This book will be released in October 2022.
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Gwyn Thomas was born, the last of twelve children, into a Rhondda mining family in 1913. After a childhood marked by the strikes of the 1920s, he went off to study Spanish at Oxford University and in Madrid, where he met the poet Federico García Lorca and witnessed the turmoil which would lead to the Spanish Civil War. On his return, amidst the economic mire of the 1930s and his own burgeoning teaching career in Barry in the 1940s, he picked up his pen and began to write. For more than forty years, until his death in 1981, as novelist, screenwriter, master of the short story, and prizewinning playwright, Gwyn Thomas delivered compelling and comedic portraits of his world of South Wales. His creative genius earned enduring fame on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of the European Cold War divide. As a provocative and insightful broadcaster, he embraced the possibilities of radio and television, whilst leaving his hosts and guests alike in fits of knowing laughter.
This landmark biography, enriched with unrivalled access to private papers and international archives, tells the remarkable story of one of modern Wales’s greatest literary voice.
Daryl Leeworthy is the Rhys Davies Trust Research Fellow at Swansea University, where he works on the cultural and political history of modern Wales. His several books include Labour Country: Political Radicalism and Social Democracy in South Wales, 1831-1985 (2018) and A Little Gay History of Wales (2019).