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Glyn Jones

The Valley, The City, The Village

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Glyn Jones was one of the giants of twentieth-century Welsh writing, as a short story writer, critic, and poet. Here, in this remarkable novel of 1956, he creates a narrative of exceptional power that draws on all these gifts.


An artist at heart, Trystan Morgan grows up in his grandmother’s valley mining cottage, duty-bound by her deep wish for him to be a preacher. He comes from farming stock and longs to paint the Welsh countryside of his people. But he agrees to study at the city university, although his adolescent mind revolts at the social posturing around him.

Trystan’s journey through the conflicting cultural, social and political values of his country is bewildering but finally liberating. Through the vivid kaleidoscopic images of this novel, the author creates a rich impression of people and places: a Wales which is a landscape of the mind.

About the author:

Glyn Jones was born in 1905. In the thirties, he entered the Welsh writing scene and continued to publish novels, poetry, short story collections, translations and works of criticism until his death in 1995. He received several awards for his contributions to literature in Wales. Brought up in a Welsh-speaking, chapel-going family, Jones was educated in English, which remained his primary writing language, although he read and spoke fluent Welsh. The first chairman and then vice-president of Yr Academi Gymreig (English section), he was deeply concerned with supporting the literature of both languages.

Short extract:
They were red and rugged, the hands of a labourer, their knotted erubescence evidenced familiarity with the roughest work, they seemed as if the coarse substance at which they had laboured had become an element of their conformation ... [I] watched my own painter’s hand, culpable, indulged, and epicene, as it moved adroitly in the perfect glove of its skin.