Ymbapuroli
(Empaperment)

Shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year 2021 | Creative Fiction

Ymbapuroli gathers into one gem of a collection a decade of essays and thought pieces by Angharad Price, one of the most highly regarded authors and scholars working in Welsh today. With a title drawn from the work of TH Parry Williams – a master of the 20th century essay form, on whom Price has written extensively – the subtlety and capaciousness of these writings reveal Price a successor as much as a researcher of his extraordinary talents.

With subjects ranging from phonetics to cakes, from cleaning to Karl Marx, it is Price’s gift for sensitive, intelligent scrutiny that holds the volume together, her capacity to expand the meaning of the seemingly smallest mundanity. In ‘Tri myfyrdod ar bapur tŷ bach’, for example, one of the pieces written specifically for this collection, she presents three musings on toilet paper, moving from the experiences of the novelists Ngūgī Wa Thiong’o and Angharad Tomos, both of whom used toilet paper to set down their thoughts during times in captivity, to the panicked rush for toilet paper during the first lockdown of the recent pandemic. From the opening portrait of her grandparents’ farm on the slopes of Mynydd Tynybraich, we understand her world view as both deeply rooted and internationally expansive: the collection encompassing experiences of her education at Oxford, her studies and travels in Germany and Austria (the work contains translations of Friederike Mayröcker a Maruša Krese, both of whom she met during her time there), as well as her home in Caernarfon. It’s a push and pull also reflected in Price’s wider body of work: her award-winning novella, O! Tyn y Gorchudd (The Life of Rebecca Jones), widely regarded as a modern classic, makes a world of one farm in Cwm Maesglasgau, whilst her account of the early career of TH Parry Williams, Ffarwél i Freiburg (Farewell to Freiburg), is deeply European in perspective.


In all its variety and curiosity, Ymbapuroli captures an exceptional literary mind in search for meaning, and it’s a joy to join her on the journey. An intellect inspired by the world, not moving away from it, Price is a unifying voice in Welsh and European writing, needed now more than ever.

Reviews

  • “Angharad Price’s lively, literary sensitivity is interwoven with the breadth of her scholarly interests and learning […] this is a volume to treasure.”

    Llion Wigley, O’r Pedwar Gwynt

Angharad Price

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Publication details:

Ymbapuroli
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (2020)

174pp

Translation rights:

Angharad Price