New Welsh Review 36 - March 2020

This month’s reviewed books feature poetry on trauma and family; a Young Adult novel on Indian street life and loss of privilege; an innovative and topical interwoven short fiction collection, translated from Japanese and offering feminist retellings of traditional ghost stories, and a classic of Wales, ‘The Nightingale Silenced’, Margiad Evans’ final extended prose piece, which described her epilepsy as ‘a prose illness, though many would expect its explosiveness to uncover poetry’. Finally, travel writer Rory MacLean’s satirical, historical and political account of revisiting Russia, thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which traces the rise of the Right ‘from the Baltic to the Black’, the might of the rich and stupid, and the shafting of the ‘little guy’.

In this issue:



• Peter Goulding on Disability in Industrial Britain: A Cultural and Literary History of Impairment in the Coal Industry, 1880–1948 Peter Goulding finds that the story of work-related impairment and the fight for rights before the days of the NHS mirrors the struggle for disability justice today

• Peter Goulding on Fight and Flight: Essays on Ron Berry by Georgia Burdett and Sarah Morse (eds). Peter Goulding writes about the pros and cons of writing between worlds, those of manual labour and literature, and of Wales and London

• on Geiriau Diflanedig by Mererid Hopwood (Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris). Dewi Huw Owen notes the different emphasis of Macfarlane’s original text and its Welsh adaptation, the former addressing lexical shifts, the latter the shift, indeed possible loss of a whole language

• Desi Tsvetkova on Hey Bert by Roberto Pastore. Desi Tsvetokova admires a poetry collection about being choked by past trauma and letting go of it

• Liz Jones on John Ormond’s Organic Mosaic: Poetry, Documentary, Nation by Kieron Smith. Liz Jones on a book that seeks to profile this mid twentieth century poet's lesser known career as a documentary filmmaker

• Desi Tsvetkova on Lost by Ele Fountain. Desi Tsvetkova is moved by an Indian-set young adult novel about being ripped from privilege, class snobbery and shaking off the conditioning of a luxurious life

• Jemma L King on Pravda Ha Ha by Rory MacLean. Jemma L King is intrigued by this exploration, comic in parts, in which a return to Russia 30 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, reveals the rise of the Right, and how the little guy was shafted in the interim, and the stupid became unjustifiably

• Ed Garland on Suzanne and Gertrude by Jeb Loy Nichols. Ed Garland ruminates on this tranquil, graceful and exuberant novel about the relationship between community and recovery, the latest contribution to the literary sub-tradition of donkey as foil or mirror to the human condition

• Chris Moss on The Moving of the Water by David Lloyd. Chris Moss admires a collection of short stories, set among the central New York state Welsh diaspora, that captures a small world at a time of great change

• Ed Garland on The Nightingale Silenced and Other Late Unpublished Writings by Margiad Evans, Jim Pratt (ed & intro). ‘The Nightingale Silenced’ was Margiad Evans final extended prose piece before her death. Ed Garland assesses it as feat of creative self-observation, a report from the unsettling parallel universe of a 1950s neurological institute and a memoir of wha

• Chris Moss on Thinking Again by Jan Morris. When a travel writer has been everwhere, writes Chris Moss, there is something radically enlightening in writing about home and stasis. Jan Morris demonstrates the arts of stoicism and finding a quiet poetry in social isolation

• Georgia Fearn on Where The Wild Ladies Are by Matsuda Aoko (Polly Barton, trans). Georgia Fearn considers this interlinked collection of traditional Japanese ghost stories, with a feminist take, to be a downright genius reinvention containing fiction that will connect with every woman in the modern world

Blog: Amy Aed A Marxist in Heaven

Blog: Lee Tisdale Denis and Katya

Blog: Lee Tisdale Hidden, Series 2

Blog: Lee Tisdale Patagonian Bones

Blog: Lee Tisdale The Lepidoctor

Read other Review issues

Review 1 - 2015

Review 10 - 2016

Review 11 January 2017 - New Welsh Review

Review 12 - February 2017

Review 13 - March 2017

Review 14 April 2017

Review 15 - May 2017 - New Welsh Review

Review 16 - June 2017 - New Welsh Review

Review 17 July 2017 - New Welsh Review

Review 18 August 2017 - New Welsh Review

Review 19 September - New Welsh Review

Review 2 - 2015

Review 21, February 2018

Review 22, March 2018 - New Welsh Review

Review 23, April 2018 - New Welsh Review

Review 25, July 2018 - New Welsh Review

Review 26, August 2018 - New Welsh Review

Review 28 - November 2018, New Welsh Review

Review 29 - February 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 3 - 2015

Review 30 - March 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 31 - April 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 32 - July 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 33 - August 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 34 - November 2019, New Welsh Review

Review 35 - February 2020

Review 4 - 2015

Review 5 - 2015

Review 6 - 2015

Review 7 - 2016

Review - 2016

Review 9 - 2016


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