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Caryl Lewis

Martha, Jack and Shanco

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  • £8.99

Won Wales Book of the Year award in 2005

Bound together by blood ties, Martha, Jack and Shanco live on a farm in mid-Wales where their lives unfold in the eerie half-presence of their dead parents.


'Martha, Jack and Shanco, by Caryl Lewis (Parthian £8.99) Harsh, lyrical, devastating, Caryl Lewis's Welsh-language novel of rural loneliness and loss sings with a bitter poetry in this translation by Gwen Davies. Subject and setting are canonical: the cycle of a tragic year, with ageing siblings marooned on the hill farm inherited from parents who fixed their fate. Did Martha and her brothers have "no choice"? Season by season, Lewis shows the pull of the place even as she tells how it ruins its people.' Boyd Tonkin The Independent Friday 2 November 2007 

'Strong writing which often sparkles. The talent for expression is at times superb, rising way above the challenge of translating. Gwen Davies' translation succeeds wholly in persuading you to read the book. The language chosen is warm, keeping the novel's truth... you can be confident that those who can't read the original will not miss out.' Golwg
'Martha Jack & Shanco this is a raw and often disturbing novel by Lewis, focusing on a farming family in rural west wales who are dislocated from society and modernity. Jack's fiery temper, Shanco's childlike state and Martha's resolve to live in the past leads to conflict within the family home. levels of discordance increase with the arrival of Judy, Jack's love interest. Originally puiblished in welsh, the powerful story possesses the reasons why Welsh fiction in English is growing in popularity.' Angharad Crank, Buzz Magazine