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August 2019

Reimagined Communities: Writing from Wales

Image: Lea Sautin, "Forest." Woodcut. Courtesy of Lea Sautin.

This month we present writing from Wales. From nineteenth-century religious fervor to twenty-first century dystopia, in lush rural villages and desolate urban streetscapes, the fiction here reflects a national literature incorporating diversity into a fight for survival. Start with Casi Dylan’s insightful introduction to this little-known literary landscape, then turn to these stellar examples. Welsh Book of the Year winner Manon Steffan Ros portrays a mother and son writing their lives in a postapocalyptic Wales. Llŷr Gwyn Lewis’s epistolary tale reveals a Baptist missionary who travels to Japan only to find herself converting to a new way of life. Caryl Lewis depicts a household besieged by multiple intruders, while Fflur Dafydd observes a resentful lackey scheming in his supervisor's absence. And Llwyd Owen conjures a grim future in which the Welsh language itself is a crime. We thank our guest editors, Alexandra Büchler, Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, and Cari Lake, and the Wales Literature Exchange. Also this month, we present contemporary Chinese religious poetry.

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Book Reviews

Sparse, Monochrome Scenes in Selva Almada’s Debut Create a Believable and Powerfully Visual World

Reviewed by Frances Riddle and Mariano Vespa

With The Wind That Lays Waste, Almada may have invented an entirely new literary genre, something that could be called Southern Cone Gothic.

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