NWR Issue r10

Review 10, August 2016

Welcome to Review 10, our e-edition of reviews and comment, this time free-to-view.

Tonight (1 August), the film of Fflur Dafydd’s off-beat dystopian novel Y Llyfrgell, directed by Euros Lyn, can be seen in preview at Abergavenny’s Baker St cinema during the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Fflur wrote the screenplay and describes, in her cathartic column The Library Suicides, Page to Screen, how she emotionally struggled to let go of her novelist’s role, especially when honing her work down to the bones of a detective-thriller. This Welsh-language film is screened, with and without subtitles, across Wales and England from 5 August.

To meet your summer and ongoing children’s book needs, this edition aims to redress the lament at the heart of Rachel Carney’s column, Do We Take Children’s Literature Seriously?, with six further pieces on books for young readers, in the form of text reviews, an audio review and an audio bookclub. These cover the following eclectic deliciousness. UWP heavyweight, Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected, in which the ‘Welsh Dahl’, beyond the author’s brief Llandaf childhood, is reclaimed. GR Gemin’s Sweet Pizza, a tale of a Valleys’ Italian café childhood, confirming Rene Cutforth’s tag for the Welsh as ‘Italians in the rain’ (and maybe vice versa). Fluid, fast-paced and imaginative: Fo Orbell has her spirits lifted skywards by this Tir na n-Og winner, for 11-13 year-olds about a missing racing pigeon (with walk-on parts by Anne of Grey Gables and Grey’s Anatomy), The Search for Mister Lloyd by Griff Rowland. And Alice Vernon finds beauty and emotional depth in Studio Ghibli's latest (slated to be final) anime, When Marnie Was There, which explores the type of childhood solitariness that risks sliding into depression, girlhood autonomy and the mother-daughter complex, all in a gorgeous marshland setting transplanted from Norfolk to Japan.

Talking of redressing, we continue to do our job for Wales as well as for emerging and established writers. In A Stranger Comes to Town, Mandy Sutter, winner of our New Welsh Writing Awards 2016 University of South Wales Prize of Travel Writing, reflects on how experience and memoir mesh in her winning essay ‘Bush Meat’, set in 60s Nigeria. And finally, monetary obsession is eschewed in favour of adventure, landscape, philosophy and a stubborn pack-beast in Seaside Donkey, A Wayward Walk around Wales.

The EU referendum result highlighted the structural weakness of Wales’ media. In turn it emphasised the concurrent narrow focus of London-centric broadsheet papers such as The Guardian. New Welsh Review cleaves a clear path through the populism of Radio Wales, the (proper) focus of Radio Cymru on Welsh-language culture, the forelock tugging of the Western Mail, the Wales-amnesia of Radio Four and the broadsheet review pages, and the fragmented me-culture of social media networks. Join us in redressing Wales; our subscription offer lasts until 31 August.


• Rachel Carney on Do We Take Children’s Literature Seriously?
• Liz Jones on Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected, ed Damian Watford Davies (UWP)
• Fiona Orbell on The Search for Mister Lloyd by Griff Rowland (Candy Jar)
• Fiona Orbell on Ben and the Spider Prince by Angela Fish (Book Guild)
• Fiona Orbell on Sweet Pizza by GR Gemin (Nosy Crow)
• Audio Book Club on YA Fantasy Novel The Secrets of The Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt (Pushkin)
• Alice Vernon on Studio Ghibli anime, When Marnie Was There
• Carla Manfredino on Seaside Donkey, A Wayward Walk around Wales by Hannah Engelkamp
• Mandy Sutter, A Stranger Comes to Town, on how memoir and fiction mesh in her prize-winning essay, ‘Bush Meat’
• Mandy Sutter, Bush Meat, Winning Entry Video, NWWA 2016, University of South Wales Prize for Travel Writing, film by Emily Roberts, Eleanor Roberts & Gwen Davies
• Fflur Dafydd, The Library Suicides, Page to Screen, on turning her offbeat dystopian novel Y Llyfrgell into a straight detective film, The Library Suicides, directed by Euros Lyn
• Editor Gwen Davies, forthcoming highlights video, New Welsh Reader, 112, autumn 2016


previous editorial: Review 9
next editorial: Punks and Safety Pins


A brief note on copyright:all authors have given permission for their work to appear online on New Welsh Review's website. Copyright remains with the author. If you wish to reproduce part or all of any article then the permission of the author must be sought, and the author and New Welsh Review credited accordingly.

Contact us:Registered Office PO Box 170, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1WZ - Telephone 00 (44) 1970 628410 admin@newwelshreview.com
© New Welsh Review Ltd, all rights reserved - Registered in England and Wales - Registered number: 02493828
Website design: mach2media and mopublications      Website development: Technoleg Taliesin Cyf.