LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

40+ Books by Welsh Writers

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! as we say in the Land of My Fathers (that’s Welsh for “Happy St David’s Day”). Blessed with soul-stirring hymns and arias, enchanting legends, verdant valleys and a stunning coastline, Wales is also blessed when it comes to world-class literary talent, as this collection dedicated to singing the praises of Welsh wordsmiths reveals. Read on to discover a host of books worth harping on about and cwtching up with (that’s Welsh for a special kind of hug that feels like home).

From esteemed Celtic bards, to outstanding contemporary novelists, Wales has a richly diverse writing tradition that stretches back several hundred years, with The Mabinogion of the 14th-century representing the earliest prose stories of British literature, and Dafydd ap Gwilym considered to be one of Europe’s greatest poets of the Middle Ages. Skipping to the late nineteenth-century, Caerleon-born Arthur Machen was a hugely influential writer of supernatural fiction, made famous - and infamous - by The Great God Pan. In the early twentieth-century Wales gave us flamboyant poet and dramatist Dylan Thomas, and RS Thomas, whose spiritually-charged poetry evokes Wales’s exceptional natural beauty.

Talking of talent for conveying an exceptional sense of place, Welsh historian, journalist and travel writer Jan Morris enjoyed a remarkable career spanning seven decades. At the other end of the spectrum, mention must go to Griff Rhys Jones’ entertaining travel writing and non-fiction. Tonnes of funny fiction writers hail from Wales too, from Monty Python’s Terry Jones, to Holyhead-born comedienne, actress and novelist Dawn French, to Ruth Jones, co-creator of Gavin and Stacey.

If you’re more into thrillers than funnies, they don’t come bigger than Cardiff-born Ken Follett. His espionage epics and historical page-turners have sold over 170 million copies worldwide. For modern noir, Malcolm Pryce’s novels are highly recommended - they’re a rambunctious romp of Welsh wit and sabre-sharp satire set in Aberystwyth, where there’s only one Private Investigator in the village. Then there’s Dick Francis. Born on a Pembrokeshire farm, the jockey-turned-novelist has been acclaimed as one of the world’s finest thriller writers.

Staying in picturesque Pembrokeshire, Sarah Waters was born in the estuary town of Neyland and has authored several hugely celebrated novels, among them The Little Stranger, a chillingly gothic ghost story that’s been adapted for the big screen. Similarly accoladed, Trezza Azzopardi’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel The Hiding Place draws on the author’s experiences growing up in the Maltese community of Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. For an alternate take on Tiger Bay, Leonora Brito’s Dat’s Love and Other Stories delivers dazzling short stories set in the Bay’s Caribbean community.

A recent personal favourite is Caryl Lewis’s haunting West Wales set novel The Jeweller, published by Honno, an excellent independent press dedicated to publishing writing by Welsh women. Other Honno highlights we’ve loved here at Love Reading include The Seasoning, The Homeless Heart-throb, The Party Wall and Someone Else’s Conflict. On the subject of wonderful Welsh publishers, Cardiff-based Firefly Press publish fabulous books for children and young adults, such as the Branford Boase Award-winning Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, and the empowering, entertaining Tulip Taylor

Lastly, since she was born to a Welsh father (albeit on the majestic Caribbean island of Dominica), Wales can lay claim to the incomparable Jean Rhys. Best known for Wide Sargasso Sea, the “My Father” piece in her unfinished autobiography, Smile Please sees Rhys ponder her Welsh roots and family, while “Overture and Beginners Please” in Sleep It Off Lady sees the autobiographical main character “packed off to responsible Aunt Clare in Wales”.

Wales’ green, green grass of home is certainly lush with literary fruit - read on to sample some of our favourites.

Edge of Eternity

Edge of Eternity

Author: Ken Follett Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2015

As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in an unforgettable tale of passion and conflict during the Cold War. When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene. In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement - as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together. Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin. From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of Sixties' London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known. *Includes family tree*

ebook of the month
Winter of the World

Winter of the World

Author: Ken Follett Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2013

Berlin in 1933 is in upheaval. Eleven-year-old Carla von Ulrich struggles to understand the tensions disrupting her family as Hitler strengthens his grip on Germany. Into this turmoil steps her mother's formidable friend and former British MP, Ethel Leckwith, and her student son, Lloyd, who soon learns for himself the brutal reality of Nazism. He also encounters a group of Germans resolved to oppose Hitler - but are they willing to go so far as to betray their country? Such people are closely watched by Volodya, a Russian with a bright future in Red Army Intelligence. The international clash of military power and personal beliefs that ensues will sweep over them all as it rages from Cable Street in London's East End to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, from Spain to Stalingrad, from Dresden to Hiroshima. At Cambridge Lloyd is irresistibly drawn to dazzling American socialite Daisy Peshkov, who represents everything his left-wing family despise. But Daisy is more interested in aristocratic Boy Fitzherbert - amateur pilot, party lover and leading light of the British Union of Fascists. Back in Berlin, Carla worships golden boy Werner from afar. But nothing will work out the way they expect as their lives and the hopes of the world are smashed by the greatest and cruellest war in the history of the human race. Winter of the World is the second novel in Ken Follett's uniquely ambitious and deeply satisfying trilogy 'The Century'. On its own or read in sequence with Fall of Giants, this is a magnificent, spellbinding epic of global conflict and personal drama.

ebook of the month
Aberystwyth Mon Amour

Aberystwyth Mon Amour

Author: Malcolm Pryce Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/02/2009

  Schoolboys are disappearing all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town's private investigator, soon realises that it is going to take more than a double ripple from Sospan, the philosopher cum ice-cream seller, to help find out what is happening to these boys and whether or not Lovespoon, the Welsh teacher, Grand Wizard of the Druids and controller of the town, is more than just a sinister bully. And just who was Gwenno Guevara?

ebook of the month
Fingersmith

Fingersmith

Author: Sarah Waters Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2003

'We were all more or less thieves at Lant Street. But we were that kind of thief that rather eased the dodgy deed along, than did it. We could pass anything, anything at all, at speeds which would astonish you. There was only one thing, in fact, that had come and got stuck - one thing that had somehow withstood the tremendous pull of that passage - one thing that never had a price put to it. I mean of course, Me.'

ebook of the month
Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

Author: Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Inspired by Charlotte Bronte, Jean Rhys turns one of her stories on its head and creates an absolute masterpiece in her sublimely crisp reimaging of Jane Eyre. Through making Bertha, the "madwoman in the attic", her narrator, Rhys makes and powerful statement about agency, and who gets to have their story told.    Born into the oppressive, colonialist society of 1930s Jamaica, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality. After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness, and her husband into the arms of another novel's heroine. This classic study of betrayal, a seminal work of postcolonial literature, is Jean Rhys' brief, beautiful masterpiece. Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Comments (0)


Leave A Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.