Christien Gholson's Blog Entries
Congratulations to Swansea writer Rebecca F. John, one of the 6 shortlisted writers for this year’s Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Her nominated story, 'The Glove Maker's Numbers', focuses on a woman who creates an elaborate system of numbers to cope with the loss of her brother. Rebecca’s dark yet dazzling debut short story collection Clown’s Shoes will be released through Parthian later this year.
She joins a critically acclaimed group of five global literary names in the running for the world’s richest (£30,000) short story prize, including the American novelist Elizabeth McCracken, picked for her story 'Hungry', the Canadian Madeleine Thien, the author of 'The Wedding Cake', the previously shortlisted Chinese-American writer Yiyun Li, chosen for 'A Sheltered Woman', the New Zealander Paula Morris, for 'False River', and the American Scott O'Connor, for 'Interstellar Space'.
‘...a deliciously bold debut novel...
‘[PeterKrištúfek] offers readers a privileged vantage point from which to watch a nation write … its history,’ as Phillip Clement acclaims in the New Welsh Review #107.
Clement felt that Krištúfek’s chosen narrator for the tale in Adam Trnovsky helped to map out Slovakian history with a ‘light hearted and conversational tone.’ Clement felt that this tone of voice ‘mesmerises readers with its flat, dead-pan humour and its keen eye for the detail within the spectacle...’ It is through this ‘child’s eye’ that Clement notes that ‘the reader experiences the petty tensions and conflicts…’ Clement enjoys this ‘naïve interpretation of events.’
Clement praises the book highly, in comparing it's style as 'reminisent in tone to Markus Zuzak's The Book Thief.
‘[Richard James] Jones is that rare thing: a poet, of variousness, experiment and surprise’, according to Amy McCauley in her review of Little Man in the New Welsh Review #107.
McCauley comments on Jones’ ability to blend together different forms of speech within his poetry as being experimental, offering ‘versatility and weight’ to the books form. She admits that, although ‘prevent[ing] the collection from lapsing into uniformity, smugness or predictabilty’ the variation acted as a ‘double-edged sword’ she wondered if a ‘running thread-whether vocal or thematic-might have offered a useful structuring device for such a short collection.’
Finding pleasure in Little Man McCauley found them an exciting collection to read. Commenting on the personality of Jones' poetry it was his 'ability to surprise that I [McCauley] value most,' her favourite poems included 'What Comes' and 'Snow Globe,' to name but a few, she felt a connection to the way they 'straddle[d] the 'real' world and the world of fable.' McCauley called them 'unsettling, wise and funny all at once.'
Congratulations to Eluned Gramich who has been announced as the winner of the New Welsh Writing Award 2015, organised by the New Welsh Review in association with WWF Cymru and the CADCentre.
Scenes from a Hokkaidan Life, a memoir of Eluned’s stay on the remote Hokkaido island in the far north of Japan, has been described as ‘As precise and nuanced as Japanese calligraphy… 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.’
As well as £1,000 cash, Eluned Gramich's work will also be published in e-book format by New Welsh Review in 2015. Eluned also won a weekend stay at Gladstone's Library, Flintshire, and a positive critique of the work by leading literary agent at WME, Cathryn Summerhayes, and lunch with her in London.
“One of the most readable books on rugby... a stylish contribution to the game’s history.” The Times
Carwyn: A Personal Memoir by Alun Richards, the Pontypridd born writer and dramatist, is new in the Library of Wales series and launched at London's Brand Exchange on Friday, March 6th as part of a week long celebration of Welsh art, food, music and culture to celebrate St David’s Day, organised by Brand Exchange and The Gallery Yr Oriel Newport Pembs. Entry to the gallery and events is free to invited guests. To reserve your place, please email enquiries@brandexchange specifying which event(s) you would like to attend or call 0207 389 9410.
Swansea University’s student led paper The Waterfront interviews Rebecca John, author of the forthcoming short story collection Clown’s Shoes (Parthian, Autumn 2015).
Their 16 February edition features a page of endearing insights into how the Swansea University MA student, (long listed for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award), found her love for writing and how she has handled being a writer. It also features a short extract from her story The Dog Track which was selected for braodcast in 2013 by BBC Radio 4.