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Posted by / 15-Nov-2019 09:13

) was The Little Book (1996), which begins with "the narrator's diagnosis of cancer [and] grows into an extraordinary meditation on mortality, a celebration of the power and magic of fiction, and an exploration of the shaping force and resonance of memory" (Vintage's cover blurb). His twin, bar a few weeks, I shared these duties, having been introduced earlier to Lehmann with a view to working in his publishing house.

Hughes and I became friends, meeting several times a week after work in a dismal South Kensington hotel bar to talk about books, writing and girls.

His sister Miriam Parker said: 'If you know David, come and celebrate his life and help him see faces from the past before he leaves us forever.'He's such a hard working, decent, nice chap.

'On a summer Saturday afternoon at home in London I ran upstairs for a pee and blood streamed out. Today would not turn out as planned." So begins David Hughes's The Little Book, perhaps his most autobiographical work, published nine years ago.

It was the hue of the 1982 Domaine de l'Amarine I had drunk at lunch . Phrased in characteristic tones of detachment, honesty and mockery of his self-indulgence, its opening pages mirror the predicament he found himself in over Easter this year when his liver and kidneys again rebelled, to end his life yesterday at the age of 74.

David John Hughes, writer: born Alton, Hampshire 27 July 1930; Editor, Town 1960-61; FRSL 1986; Editor, Letters 1992-96; married 1958 Mai Zetterling (died 1994; marriage dissolved 1976), 1980 Elizabeth Booth (née Westoll; one son, one daughter); died London 11 April 2005.

The author of 11 novels, he was a writer of prodigious gifts deservedly recognised by critics who would shower frameable epithets on nearly every one: unforgettable, extraordinary elegance, intelligent, powerful, taut, shapely, stylish, bony, assured and lucid, haunting, a master of narrative. Priestley: an informal study of his work, 1958) and, nearly 40 years later, a portrait of his friend Gerald Durrell, Himself & Other Animals (1997), whom he met while working at the publishers Rupert Hart-Davis in the 1950s, show his ease with the biographical form.

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Older than Hughes by five years, she was impulsive, intelligent and fiercely independent, with enormous blue eyes - and electrifyingly attractive.

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