Category: New Titles
By Ceri Shaw, 2017-05-30
By Ceri Shaw, 2017-02-14
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-11-24
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-11-24
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-11-15
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-11-01
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-10-31
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-10-13
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-10-11
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-09-29
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-08-25
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-07-15
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-07-04
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-05-12
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-04-23
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-04-20
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-03-25
By Ceri Shaw, 2016-03-04
By Ceri Shaw, 2014-06-18
By Ceri Shaw, 2014-01-30
By Ceri Shaw, 2014-01-13
By Ceri Shaw, 2014-01-09
By Ceri Shaw, 2013-09-07
By Ceri Shaw, 2013-07-03
By Ceri Shaw, 2013-05-07
Gimme Shelter by Rob Gittins - Award-Winning Screenwriter Rob Gittins Publishes Breathtaking First Novel
By Ceri Shaw, 2013-04-09
By Ceri Shaw, 2013-03-06
By Ceri Shaw, 2012-11-26
By Ceri Shaw, 2012-09-24
By Ceri Shaw, 2012-07-01
By Ceri Shaw, 2011-06-08
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-11-25
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-11-23
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-10-13
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-09-11
World Mental Health Day will be celebrated at the Wales Millennium Centre this year with the launch of a novel Bamboo Grove, set in Bangkok, with a bipolar teenager as its main character. Manic depressive author Romy Wood looks at the extremes of life in the Far East through the eyes of Jessica, a young woman who also has the disorder. Precarious at the best of times and vulnerable to exotic job offers, Jessica meets Moses, a pseudo-Buddhist monk and Pippa, a Romanian illegal immigrant, and is sent to Bangkok by a quixotic pair of young businessmen. All become intricately, messily bound by the unique and rather dubious organization that is Eastern Vision. The empire has one foot in the seedier realms of metaphysical Surrey and the other amongst the slums and skyscrapers of the City of Angels. From faux-Eastern objets to real estate, client-centred sperm-donation to gypsy magic, the tangled fortunes of Eastern Vision go from strength to strength and back again. Bamboo Grove is a very funny satire about sex, financial boom and bust, corruption, cultural collision, fertility, altruism and unethical tourism.
Romy Wood taught drama in comprehensive schools for ten years. She works as an associate Lecturer for the Open University. This novel is informed by her experiences of Romania and Thailand, where she has friends and family, as it is by Romys life as a woman with Bipolar Disorder. She lives with her husband and three children in Cardiff.
Prize- Winning “Geordie Exile in Wales” Publishes Novel Of Youth, Age and Obsession on Tyneside 'Bumping' by Tony Bianchi
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-04-21
North Shields-born and bred Tony Bianchi is of Italian descent but learnt Welsh so well that he took the major Fiction prize in Welsh, the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize, in 2007, as well as being nominated twice over for the Welsh Book of the Year for his novels in the language. He also taught himself the strict poetic metres and was the 2007 judge for Welsh entries of the Ireland-based International Poetry Competition, File Filochta, which he himself won in 2004. The son of a policeman, he spent most of his career as Literature Director at the Arts Council of Wales. Bumping, published in May 2010, is Bianchis first novel in English.
The first two of Bianchis Welsh novels explore with great sensitivity the compromises and realignments experienced by old people needing care and their families. Inspired by his fathers memories of his Merchant Navy days in wartime America, Bumping also takes age as a major theme in his portrayal of narrator eighty-six year-old Tom, struggling to adapt to life in a care home and the way his memories and thought trails are about quarter of an hour out of synch with everybody elses (indeed, John Williams, author of Cardiff Dead and Malcolm X, praises Bumping for this quality of slippage, A wise and tender portrait of ordinary lives slipping slowly out of kilter with the brave new world around them.) Tom is only one of three main narrators, however, making this a novel with truly wide readership appeal across the generations, as well as one of distinctive contemporary colloquial Tyneside voices.
Bumping interweaves three stories: each presents a character whose obsessions and attachments become magnified through chance encounters, leading to unforeseen and ultimately catastrophic results. The bumping of the title conveys something of these random processes, as well as one characters passion for recreational lock-picking. The stories are told in a number of voices: middle-aged way leave officer Frank; teenagers Nicky and Barry, and the heart-breakingly confused and ever-optimistic elderly Tom. The themes include relationships with home and place, male preoccupation with mechanisms and systems, moral evasion, and the tyranny of random events. Bumping is also a novel about youth and old age, delusion, lock picking and Californian ladybirds.
The author explains the meaning of the title and the impact of Tyneside on his writing,
People bump into each other as simple as that. The novel turns around a number of chance events. All of the characters believe that order, even contentment, are just an arm's-reach away. If only they can get over the next hurdle, explain themselves a little better, show that they are worthy of love then all will be well. But the pattern of their lives is much more random than they can ever allow.
'Bumping' also means 'lock-picking'. You need to read Barry's story to find out why this is significant. This is what he does, what he can do, it is his own, personal attempt at controlling a little bit of the world.
Among the books that have influenced me is Ciaran Carson's The Star Factory. I'd love to do for Tyneside what Carson did for Belfast in that book, and perhaps I'll work up to it. It needs doing. But it needs to be elliptical, full of the unexpected, the awkward, the plainly barmy!
Tony Bianchi is currently a freelance writer and translator, living in Cardiff.
Look inside and order 'Bumping' HERE. ( Available May 6th )
By Ceri Shaw, 2010-03-09
Pritchards Nose, the debut novel of Sam Adams, tells the tale of a man who lost his nose in strange circumstances.
Intrigued by the mysterious legend of the man with a hole where his nose should be, Martin, a literary researcher, goes on the trail of a long-lost manuscript belonging to Thomas Prichard, the 19th century author of the tales of the Welsh highwayman, Twm Sion Cati. Woven into this literary detective story is the fictional autobiography of Prichard himself, following him from his childhood in rural Wales, along the drovers' road to London and a career on the stage. The novel ends with the puzzle of how Prichard ended his days down and out in Swansea and without his nose.
In this revealing story, Sam Adamss nose for the Welsh past is combined with his poets eye to bring the nineteenth century alive to all our senses.
Sam Adams said, This is a book that had to be written in order to satisfy an obsession with Prichard that has extended over thirty years. What I knew of Prichard when I began looking into his life was that he had written a novel called Twm Shn Catti about a remarkable, eccentric character well remembered still, especially in Tregaron, his home patch, who in real life, as Thomas Jones Esq., 400 years ago, had been a poet, antiquary and genealogist, but in legend became famous as a merry rogue who, by disguise, mimicry, trickery and wit, and no little courage, overcame his enemies and won at last the hand of a grand lady.
The little we know for certain of the history of Prichard himself is almost as strange and fascinating as that of Twm Shn Catti, and I have not been able to let go of it. Prichards Nose is an attempt to fill in all those gaps in his life that research could not bridge. Why was his childhood spent in a remote farm high on the mountain above Sennybridge? How did he find his way to London as a boy? Why did he hate the Reverend Benjamin Jones of Builth? Why did he choose Jeffery Llewelyn as a pen name? How did he become an actor? And how did he lose his nose?
Sam Adams comes from Gilfach Goch, Glamorgan and is a former editor of Poetry Wales and a former chairman of the English-language section of Yr Academi Gymreig. He edited the Collected Poems and Collected Stories of Roland Mathias, is the author of three monographs in the Writers of Wales series and is a frequent contributor of poems, criticism and essays to a number of magazines. He published his third collection of poems, Missed Chances in 2007.
Pritchards Nose (9.95) will be published by Y Lolfa on the 16 March 2010
By Ceri Shaw, 2009-11-24
By Ceri Shaw, 2009-05-08
By Ceri Shaw, 2009-03-25
By Ceri Shaw, 2009-03-06
By Ceri Shaw, 2009-02-24
A Welsh author living in America was overcome by emotion twenty five years since leaving his homeland and became ludicrously patriotic, so decided to write a novel glorifying Wales. Peter Griffiths is a Welsh-speaking author from Cynheidre near Llanelli, moved to Denver, Colorado in 1972, but in the last few years has gravitated back to Wales.
Peter Griffiths said: In 1990, while driving from Heathrow to Bala, climbing the Berwyn from Llangynog, I distinctly remember being moved by the grandeur, and feeling ludicrously patriotic. How could I not write a novel glorifying Wales, its people, and its language? It would be aimed mainly at my circle people in the States, who go weak at the knees over Scotland and Ireland, but rarely over Wales.
The novel is called, Tongue Tied, and is set in the Tryweryn valley and the Rhondda. The novel considers how language has had an unifying and some times divisive role over the centuries. The author said: One is Welsh if one feels Welsh. The novel recognises the tension that arises at times between the majority of Welsh people who cant speak Welsh and the minority who can; and the divisiveness of the language in these instances is compared, with sadness, to its crucial unifying role over the millennia.
Tongue Tied is published by Y Lolfa on St Davids Day. The author now shares his time between Swansea and Denver. This is his first novel.
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-10-31
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-10-31
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-10-16
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-09-24
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-07-28
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-06-19
Y Lolfa and Seren are Wales two leading publishing houses. Seren tends to concentrate on Anglo-Welsh literature whilst Y Lolfa publishes a wide range of general titles about Welsh culture and history and also a great many first rate Welsh language titles. In the interests of promoting knowledge of Wales and its leading book publishers we are featuring the press release reproduced below.
The latest title from Y Lolfa concerns a case with which many members of Americymru may be unfamiliar. In 1987 three men were convicted for the vicious murder of a Cardiff newsagent and sentenced to life imprisonment. Their sentences were subsequently overturned on appeal amidst concerns over the way the investigation was handled.
It must be stressed that the 1980's were a turbulent period in Wales' history. Social discontent and unrest manifested itself in many forms includindg national strikes by the steelworkers and mineworkers, the holiday home burning campaign conducted by Meibion Glyndwr, the Welsh language TV station protest movement, the formation of radical Welsh Republican movements and in the late 80's the beginning of the Anti Poll Tax protest movement. It is against this backdrop that a series of the most spectacular miscarriages of justice in Welsh history occurred. The case of the Cardiff Three is perhaps the most infamous of these. Another more politically charged incident involving the prosecution of members of Y Faner Goch for conspiring to produce explosives has been documented in Y Lolfa's excellent Police Conspiracy. The forthcoming title by Michael o' Brien deals with the case of the Cardiff Newsagent Three.
Whilst these cases should never be forgotten and can never be excused it should be pointed out that owing to the turbulent nature of the era, police resources were stretched to the limit and unreasonable pressure was probably brought to bear to obtain speedy convictions. It should also be pointed out that the South Wales Police have a record for intelligent and sensitive crowd control at major sporting events which should be the envy of every police force in the world.
Books gets author out of prison and into publishing...
Michael Obrien, who was imprisoned for 11 years for a murder he didnt commit will give a full account of his ordeal and his fight for justice in the forthcoming book called The Death of Justice. The autobiography will be published by Welsh publishers, Y Lolfa in September, and the author is glad of the continuing support of the publishers as a book they published in 1984 played a crucial part in his release from prison.
Michael Obrien said: When I went for bail it was bought to my attention that there was a similar case of misscarriage of justice that had happened many years earlier described in the book Police Conspiracy published by Y Lolfa.
The book was used at the appeal and at the bail hearing and convinced the judge to free me on bail, pending an appeal. There were striking similarities between both cases which bought police investigations into question. Theres no doubt that Police Conspiracy went a long way to establish my innocence in the courts and helped to uncover what had gone on in the case. It played a significant part in my release.
Michael Obrien also feels that had the judges of the original trial know about the case in Police Conspiracy they may have reached a different verdict. He added: Im very greatful to Y Lolfa for what theyve done, and I hope my book will bring attention to all cases of miscarriage of justice in Britain.
Michael Obrien received the highest compensation payout ever for miscarriage of justice in 2006, a sum of near a million pounds, and in his book he reveals how he lost everything, including his family while in prison, and then turned to study law to work on his case. He was released in 1999 after eleven years behind bars.
The Death of Justice will be published by Y Lolfa on 19 September and is written with Greg Lewis.
By Ceri Shaw, 2008-06-04