Shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year, Creative Nonfiction Award 2023
Simultaneously personal and universal, and told in the rhythms of an oral story, this beautifully musical and multi-layered book examines the divisiveness of colour, alienation, the impact of colonialism on social culture, and what it means to be ‘mixed’.
Isabel Adonis was born in London in 1951, to Welshwoman Catherine Alice Hughes, and renowned Guyanese artist Denis Williams, whose work has been exhibited in the Tate Gallery.
Growing up in London, Sudan and Wales, with a cold and distant father and an isolated mother, Adonis explores the nature of identity, culture and desire as shaped by her childhood impressions of her parents.
An essential read that portrays an important aspect of the culturally diverse social fabric of Wales and the wider world.
Nation.Cymru: “...an extraordinary narrative, a swirling and circling story of language and heroism.”
The Cardiff Review: “Stylistically, Adonis' prose calls to mind the kind of oral storytelling found in the Bible, or Homer.”
The Western Mail: “...an intense, hypnotic read. Adonis' writing is keenly observant, and sometimes incantatory in its rhythm and repetition.”
Paul Theroux: I admire this book - a family entangled in Wales and the West Indies and Africa - a dominant father casting his shadow over the narrative. It is a complex memoir, related in a quiet and incantatory way, for which the word "Faulknerian" is not an exaggeration. It is in many ways a dark tale, but its heart and its humanity gives it great power.
Jim Perrin: "…the freshest, most exquisitely written, most observant, complex and insightful cultural memoir ever written about growing up in North Wales. I thoroughly recommend it to you."
“Brave, powerful and impossible to put down, Paper Horses is an important memoir of surviving coercive control” - Western Mail
When Julie Rees met her handsome and sophisticated French boyfriend, she thought her life had taken a fairy-tale turn. Moving to the South of France with him and her horses to set up a trail-riding business seemed like a dream come true.
And then it all turned sour. Gradually, Julie discovered that her Perfect Prince was in fact a Troll. Through social isolation, devastating bush fires and even a spell in a French jail, Paper Horses paints a raw and honest portrayal of life in a psychologically abusive relationship, and how the love for her child and her horses gave Julie the strength to survive.
At times painful, always inspiring, this memoir details how easy it is to be drawn into an abusive relationship, and how the love of and for others
can not only help you escape, but thrive.
“Don’t Ask About My Genitals is part introduction to our fabulous community, part commentary on our lived experiences in a binary world and what that means for us, part guide on ways that allies can help our community in the battle for equality and it is also part my story, presented here to help other young genderqueer and non-binary people who might otherwise think they are all alone.” - Owen Hurcum
This challenging, informative and groundbreaking book is a must read for anyone with an interest in wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of the trans and non-binary community, and people who believe in equality and diversity, and even more so for those who oppose it.
Whilst this book does not cover every aspect of the trans and non-binary community, and the diverse and vibrant lives they live, it will leave you more knowledgeable and supportive. Education is the enemy of discrimination after all.
Born in a hidden valley in West Wales during the first half of the 20th century, Arianwen is one of the blessed: one to whom life comes easily.
Hers is an ordinary life, similar to the lives we all live, filled with the small pleasures that help us bear life's little tragedies, in the hope things will get better again.
But in a fast-changing world, Arianwen must learn the hard way. It is endurance that will see her through real adversity.
Elegantly written with an understated humour and a lyricism that reflects the natural rhythms of the Welsh language, Arianwen is the captivating portrait of one woman who represents us all.
On a snowbound Cader Idris, death comes stalking.
Pen y Cwm: Cobb is running from his traumatic past. He hopes that burying himself in a small village on a Welsh mountainside will help, but Branwen Jones, local vet and member of the Mountain Rescue Team, will not let him.
Efficient and organised, Branwen firmly believes that getting Cobb actively involved in village life is the only way to help him recover. And it doesn't hurt that Cobb is ruggedly good looking.
London: Jay Whitney is a grey-hat hacker, breaking into systems for the sheer fun of the challenge. Though if he happens to make some money out of it too, well, there are worse ways of making a living. But the day he hacks into Nemesis Records and finds himself with some very dodgy files, Jay learns that he has overreached himself.
With two hit-men on his heels, Jay flees to Wales, a decision that will have deadly consequences for Branwen, Cobb and the people of Pen y Cwm.
Kris finds himself on the tram ride from Hell; Matt is attacked on his way home through a storm – but not by anything human; Alex discovers a bizarre truth about his past, and a boy must look deep into an extraordinary shoebox to discover who he really is.
From aliens to zombies, this gripping collection of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories will have you looking at familiar objects and every day events in a very different way.