The Crossing bridges the past and the present and connects Wales with America, as it tells of coal owners and coal workers in the age of great transatlantic liners and fortunes to be made.
At its heart is a father’s search for his daughter in Welsh valleys no longer proud, where creaming off regeneration grants has replaced coal mining as a way of life and development parks now stand where once did pit head wheels. It follows a lifetime’s search for lost love, the sinking of a great ship in a great war, misplaced family and forlorn hopes where individual lives are shaped and fated in the shadow of modernity and the cold hand of progress.
This brave, bold and challenging work conjures a vivid cast of characters into being and offering – with ready vim and ample vigour – their compelling, complex and ultimately telling story.
“A masterpiece of amalgamation and imagination... is a fictional vision of the meaning of the life and death of American Wales”. Jon Gower
“At times the writing hovers on the last edge of prose, aspiring to be poetry, and like poetry demands to be read aloud.” Wales Arts Review
“In probing the meaning of Welsh lives in the twentieth century Dai Smith’s novels offer sophisticated meditations on history and community, the past and the present...” Agenda
Dai Smith was born in the Rhondda in 1945. His
writing has encompassed history, biography, essays
and criticism. He was the Series Editor of the Library
of Wales and Chair of the Arts Council Wales and was
made a CBE for services to arts and culture in Wales
in 2016. He currently edits the Modern Wales Series
and is Chair of the Dylan Thomas Prize. With The
Crossing, Dai Smith has built upon and completed his
trilogy of fictional work, Dream On, What I Know I
Cannot Say and What Lies Beneath.