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The Wales Book of the Year Long List Announced | 25-Apr-10

The Wales Book of the Year Long List for 2010 was launched on Tuesday 20 April at The Management Centre, Bangor in an event held in partnership with the School of Welsh, Bangor University.

The Short List of six titles - three in Welsh and three in English - will be announced in an event hosted by Luned Aaron at the Guardian Hay Festival on Sunday 6 June 2010, 2.30 pm. The Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony will be held on Wednesday 30 June 2010, 7.00 pm at The St David's Hotel and Spa, Cardiff.

The English language judges are: poet and lecturer at the University of Wales, Ian Gregson (chair); fiction writer, James Hawes and broadcaster Sara Edwards.

Ian Gregson, Chair of the English-language judges said:

"This year's list is especially exciting because almost all the best books this year were by lesser-known or younger writers, notably the two novelists and the three poets. It's also conspicuously varied in terms of genre: as well as poetry and novels, it includes nature-writing, life-writing, short stories, and two books of intriguing and challenging critical exegesis."

The People's Choice
Have your say and vote for your favourite from the ten long-listed books to win the People's Choice prize.
Karen Price will be presenting this prize which is given by Media Wales at the Wales Book of the Year Ceremony this year.

Read about the Long List, discuss the books and make your voice heard by voting. Full information on how to vote will be available soon at: walesonline.co.uk/bookoftheyear

THE BOOKS:

The Meaning of Pictures: Images of Personal, Social and Political Identity by Peter Lord (University of Wales Press)
This book is about Welsh pictures painted between the eighteenth and the twentieth centuries. It mainly concerns how pictures are understood by the people who use them - patrons, museum curators, and the general public - rather than by the painters who paint them. It consists of a series of chapters on different aspects of painting.

I Spy Pinhole Eye by Philip Gross (Cinnamon)
Simon Denison uses a pinhole camera to transform that most mundane of objects - the footings of electricity pylons - while Philip Gross's poems explore the act of seeing and interpretation in a collaborative work that is meditative, playful and profound.

The Songbird is Singing by Alun Trevor (Parthian)
It's the 1920s. Airships, prohibition, Al Capone, talkies, gramophones, the Empire State building: the world across the pond is bursting with excitement and the future wide open for two small boys at home on their north Wales farm.
  
Pocket Notebook by Mike Thomas (William Heinemann)
The debut novel from serving police officer Mike Thomas. An angry black comedy, it follows Jacob's very public breakdown and subsequent fall from grace, all of which he meticulously records in his police notebook.
 
Self-Portrait as Ruth by Jasmine Donahaye (Salt)
Rooted in a Jewish family history that reaches into nineteenth-century Ottoman Palestine, Self-Portrait as Ruth is written in defiance of all 'official' versions of Israeli or Palestinian history. A challenging, aching, honest exploration of culpability, this lament will incite controversy and debate.
 
The Compilation of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi by Nikolai Tolstoy (Edwin Mellen)
This work establishes the chronology and provenance of the early medieval tales known today as the Mabinogi. Although they have been described as the stories of the old Brittonic gods from whom the leading Welsh dynasties claimed descent, Tolstoy shows that often seemingly incongruous and contradictory passages reflect details of historical events in Britain and Ireland during the first two decades of the eleventh century.

Carry Me Home by Terri Wiltshire (Macmillan)
Lander, Alabama, 1904. When young Emma Scott claims she has been raped by a 'black hobo', a chain of events is triggered that will affect generations to come. In modern-day Lander, Canaan Phillips has fled her abusive husband and returned to Lander and her fierce Southern Baptist grandmother, who brought her up after her mother's suicide.

The Woman at the Window by Emyr Humphreys (Seren)
At the age of ninety, celebrated Welsh novelist Emyr Humphreys gives us this gentle, but haunting selection of short stories, the latest addition to a lifetime of writing, which has included 21 novels as well as short stories, poetry and essays.
 
 
Wan-Hu's Flying Chair by Richard Marggraf Turley (Salt)
From Chinese legends to scenes from artists' studios, these poems open apertures on twilit worlds, where the 'elastic collision of lovers' burns, ears clang to the 'torture of air', and 'winged creatures quiver on springs'.

A Single Swallow by Horatio Clare (Chatto & Windus)
From the slums of Cape Town to the palaces of Algiers, through Pygmy villages where pineapples grow wild, to the Gulf of Guinea where the sea blazes with oil flares, this book presents a journey through the modern world to the tune of an ancient rhythm. It is also a story of old empires and modern tribes.

The Welsh-Language Books
These are the Welsh-language books that have been chosen to make the Long List:

Banerog, Hywel Griffiths (Y Lolfa)

Cornel Aur, Manon Rhys (Gwasg Gomer)

Cymer y Seren, Cefin Roberts (Gwasg Gwynedd)

Cymru: Y 100 lle i'w gweld cyn marw, John Davies (Y Lolfa)

Fel Aderyn, Manon Steffan Ros (Y Lolfa)

Lewis Edwards, D. Densil Morgan (Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru)

Llwybrau, Haf Llewelyn (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas)

Mân Esgyrn, Sian Owen (Gwasg Gomer)

Naw Mis, Caryl Lewis (Y Lolfa)

Y Trydydd Peth, Siân Melangell Dafydd (Gwasg Gomer)

The judges on the Welsh-language panel are John Gwilym Jones (Chair), Aled Lewis Evans and Branwen Gwyn
 

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