The World of Kate Roberts CL: Selected Stories, 1925-1981

Kate Roberts, Author, Joseph P. Clancy, Translator Temple University Press $72.5 (372p) ISBN 978-0-87722-794-6
This new collection of works by Roberts (1891-1985), presented here as the foremost stylist of the short story in the Welsh language, contains two novellas and 35 short stories, many of them previously untranslated. Roberts's vocabulary is unadorned, befitting her subject matter, a world where coal and quarry dust hang heavy in the air. Her stories depict a Wales of cultural and spiritual, as well as economic, poverty. A widow tries to reconstruct her life, a quarryman dying of cancer is unable to tell his wife of his feelings for her. Perhaps the best piece is the novella ``Dark Tonight,'' dealing with the mental breakdown and recovery of a minister's wife. Also outstanding is ``Protest March,'' in which a woman, protesting for reform of the welfare system, despairs that anything can be changed even before the demonstration is over. Yet all is not unrelentingly grim. Roberts captures the rhythms of Welsh life with its harvests, fairs, literary meetings and the Christmas eulogized by countryman Dylan Thomas, though seen here without sentimentality. Selections from Roberts's autobiography, plus an introduction and notes by Clancy, orient readers to the author's life and work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 372 pages - 978-0-87722-795-3
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