As we start a new month, lockdown restrictions are easing, and bookshops will begin to reopen on the April 12th throughout Wales. March has been a great month for Parthian’s authors, with some fantastic reviews over the past few weeks for Tristan Hughes, Lewis Davies and more!
Revenant by Tristan Hughes
March was a great month for Tristan Hughes, as Revenant was crowned ‘Book of the Month’ by the Books Council of Wales. In celebration of the achievement, our intern Kate Waldock interviewed Tristan about his fiction, writing, and any advice he may have for aspiring writers - over on AM Cymru.
Revenant was also featured in an article of book reviews by Buzz Mag. The 2021 reprint of the book received a mixed review from Joshua Rees, but the takeaway of the book was certainly a positive one, as Rees writes that ‘Revenant offers a moving meditation on memory and what we leave behind when we cross the bridge from childhood to adulthood.’
Small by Natalie Ann Holborow
Small received wonderful praise in a review from the f word. Ava MacPherson wrote that;
‘Natalie Ann Holborow’s Small has resonated with me in such a way that it now seems unimaginable that I could have navigated my day-to-day life without this haunting, vulnerable and comforting collection of poems that are ‘small’ in name and anything but in nature.’
It is great to see that Small is getting attention for its beautiful poetry, something that the f word review described as ‘mesmerising’.
Work, Sex & Rugby by Lewis Davies
The reissue of Lewis Davies’ book, Work Sex and Rugby has been described as a ‘bittersweet, blackly comic novel’ in a review by www.gwales.com. Alex Hubbard wrote some lovely words about the book, saying that, ‘like all good novels, it lingers, shaping the way you might interact with your own sense of the everyday’.
Exiles by Dónall Mac Amhlaigh, translated by Mícheál Ó hAodha
Dónall Mac Amhlaigh’s book Exiles, translated for the first time into English by Mícheál Ó hAodha for Parthian Books in 2020, was the focus of a review in the Irish-language news platform Tuairisc.ie. It was great to see buzz about the Irish author’s book in March, with an incredibly detailed summary and review of the book in Irish.
Hello Friend We Missed You by Richard Owain Roberts
Instagram was the platform of a lovely review this month for Hello Friend We Missed You. The book was described as ‘cynical, nihilistic, reflective, dry, current, minimalist, darkly hilarious whilst simultaneously being deeply poignant and moving’ by kit_reads on Instagram. We were delighted to see that the book was one of her ‘reading highlights of the year thus far!’
Hana by Alena Mornstajnova, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood
It was announced this month that Hana has been longlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2021. The prize celebrates literary fiction that has been translated into English, and literary works from around 40 countries are eligible. It is fantastic to see Hana gain recognition for both the translation and fiction itself, as the judges were looking for ‘outstanding works of storytelling.’ The finalists, comprising of three authors and their translators, will be announced on the 3rd May 2021, so we look forward to celebrating translated fiction over the next few months.
'10 books by Welsh authors you should read'
We were also pleased to see Alys Conran, Rachel Trezise and Eric Ngalle all mentioned in an article by Penguin as recommended books by Welsh authors. Of Rachel Trezise, Dylan Moore says that her ‘short fiction packs an often gut-wrenching punch, irreverence and wit’. Trezise’s book Fresh Apples is described as a ‘must-read if you want a glimpse of Wales today.’
Alys Conran’s book Pigeon was called a ‘modern Welsh classic’, and Moore offers praise for Eric Ngalle’s book, I Eric Ngalle as an ‘intense and gripping migration memoir’. The memoir is ‘a brutal, beautiful reminder that not all Welsh people were born here.’