Francis King

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Francis Henry King, CBE (4 March 19233 July 2011)Ion Trewin and Jonathan Fryer The Guardian, 3 July 2011 was a British novelist, poet and short story writer.

He was born in Adelboden, Switzerland, brought up in India and educated at Shrewsbury School and Balliol College, Oxford. During World War II he was a conscientious objector, and left Oxford to work on the land. After completing his degree in 1949 he worked for the British Council; he was posted around Europe, and then in Kyoto. He resigned to write full time in 1964.

He was a past winner of the W. Somerset Maugham Prize for his novel The Dividing Stream (1951) and also won the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Prize. His 1956 book "The firewalkers" was published pseudonymously under the name Frank Cauldwell.

A President Emeritus of International PEN and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he was appointed an Officer (OBE) of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 and a Commander of the Order (CBE) in 1985.

Personal life

King came out as homosexual in the 1970s; in Yesterday Came Suddenly (1993), after his long-term partner had died from AIDS in 1988, he described the relationship. King suffered a stroke in 2005.

Francis King died on July 3, 2011 at the age of 88.


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