D. M. Thomas is a British novelist and poet, born and living in Cornwall. His novel The White Hotel was an international bestseller and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is rightly considered a modern classic, translated into more than 30 languages. Thomas was born in Redruth, Cornwall. He attended Trewirgie Primary School and Redruth Grammar School before graduating with First Class Honours in English from New College, Oxford in 1959, after which he became a teacher and was head of the English Department at Hereford College of Education, before becoming a full-time writer. 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. He lived and worked in Australia and the United States before returning to his native Cornwall.