As perfectly structured and executed as calligraphy.

Woman Who Brings the Rain

Winner of the 2015 New Welsh Writing Award | Shortlisted for the 2016 Wales Book of the Year

In her prizewinning début, Eluned Gramich takes us on her own journey of discovery into a strange land, Hokkaido island in northern Japan. As she gets to know her host family, gradually adjusting to their ways, her command of Japanese increases and she begins to read the natural landscape, teasing out the underlying, often hidden connections between the island’s landscape and its history and culture. The mountain which dominates the view and whose colours mark the changing seasons and human rituals, provides a key to layers of the past, for its naming reveals the shift from an indigenous population to Japanese colonisation, from an intimate relationship between people, land and language to a more detached, imposed identity. 

Step by step, through physical travel, studying calligraphy and meeting her hosts’ friends, the author deepens her understanding of the thought processes and world-view embodied in language and its written expression. The gift of a seal carved with her name marks her progress, the key to her new, Welsh-Japanese self, the 'Woman who brings the rain’, and she comes to realise how much place as well as time can mould and change the individual. As perfectly structured and executed as calligraphy, this sensitive exploration of self and environment is a little gem of poetic prose.

Reviews

  • ‘{Eluned Gramich} is a name to hear time and again in the future. {This writing} is as good as we the jurors have ever read... short but perfectly formed... absolutely perfect.’

    Justin Albert, Wales Book of the Year Judge

  • ‘There are many qualities to admire in Woman Who Brings the Rain: Gramich’s adroit and touching narrative, her poetic style, and lightness of touch are but a few examples. Most rewarding is the philosophical approach revealed at the memoir’s core: her embracing of notions of cultural multiplicity, fluidity and adaptability that suits perfectly the changing boundaries of our modern world.’

    Wales Arts Review

Eluned Gramich

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Read about the author...

Publication details:

Woman Who Brings the Rain
New Welsh Rarebyte (2016)

62pp

Translation rights:

Gwen Davies
New Welsh Review
PO BOX 170, Aberystwyth
Ceredigion, Wales / UK

editor@newwelshreview.com
www.newwelshreview.com