Richard Mason (novelist 1919–1997)

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Richard Mason (16 May 1919 – 13 October 1997) was a British novelist. Born near Manchester, he was educated in Dorset, then worked first on a film magazine and later for the British Council. The Second World War gave him a chance to learn Japanese and he became an interrogator of prisoners of war.

As an author Mason wrote The Wind Cannot Read, finished during the Burma Campaign, and the screenplay for the 1958 film version starring Dirk Bogarde; The Shadow and the Peak (filmed as Passionate Summer); and The Fever Tree, a story of espionage set in India and Nepal.

His experiences while living in Hong Kong inspired him to write The World of Suzie Wong. This was adapted into a Broadway play in 1958 and later into the film, The World of Suzie Wong, in 1960, starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan.

Mason, a cigarette smoker, died of throat cancer in Rome, Italy, where he had lived for nearly 40 years.



  • The Wind Cannot Read 1946; screenplay 1958
  • The Shadow and the Peak 1950
  • The World of Suzie Wong 1957
  • The Fever Tree 1962

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