June was another busy month, full of excellent reviews for our authors. Easy Meat has been receiving brilliant praise across publications and social media, which we are delighted to see, as well as The Book of Katerina, Angels of Cairo, and more! Have a read on to look at what the reviewers are saying!
Rachel Trezise’s new novel Easy Meat has been the subject of so many brilliant reviews and comments over June. The ‘masterpiece’, as Buzzmag has called it (and we are definitely inclined to agree), has received a huge number of reviews over the last month. Have a look at some of the best bits below to see what people are saying about Trezise’s new fantastic addition to the Welsh literary scene:
"A one-sitting page-turner that gives voice to the voiceless while checking the country’s pulse, never once flinching from the contradictions of everyday life in modern Wales"- Dylan Moore, The National
"Easy Meat is a sensitive portrayal of people as people – full, complex and multifaceted – whose every choice is shaped by the conflicting experiences and identities that inform who we are." - Polly Winn, the Welsh Agenda
"Rachel Trezise’s latest novel Easy Meat is a gritty narrative with a unique voice that embodies the sense of community in the author’s Rhondda Cynon Taf homestead."- Billie Ingram Sofokleous, Buzz Mag
"Easy Meat is a novel set on a tipping point, where Brexit is only a buzzword, conspiracy theories are rife, and Caleb is desperately trying to get his life back on track."- Martha O'Brien, Wales Arts Review
"Trezise weaves these simple relatable parts of life beautifully into something that feels real and vital"- The Digital Fix
We also wanted to include some of the wonderful tweets we’ve seen that celebrate the book:
Gary Raymond wrote on Twitter:
"Journalists, commentators, statisticians, blowhards, politicians, all scrambling around trying to understand the Welsh Brexit vote, and here is proof they should have just asked a novelist. We should be extremely proud to have a writer like @RachelTrezise in Wales...
... a writer who has risen to the challenge of examining the defining issues for our era in her land. It should be on the syllabus in schools (all across the UK, not just Wales) and should be immediately snapped up for adaptation by @BBCWales...
...If we as a nation treat this important novel with the respect it deserves, perhaps the entire perception of Welsh literature can change. Writers like Trezise have always had the ability to enlighten us on important matters, so now it's time to listen (and read)."
Mike Parker wrote:
"Brilliant new novella from @RachelTrezise: short, sharp and wise. Kind and witty too. Set on the referendum day 5 years ago in a Valleys community in south Wales, it is one of the best assessments I’ve read of how we are where we are."
Sian Tomos Owen wrote:
"Easy Meat by @RachelTrezise is a masterpiece. It’s absolutely spot on in it’s depiction of the valleys’ brexit vote. There’s so much worked into it for such a short book. It’s absolutely sopping in phenomenal metaphor."
Claire Papamichail’s translation of The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau has also received excellent reviews this month. Glen James Brown wrote that:
"The Book of Katerina knows what family really is—an undulating mass of secrets, half-truths and gaps that compels us to make sense of it while there’s still time, and to pass it on if we can... a gleefully sardonic novel about illness and family, and how we can never quite cure ourselves of either."- Wales Arts Review
John Murray wrote in his blog that the book is a “compelling black comedy”, and a “wonderfully good and wise latest novel” from August Corteau.- John Murray
Hana was also in the spotlight in June, having been called an “excellent novel” by Toby Lichtig in an article discussing the judging of the EBRD Prize:
“An evocation of a postwar Czechoslovakia scarred by the Holocaust, and a town whose traumas are reignited by an outbreak of typhoid. It is particularly good on childhood and the secrets of adults.”- TLS
Lichtig admitted that this year's EBRD Prize longlist was extremely difficult to choose from, and wanted to give Alena Mornštajnová's novel the extra recognition it deserved.
A Late Return by William Rees was reviewed by Tom Lodziack, a major table tennis Coach in the UK. We were delighted to see the high praise from an expert in the game, with Lodziak even asking for another table tennis book from Rees!
“A Late Return is a really enjoyable read for any table tennis obsessive. Bill has a very engaging writing style, which will make you laugh and also care deeply for the three main characters in the book.”- Tom Lodziak
Emily Edwards in Buzzmag wrote that A Late Return is a “feel-good, all-consuming read.”
William Rees also talks about the book in Nation Cymru, which you can check out if you’d like to read more about the background behind the book!
Biddy Wells received wonderful praise for Scrabble in the Afternoon from Wales Arts Review writer Sarah Broughton, who described the book as a “fine addition to other recent explorations of adult children facing the complexities of caring for their ageing parents.”
“Beautifully observed and painfully honest”- Wales Arts Review
July sees Angels of Cairo being made Waterstones’ Welsh book of the month, which you can read more about here. In June, Raymond received a fantastic review from Jenny White in Western Mail, who said that “Gary Raymond is a brilliantly funny writer and this book is arguably his best yet.”