Award-winning fiction writer Tristan Hughes bridges his twin homelands of Wales and Canada in this this new collection of short stories. Set mainly in rural Ontario and Ynys Môn, they reflect on the relationship between the land and the individual, between native and newcomer, the old and the young, and past and present. While each story is a satisfying whole in itself, links emerge between many of them: we meet in one a character on the fringes of another, or the same events may be seen through different eyes, or take place in the same location at different times, building up narrative layers and interactions. Tone, mood and register shift from the incongruous – a cow lying on a beach, the tradition of an elephant buried in a small Welsh town – to the elegiac evocation of fading human life or love, or wry observation of misunderstandings and frailties. Narrative is always inseparable from the landscape, and imprints of transitory human lives persist everywhere, whether in the wild Canadian expanses of lake and forest, or the smaller-scale rural or seaside settings in Wales. Wide-ranging but building up to a rich and satisfying whole, these exquisitely written stories once again reveal Tristan Hughes’s mastery of his craft.
Absorbing stories of fragility and affinity… precisely and beautifully written.
Laura Wainwright, Wales Arts Review