Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top ten books of rural Wales

Cynan Jones's novels include The Long Dry, Everything I Found on the Beach, Bird, Blood, Snow, and The Dig.

One of his top ten books of rural Wales, as shared at the Guardian:
The Owl Service by Alan Garner

“Wherever you go you can think of that noise, and you know what you hear in your head is in the valley at the same moment. It never stops. It never has stopped since it began.”

I first read The Owl Service when I was a child. At the time it wasn’t the setting that struck me - I was used to that. I was also used to the feeling of some ancient, or more accurately “always present” otherness in that setting: something Garner pitches perfectly in this extraordinary story inspired by the Blodeuwedd myth from the Mabinogion. Garner’s physical descriptions are beautiful and accurate in their ability to unnerve or mesmerise, while the tension between the visiting English owners of the old farm and the Welsh staff who belong there highlights the tension that has long been and always will be between incomers and indigenous folk.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue