Monthly Archives: April 2012
Very impressed to discover, while browsing idly for online reviews, that Jewish Book Week has released the audio of thirteen of their events this February as a podcast. And the best part of it is that the events with Chochana Boukhobza (author of The Third Day) and Daša Drndić (Trieste) are two of them (the first two in fact). So, if you weren’t able to make the events at King’s Place, or you had no earthly idea they were taking place, you can still listen to the full hour’s discussion in both cases. Hats off to Jewish Book Week. Clicking the image below will take you to the podcast page.
This morning we sent out our very first newsletter, or e-bulletin, to friends, booksellers, translators, authors and readers, and many who fall into more than one category. A quick click on the image below will bring up the bulletin, where you can subscribe. Feedback or suggestions more than welcome.
As Though She Were Sleeping, which we are about (well, June, but it’s gone to press) to publish in paperback, has recently been published in America by Archipelago Press.
The principal upshot for us is this interview with Khoury broadcast on Nevada Public Radio today. Enjoy!
Nothing like a praise-bomb of a review to brighten up a rainy Friday, and they don’t come much more quietly explosive than this, courtesy of the Independent’s Literary Editor, Boyd Tonkin
This beautiful book, with the many meanings of blindness and insight at its heart, traces a path not only between the visible and invisible worlds but between memory and imagination, past and present – and fact and fiction. Price, an academic at Bangor University, won the National Eisteddfod prize for prose in 2002; Lloyd Jones’s perfectly-pitched English version now graces MacLehose’s august list as its first translation from Welsh.
Price’s book achieves a rare feat indeed. A lovingly crafted account of Welsh-speaking rural life on the brink of dissolution or at least transformation, it serves both as a touching, tender document and as a thoroughly artful exercise in storytelling – one that, in methods and motifs, can claim a place on the shelf beside Berger, Sebald and Ondaatje. Widely hailed as the first Welsh classic of the 21st century, it now stands tall –whether great-aunt Rebecca would have liked it or not – as a peak of modern British writing too.
Read the full review
Our edition of The Life of Rebecca Jones is the third coming of Angharad Price’s exquisite short novel of life in a remote valley in rural Wales.
Price originally wrote the story in Welsh for entry to the National Eisteddfod Prose Medal — the word limit for the competition is 40,000 words, which is why Price’s novel is the length it is. It’s Welsh title was O! Tyn y Gorchudd!, and it tells the story of a generation in Price’s family, who have lived and farmed the land in the same valley for a thousand years.
It was a story that the family had long talked about writing down, and so Price, who did not grow up in the Valley herself, decided to do it herself, but with a surprising twist. Her telling was was announced as the 2002 winner of National Eisteddfod Prose Medal, and in 2003 it was published by Gomer Press. Once it had a cover and spine, there was no stopping it: it was named Welsh Language Book of the Year by the Welsh Arts Council at the Hay Festival in 2003.
Some years later, novelist and translator-from-the-Welsh Lloyd Jones translated the book into English. He was able to work closely with Price on the translation, and The Life of Rebecca Jones/O! Tyn y Gorchudd! was published in a bilingual edition in 2010, once again by Gomer. A copy found its way into the hands of Christopher MacLehose, and last Thursday we travelled to Aberystwyth for the launch of the MacLehose Press edition. Prior to publication we have had some wonderful quotes from Ronald Blythe, the author of that quintessential classic of English rural life, Akenfield, and the travel writer and historian Jan Morris. The Life of Rebecca Jones is, in Morris’ words, “the most fascinating and wonderful book”, and Blythe wrote to tell us that:
“It is not easy to put into the customary admiring words what I felt as I read Angharad Price’s astonishing novel. Perhaps an admiration verging on awe . . . A great addition to rural literature”
And of course the next step is for the rights to be sold in Europe and America and beyond so that Rebecca will be granted a fourth life, and a fifth, a sixth, maybe even a tenth or a seventeenth. All lived in the remote valley where her family have farmed the land for a thousand years.