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Trosiadau/Translations: The Life of Rebecca Jones/O! Tyn y Gorchudd
Angharad Price
ISBN: 9781848511750 (1848511752)Publication Date March 2010
Publisher: Gwasg Gomer, Llandysul
Adapted/Translated by Lloyd Jones.Format: Paperback, 216x140 mm, 202 pages Language: Bilingual (Welsh and English) Out of print Our Price: £9.99   
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A parallel text version of a contemporary Welsh classic, O! Tyn y Gorchudd, winner of the Prose Medal in the 2002 National Eisteddfod. The imaginary autobiography of the author's great-aunt who died in childhood, comprising a warm and vivid portrait of Welsh rural society in Merionethshire during the 20th century.

Fersiwn dwyieithog o'r clasur Cymraeg, O! Tyn y Gorchudd a enillodd y Fedal Ryddiaith yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn 2002. Hunangofiant dychmygol hen fodryb yr awdures a fu farw yn ei phlentyndod, yn cynnwys portread byw a chynnes o gymdeithas wledig Gymraeg yn Sir Feirionnydd yn ystod yr 20fed ganrif.
Well, I’m not sure whose feet I’d like to kiss first: Angharad Price’s for writing this exquisite novel; Lloyd Jones’s for his superb translation; or the publisher’s for bringing the two together in this parallel text. O! Tyn y Gorchudd won the National Eisteddfod Prose Medal in 2002 and both Welsh Book of the Year and the Hay Festival Welsh Language Prize in 2003. It has been hailed both as an instant classic and as the first Welsh-language masterpiece of the twenty-first century, and the English translation fully endorses both claims. Here is a book that will surely stand long and proud alongside such enduring greats as Kate Roberts’ Y Lôn Wen (The White Lane – also available in Gomer’s parallel-text series with an English translation by Gillian Clarke), Caradog Prichard’s Un Nos Ola Leuad (One Moonlit Night, translated by Philip Mitchell) and T. Llew Jones’s Lleuad yn Olau (also translated by Gillian Clarke and also translated as One Moonlit Night).

In a gently elegiac tone, Rebecca Jones, now an old woman in her nineties, tells the story of her life at Tynybraich, the farmhouse in the cwm at Maesglasau that has been her family’s home for nearly a thousand years. She speaks of the changing seasons and the round of the farming year. She tells of her intransigent paternal grandmother Catrin, of the love that blossomed and endured between her parents, of the siblings who lived and died: Robert who takes over the farm even though his dream is to be a doctor; William and Gruff who are both born blind but who lead extraordinary lives not despite but because of this; Ieuan who dies of diptheria on his fifth birthday; Olwen Mai – ‘Born in May. Dead in May. Even the bluebells lasted longer.’ – and Lewis, who knew that ‘next year he’d be at school, and his sight would go. Lewis was six when he faced that. Through a veil of blue on the side of Tynybraich mountain he stared blindness in the face, and saw blue turn to grey.’ The sense of place, of belonging, of enduring without bitterness though not without regret resonates throughout the fictional autobiography of a woman who has effaced herself for the sake of others and who sees the end of life approaching. And then, right at the very end, in the final three sentences, everything changes . . . The extraordinary beauty of this immediate classic left my skin tingling.

Suzy Ceulan Hughes

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Further Information:
In 2002, Angharad Price’s O! Tyn y Gorchudd won the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod. In 2003 it was the Wales Book of the Year. But the young author’s greatest prize was the knowledge that she had produced an instant classic, a bestseller that touched its readers’ hearts, and disarmed its critics in equal measure.

Such was its beauty and poignancy that Lloyd Jones – himself a subsequent winner of the Wales Book of the Year Award in 2006 for Mr Cassini – felt compelled to produce an English-language version of O! Tyn y Gorchudd entitled The Life of Rebecca Jones, a version that is faithful to both the spirit and poetry of the original. The book’s evocation of twentieth-century rural mid-Wales, and of a family and a community’s way of life, is both heartwarming and haunting; whilst its twist in the tail – read in the original Welsh or in the parallel English text – remains utterly moving.
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