Sweden during most of the 1960s, where he worked as a documentary and feature film writer, often on movies in which his wife acted. After moving to France, Hughes decided he wanted to return to writing books instead of movies. He divorced in 1976 and moved back to England, where he worked as editor of New Fiction Society in the mid-1970s and briefly in the early 1980s. He married a second time, and published novels such as Memories of Dying (1976) and The Imperial German Dinner Service (1983). He did not meet with much success until The Pork Butcher was released in 1984 and won the W. H. Smith Literary Award. Meanwhile, Hughes used his knowledge of filmmaking to embark on a career as a movie critic. He wrote for the London Sunday Times from 1982 to 1983 and for the Mail on Sunday from 1982 until 1999. During the late 1970s and mid-1980s, he also was a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and at the University of Alabama and University of Houston. His final books include the biography The Lent Jewels (2002) and the novel The Hack's Tale (2004). Recognized for his writing achievements, in 1986 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and he served as member-of-council from 1989 to 1996. He was also named life vice president in 1996.



Daily Post (Liverpool, England), April 14, 2005, p. 13.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), April 13, 2005.

Independent (London, England), April 12, 2005, p. 42.

New York Times, April 24, 2005, p. A29.

Times (London, England), April 20, 2005, p. 59.

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Hughes, David (John) 1930–2005

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