A Twentieth-century British poet, author, journalist, and literary critic, he is most famous for his 1982 novel, Young Shoulders, which was awarded the Whitbread Prize. His other notable works include Strike the Father Dead and Hurry on Down.
He graduated from St. John's College, Oxford. He published his debut novel, Hurry on Down, in 1953.
He was associated with The Movement in post-war literature, as well as with a group of radical 1950s writers known as the Angry Young Men.
He was raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He married in 1947.
While at Oxford, he was a pupil of author C.S. Lewis.