The latest addition to my website is T. Rowland Hughes‘ Chwalfa (Out of Their Night). Hughes was an educationalist but, when he developed multiple sclerosis, started writing seriously, and wrote several novels, mainly concerned with life in the Welsh slate quarries, a play and a radio play, as well as poetry. This novel is about a long drawn-out strike in the slate quarries and the profound effect the strike has on the local community. We mainly follow the Evans family, with the father, Edward, very much involved in the strike. His two younger sons want to help but one eventually runs away to sea and the other suffers from ill health. The daughter, Megan, marries a scoundrel and the couple live with Edward and his wife, Martha, till the son-in-law, Ivor, commits what Edward sees as a betrayal, and becomes a traitor, i.e. returns to work while the strike is still on. Gradually, though, many of the men do return to work, while others drift away, quite a few go to the Rhondda Valley, to get jobs in coal mining. There is no real plot, except for the development of the strike. Rather, it is a portrait of a community that is broken up by the strike, a strike for which the author feels complete sympathy and, as such, works very well.
- Post author:tmn
- Post published:2 July 2014
- Post category:The Modern Novel website / Wales
- Post comments:2 Comments