Thursday, 3 March 2011

New Editor Toasts Rock-Chick Hack Dreams

I'm toasting World Book Day with a bout of PC-hosted blogging through a Mac-induced migraine after an exhilarating first week as editor of New Welsh Review. Celebrations in my hometown Aberystwyth tonight (3 March), include Dylan Thomas Prize-winner Rachel Trezise at the Arts Centre talking about her new novel in paperback, Sixteen Shades of Crazy, and fine Welsh-language novelist Mihangel Morgan's launch at the town's Orendy winebar, of an historical reimagining, Pantglas. Both authors hail from the Welsh Valleys but only Rachel's world view, perhaps, has been typecast, especially in recent reviews, as a little bleak and claustrophobic. It is her dark world, though, that we recognise and love, with all its inappropriate attachments to loser-blagger drug-dealers and young women who should be old enough to give up their rock-chick hack dreams, its crystal-meth-dry deadpan wit, and its blithe attention to the ordinary details of women's lives, such as the meaty-smelling business of getting tampons in and out, and often. Trezise is working on a new US-set novel on how the lives of an ultra-Orthodox youth and a prostitute collide; indeed she is seeking travel funding to enable her to research and replicate how Jewish Orthodox people talk. Any takers?

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