Launching on March 26th, 2014 are two new additions to the Library of Wales' formidable arsenal: Story, Volumes I and II, two short story anthologies which possess an unsurpassed compliation of Anglo-Welsh tales spanning the whole of the 20th century and beyond, from the dawn of the 1900s and the First World War all the way through to the contemporary, post-industrial valleys of the 2000s, via the Second World War and the tumultuous Miners' Strikes of the Eighties.
Edited by series regular Dai Smith, the collections feature a peerless selection of over 80 stories drawn from a staggering array of talent, including both past legends, such as Arthur Machen, Alun Richards and Dylan Thomas, and the modern day's most acclaimed, including Rachel Trezise, Lewis Davies and Stevie Davies. Stories range from Arthur Machen’s 'The Gift of Tongues', Rhys Davies’ 'The Dark World' and Caradoc Evans’ 'The Coffin', to Leonora Brito’s 'Dat’s Love', Gee Williams’ 'Blood Etc.' and Rachel Trezise’s 'Fresh Apples'... While along the way we have everything from the fields of Ynys Mon to the bars of Barcelona in a thought provoking and highly entertaining selection.
Specific details regarding the launch are to be confirmed, but we can confirm it will take place at Swansea University on Wednesday, 26th March, 2014. More information will be circulated when we know it, so watch this space!
The Library of Wales is known for publishing quality Welsh writing in English and within this scope, we have a few horror titles up our sleeve!
So, to get you in the mood for All Hallows Eve, here are a few of our favourite horror titles:
Margiad Evans' gothic extravaganzas:
A gothic tale of passion, violence, cruelty and unexpected tenderness. In this her third novel, Margiad Evans conjures a tempestuous and sometimes sinister world of rural and small town border life in early twentieth century.
Also available as an eBook from online retailers.
Country Dance - known as 'The Welsh Wuthering Heights'.
At the heart of Country Dance is Ann Goodman, a young woman torn by ‘the struggle for supremacy in her mixed blood’, Welsh and English. In this story of passion and murder set in the border country, the rural way of life is no idyll but a hard battle for survival.
Also available as an eBook from online retailers.
Written with terse incisive power... the novels of Margiad Evans glow with a dark... passionate light. - Derek Savage
Congratulate the Devil is a delightful comic novel by forgotten Welsh fantasy writer Howell Davies. Rescued from obscurity by the Library of Wales this amusing tale of mind control proves to be something of a lost gem.- Babylon Wales
One of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language - Stephen King
One of the best horror writers ever - Mark E. Smith
An exciting opportunity has arrived for students to get involved with the Library of Wales series.
To win a cash prize and Library of Wales book tokens, all you have to do is write a review about what you like (or didn't like) about a title in the series.
The university competition will be judged by Dr Kirsti Bohata, who specialises in Welsh writing in English.
The secondary competition will be judged by Mr Ravi Pawar, Headteacher of Blackwood Comprehensive School.
The most important thing to remember is not to be afraid to say what you think about the book! Be honest.
'M. Wynn Thomas has been the brilliant yet unassuming doyen of literary criticism in Wales for several decades now, so it's fitting that this generous prize for new work in the field should bear his name and the prestige that goes with it’. Dr Katie Gramich, Cardiff University
Black Parade is the historical novel cast as gripping saga, a page turner and a half. There are the real life events... and the artillery noises-off of faraway battles. But the true sense of history is there in the telling detail, the sort of stuff that a novelist who first went to work underground at the age of twelve would know.
Jack Jones brings it all, and I mean all, to pulsing, chaotic and ambitious life, with its new institutions such as the Town Hall and its many theatres, its hospital and public parks, all helping to shore up an evolving sense of civic pride. Its townspeople can still feel exceedingly proud of the writings of one of the town’s, and indeed Wales’s, most compelling writers, able to show life in all its toughness and tenderness and all the myriad shades in between.
There’s nothing better to do on a beautiful summer’s day than listen to poetry while wandering through the country. So that’s exactly what we did, but with a twist: instead of walking, we horse-trekked our way through beautiful Ogmore.
(the literary tour begins at Ogmore Farm Riding Centre)
On Saturday 18th May, Parthian teamed up with Literature Wales as Dr Kate North and Tom Anderson led a group of anxious literature fans, mainly Dannie Abse fans, across the Ogmore sand dunes on horseback, talking about Dannie’s time in that very place. As everyone got kitted up and introduced to their hairy friend for the day, Parthian got to know the Ogmore Farm Riding Centre’s horses…
(Chucky, the very nosey and affectionate foal)
Afterwards, those who were not so brave to partake in the horse ride (Parthian included), gathered at the stunningly located Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre for an intimate Q&A and reading with Dannie, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year – happy birthday, Dannie!
(Tom Anderson and Dr Kate North intensely listen to Dannie Abse)
It was a special day for all those who attended, Dannie’s poems really came alive as he read poems from his collections that were inspired by the Ogmore coast.
This sophisticated, Booker Prize winning novelist often detailed in dissecting detail the lives of siblings. In Stan and Amy she created a pair of memorable south Wales symbionts, and in Amy in particular Rubens detailed a life so empty of love and its attendant affections that it hurts like hell to read about it and chart its cloying, never-ending miseries.