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 men 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 (1973–8) 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).