‘Informality, muted judgement and a complete lack of interference were the principle elements of his pedagogic style. Behind it all was an unspoken but intensely radiated assumption that there was nothing quite so exciting or essential as the writing of fiction.We approached each other as in a dream, and I remember thinking, half-seriously, that this was what it might be like to be dead. In the warmth of his congratulatory embrace was concentrated all the generosity of this gifted teacher and talented writer. His artful reticence and his passion for literature transformed my life.’