In the latest of their series taking a peek into the creative spaces of Wales’s leading authors, award-winning writer Tristan Hughes shows Wales Arts Review his cabin in the woods... 'When I was younger, I used to imagine writers’ rooms. They were romantic places; often housed somewhere in the nineteenth or early twentieth century, high up in garrets, along streets in bohemian quarters, around the corner from smoky cafes. I pictured them as repositories of long and marvellous accumulation – filled with great heaps of paper, piles of leather-bound books, a whiff of opium in the air, wine stains on...
If there’s one thing we’re proud of here at Parthian, it would have to be the range of voices we send out into the world upon our pages. We remain dedicated to literature from Wales, but as we have grown, so too have our interests extended beyond the Welsh hills. Alongside our Welsh authors, we today publish voices from across the world: from Germany to France, Turkey to Canada. These global connections have inspired so many unmissable stories, stories of love and loss, life and laughter; stories we are incredibly proud to put the Parthian name to.
Two of these global voices who have found homes at Parthian are Tristan Hughes and Tyler Keevil. These hugely talented authors are both originally from Canada, and have both since settled in Wales. With their engaging prose and gripping plots, it’s no wonder Tristan and Tyler have found success.
We are excited to announce that Tristan Hughes’ Hummingbird, his highly-anticipated fourth novel, will be hitting shelves from June 1. A story of loss, life and redemption, Hummingbird shrouds an isolated Canadian hamlet in mystery and examines how the past can never be retrieved completely. Inspired by a mystery taken from Hughes’s own family history, this is a novel not to be missed, by those who have loved Hughes, and by those yet to experience this powerful and gripping literary voice.
The Western Mail interviewed Hughes on the inspirations behind this novel:
‘Several years ago, my mother was clearing out the attic of our family home when she discovered me first book […] I’d written it when I was nine years old and it had the catchy title of ‘Four Short Stories’ […] the last - and the longest - was about a man who walks into the wilderness of northern Canada and never returns. That one was based on a true story. Near the beginning of the last century, my great uncle wandered off into the forests of northern Ontario and didn’t come back […] I can see now how my nine-year-old self simply couldn’t comprehend that somebody could just disappear. The story must have haunted and bewildered me…’
With his new novel Hummingbird out in hardback this month, Tristan Hughes is our Author of the Month for May 2017.
Hughes has published various novels, three of which are set on Anglesey, Wales: The Tower (2004), Send My Cold Bones Home (2006) and Revenant (2008), each reflecting his interest in the landscape and history of the island. His fourth, Eye Lake (2012) turns attentions to northern Ontario. In his latest novel, Hummingbird (2017), Hughes braves through the Canadian wilderness: familiarising the landscape of his youth in a poetic coming-of-age story about death, life, and the changes they bring.
'Hughes's rapt and rhythmic prose captures all the secretive intensity of an "entire compacted country": not just this island of saints and sinners off the north Welsh coast, but youth itself.' – The Independent
– Financial Times