New Welsh Review publishes winner of the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 WWF Cymru Prize for Writing on Nature and the Environment (15-10-2015)

New Welsh Review has published Welsh writer and translator Eluned Gramich’s winning memoir of living and working in Japan, Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan on its new e-book imprint New Welsh Rarebyte with White Fox.

The beautifully written memoir traces Gramich’s time on the island of Hokkaido in north Japan on a Daiwa scholarship in 2012-13 as she adjusts to a new language, culture and landscape. As precise and nuanced as Japanese calligraphy, Gramich’s memoir has at its heart the mountain, Yotei-San, the region’s iconic equivalent to Mount Fuji. As much about learning a language (with connotations of ‘reading’ a wild landscape) as it is about nature, this dignified and nuanced work evokes what is cultured and cultivated, and yet also honours the wild; the untranslatable. With themes of seasonal transformation, the peripheral, folklore, loneliness and learning to belong, Gramich’s work takes a personal philosophical stance in relation to the centre and the periphery.

Gramich is an exciting new writer and translator from Wales, translating from Welsh and German into English. Her translated collection of German short stories, Goldfish Memory by Monique Schwitter, was published by Parthian in March 2015. Her short stories have been widely published including most recently in the collection New Welsh Short Stories from Seren.

The New Welsh Writing Awards 2015 for non-fiction work of between 8,000-30,000 words on the theme of nature and the environment were awarded in February 2015. The awards were sponsored by WWF Cymru and CADCentre and partnered with Gladstone’s Library, Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre and literary agent Cathryn Summerhayes at WME.

Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan is out now, (£2.99, New Welsh Rarebyte) is available as a Kindle eBook.

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