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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…