Thursday, 27 November 2014

Top 10 books of rural Wales

The Guardian had this interesting list yesterday. It includes three personal favourites - The Owl Service, Bruce Chatwin's On The Black Hill (and the writer here neatly encapsulates what makes it such a fine book), and of course RS Thomas's Collected Poems.

As with any list, though, there are bound to be controversial omissions and inclusions. Nothing by Raymond Williams, for example. Anyone got any other suggestions for what might have been included?


Clarissa Aykroyd said...

Alongside The Owl Service, I would personally include two books in Susan Cooper's great fantasy series, The Dark is Rising - the two books are The Grey King and Silver on the Tree, particularly the former. Most of The Grey King is set on and around a farm near Cader Idris. That book and Silver on the Tree led me to visit the area, including the beautiful Tal-y-llyn and Llyn Barfog lakes, and they are wonderfully evocative. Some of it is also about the whole "English in Wales" question, in a somewhat similar way to The Owl Service.

oliver dixon said...

Hi Matt,
I'm currently reading Landor's Tower by Iain Sinclair, a darkly rich and bizarre take on the Ewyas Valley and environs peopled at once by poets (David Jones, Ed Dorn and of course Walter Savage Landor),living personages such as Howard Marks and Terry Waite, and a repertory of comic grotesques from Sinclair's other novels who seem to have rebelled against their own fictionality and come to haunt their creator. Landor's Tower would make a maverick, anti-pastoral addition to the list.
All best,

Matt Merritt said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Clarissa and Oliver. They all sound worth digging out. My sister was a big fan of the Susan Cooper books when we were kids, but I never got round to reading them.