Christien Gholson's Blog Entries
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A signed colour plate hardback edition of Dannie Abse’s Goodbye, Twentieth Century is a part of twenty-five limited sets of the whole series of the Library of Wales, available from Parthian this December. Dannie signed the colour plate of his portrait by Josef Herman, which is in the National Museum of Wales collection, on publication in 2012.
Dannie's rich mixture of Welsh and Jewish backgrounds, and his dual occupations of doctor and author, have led to what is widely regarded as one of the most readable, humorous and poignant autobiographies available today. Goodbye, Twentieth Century incorporates his acclaimed first volume of autobiography, A Poet in the Family, and in this new edition from the Library of Wales brings his life up to the present day and the outset of a new century. It includes a moving epilogue that speaks of his recent years which brought tragedy and dramatic change to his life.
Cynan Jones, author of Betty Trask Award-winning The Long Dry (Parthian, 2006) and Everything I Found on the Beach (Parthian, 2011), was recently asked by The Guardian to choose his top 10 books which best evince the "mythic power of place" that is to be found in the rolling hills, solitary farm communities and weathered mountain crags of rural Wales.
Wales’s physical landscape changes dramatically region by region. The Beacons differ from Snowdonia differ from the Cambrian Mountains differ from the Preselis. There are isolated hill farms, wealthy border farms, small patchwork farms – all within relatively close distance. But the individuality of each place and the characters who live in them is strong. Landscape, then, is a strong if not main protagonist in the books below. But there’s a thing that seems to seep time and again into those landscapes: myth. Myth that sticks in the treads of boots and gets walked all through these stories…
This set of 39 books, featuring seminal works from authors such as Gwyn Thomas, Raymond Williams and Arthur Machen, as well as a special signed copy of Dannie Abse's biography, is the perfect gift for literary lovers this Christmas.
Insightful...amusing...very readable...highly recommended
These are just a few of the adjectives used by Phil Morris, Managing Editor of Wales Arts Review, in his recent glowing review of Andrew Green's In the Chair: How to Guide Groups and Manage Meetings, published in the most recent edition of Agenda magazine.
Morris lauds Green's "lucid prose", which is "leavened with wit and snippets of dialogue that offer brief and illuminating examples of good practice, his "commendably wide range of sources", and his decision to forgo "the business-school management speak that might muddle his message", before conclusing that the book is an essential purchase for "anyone with thoughts of chairing public and third sector organisations".
Read the full review here.
There was also a mention of the book in a recent edition of The Western Mail from Dylan Jones Evans, "the professor who shoots from the hip". In his article, he heralds the publication of In the Chair as being "long overdue", and calls it a "compelling read...that can help both novice and experienced chairs to fulfil their potential in this role over time."
'Touching, mature and imaginative, this is a wonderful debut collection from an author who looks set to make a significant contribution to the changing shape of Welsh writing as her career develops.' Emma Schofield enjoys Georgia Carys Williams' debut short story collection Second-Hand Rain, reviewed for Wales Arts Review.