John Wain

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Wain, John,

1925–94, English novelist and critic, b. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, grad. Oxford (B.A., 1946; M.A., 1950). Originally lumped with England's angry young menangry young men,
term applied to a group of English writers of the 1950s whose heroes share certain rebellious and critical attitudes toward society. This phrase, which was originally taken from the title of Leslie Allen Paul's autobiography, Angry Young Man
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 after the publication of Hurry on Down (1953), Wain later considerably broadened his scope. Although he remained concerned with the maintenance of human dignity in the face of a brutalizing class system, he served as professor of poetry at Oxford (1973–78) and wrote or edited more than seventy books. His works include the novels A Winter in the Hills (1970) and The Pardoner's Tale (1978); Letters to Five Artists (1969), poems; and critical studies of Arnold Bennett (1967) and Samuel Johnson (1975).


See his autobiography (1962); also studies by D. Gerard (1978) and D. Salwak (1981).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wain, John


Born Mar. 14, 1925, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. English writer.

After graduating from Oxford University, Wain was a lecturer in English literature at the University of Reading from 1947 to 1955. Wain’s novel Hurry on Down (1953; Russian translation, 1960) placed him in the ranks of the “angry young men.” In the novels The Contenders (1958) and Strike the Father Dead (1962), Wain departed from a grotesque and satirical presentation of reality to a realistic portrayal of characters and mores. Wain’s social views are contradictory and superficial, as seen in the novel The Young Visitors (1965). In his later novels, such as The Smaller Sky (1967) and A Winter in the Hills (1970; Russian translation, 1972), however, he reveals an increasing objectivity. Wain is the author of collections of poetry, the historical poem Feng (1975), and the book of literary criticism The Living World of Shakespeare (1964).


Living in the Present. New York, 1960.
Sprightly Running. London, 1962.
Essays on Literature and Ideas. London, 1963.
Death of the Hind Legs and Other Stories. New York-London, 1966.
The Life Guard and Other Stories. London, 1971.


Ivasheva, V. V. Angliiskie dialogi. Moscow, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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