Selected Short Stories

Gwyn Thomas, Author Seren Books $0 (204p) ISBN 978-1-85411-000-8
The 23 short stories here (except one, ``Hastings,'' a short narrative about the 1066 Norman invasion written for radio) are all set in the coal-mining valleys of South Wales and mostly told in the first person; many of these and other stories by the prolific Welsh novelist and playwright were first heard on BBC radio. Their enigmatic, memorable titles give little clue to content. ``The Leaf that Hurts the Hand'' is a blackly comic tale of a man who refuses to dig his garden, considered an unneighborly act, and why his wife is found buried under the thriving weeds. ``The Leafless Land'' starts out: ``It is no wonder that I turn pale at just the mention of love.'' The hapless young narrator, enamored of Caroline Pugh, the daughter of Octavius Pugh, ``the element who cleans the Infants' School,'' takes Caroline for a cuddle in the basement of said school. It's a near-fatal mistake, for Octavius is very protective of his daughter's virtue. Distinctively Welsh in phrasing and rhythm, these are first-rate examples of the short-story form. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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