Aberystwyth: two languages, a university, a farming community, a port turned marina, a holiday resort, seat of the National Library of Wales and the Welsh Books Council, home to writers and spies. It is a singular place composed of any number of conflicting and complimentary things, with a medieval beginning, Victorian heyday and contemporary reputation as a cultural powerhouse in the guise of a market town.
Aberystwyth is a fluid mix of long-established natives, large student population, and a colony of those who came and never left. Niall Griffiths falls among the latter and the town and its environs have provided rich material for his fiction. Here he mixes autobiography with topography, aligns the oblique approach with historical report, and contrasts the prosaic with the downright odd. The birthplace of the Welsh Language Society, the home of saints, the playground of writers, crucible of alternative living, Aberystwyth and its hinterland are a remarkable phenomenon. This book is an enthralling picture of a world famous town.
An award-winning novelist, Niall Griffiths is a regular reviewer for The Guardian and a commentator on contemporary writing for a number of magazines.
'Real' Series Editor, Peter Finch