Wales Book of the Year Long List Announced

14 Apr 2011

The Wales Book of the Year Long List for 2011 has been announced by Literature Wales. The Short List of six titles - three in Welsh and three in English - will be revealed simultaneously at two special events held at Galeri Caernarfon and John Lewis' Espresso Bar, Cardiff on Thursday 19 May 2011. The winners will be announced at the Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony which will be held on Thursday 7 July 2011 at Cineworld, Cardiff.

Gladys Mary Coles,  Clay  (Flambard Press)

In 1916, William Manderson, a young poet and infantryman, leaves Liverpool for the Western Front where his older brother is already serving. During the build-up to the great offensive on the Somme, William keeps a journal, sends intimate letters to Jack's wife Elizabeth and writes poetry reflecting his experiences. He longs for news of close friend and fellow soldier, Matthew Riley, a composer and pianist.

Stevie Davies,  Into Suez  (Parthian)

1949: Egypt's struggle against its British occupiers moves towards crisis; Israel declares its statehood, driving out the Arabs; Joe Roberts, an RAF sergeant, his wife Ailsa and daughter, Nia, leave Wales for Egypt. When Joe's closest friend is murdered by Egyptian terrorists, their relationship spirals towards tragedy. 

John Harrison,  Cloud Road:
A Journey Through the Inca Heartland

In every atlas there is a country missing from the maps of South America: the Andean nation. For five months John Harrison journeys through this secret country, walking alone into remote villages where he is the first gringo the inhabitants have ever seen, and where life continues as if Columbus had never sailed.

Tyler Keevil,  Fireball  (Parthian)

It's the end of an intensely hot summer in Vancouver, and Razor's complex and misunderstood best friend Chris has just driven a stolen police car through a road block and over a cliff to his death. 

Patrick McGuinness,  Jilted City  (Carcanet)

Wit and paradox are at the heart of the poems in Jilted City, a collection full of acrid tenderness that finds unforseen connections between place and displacement. 

Pascale Petit,  What the Water Gave Me:
Poems After Frida Kahlo

A collection of Pascale Petit's poems. The poems in this collection are spoken in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and bear the titles of her paintings. A few sequences, such as the title poem 'What the Water Gave Me', represent one painting over several poems and are woven through the book. 

Alastair Reynolds,  Terminal World  (Orion Books)

 Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains. 

Dai Smith,  In the Frame: Memory in Society
Wales 1910 to 2010

In the Frame is a powerful alternative history of twentieth-century south Wales, written by cultural historian Dai Smith. It contains the story of a collective biography, piecing together the consciousness of a society which led its inhabitants in search of fame and fortune, as well as the daily struggle for rights and recognition without sympathy or sentimentality. 

M. Wynn Thomas,  In the Shadow of the Pulpit: Literature and Nonconformist Wales  (University of Wales Press)

Ranging from the nineteenth-century to the present, this book explores several central aspects of the ways in which the English-language poetry and fiction of Wales has responded to what was, for a crucial period of a century or so, the dominant culture of Wales: the culture of Welsh Nonconformity.

Alan Wall,  Doctor Placebo  (Shearsman Books)

Doctor Placebo finds himself at the end of the western intellectual tradition, and on certain mornings feels almost as old. As a medical practitioner he broods about his patients; as a writer he broods about his poems. Sometimes the two intermingle and he can't remember whether he is a doctor moonlighting as a poet, or a poet moonlighting as a doctor. One thing at least remains constant: moonlight. The end of the western intellectual tradition, like Placebo himself, is insomniac.

The Welsh-language Books

These are the Welsh-language books that have been chosen to make the Long List:

Tony Bianchi, Cyffesion Geordie Oddi Cartref  (Gwasg Gomer)

Elin Haf, Ar Fôr Tymhestlog  (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)

Hywel Gwynfryn, Hugh Griffith  (Gwasg Gomer)

Jerry Hunter, Gwenddydd  (Gwasg Gwynedd)

William Owen, Cân yr Alarch  (Y Lolfa)

Angharad Price, Caersaint  (Y Lolfa)

Dewi Prysor, Lladd Duw  (Y Lolfa)

Gwyn Thomas, Murmuron Tragwyddoldeb a Chwningod Tjioclet  (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)

Ned Thomas, Bydoedd: Cofiant Cyfnod  (Y Lolfa)

Gareth F. Williams, Creigiau Aberdaron  (Gwasg Gwynedd)


Books from Wales on-line