Issue 122,

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New Welsh Reader 122, Winter 2019


Channelling Marilynne: Translation as Possession, Envy And Belonging (Gwen Davies)

‘I get it!’ an author announced. ‘You may not be on my side, but you definitely want the best for my work.’ She’d just been at the brutal end of my red pen as we came towards the end of several proofs with me as creative editor, then copy editor of her crime novel set in Rhyl.

‘Oh, I see,’ said another, light dawning as we both emerged from Round Three as her London-set male first-person narrative about music, homelessness and suicide lay palpitating but still alive on the ring floor. ‘You care so much about my novel because it reflects your taste in books!’

A third, whom I was mentoring (comfy-sounding but with same knife-wielding potential), was flushed, in a happy way, as we came out of our final meeting. ‘What I love most,’ this author of a satirical campus novel about metrocentrism chirruped, ‘is that you talk about my characters as if they’re real.’ She’s right: I do, and they are real to me, if she’s done her job. And my job is to give her work a workout, not to give her Reiki healing...

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