Collected Stories of Glyn Jones
Distributed for University of Wales Press
Glyn Jones was one of the brilliant first generation of Welsh writers in English which included Dylan Thomas, Rhys Davies and Idris Davies. A major figure on the Welsh literary scene for almost sixty years, Glyn Jones’s short stories are among his finest achievements; of his first collection, The Blue Bed (1937), Edward Garnett wrote, ‘Glyn Jones is a genius ... his stories have a strange imaginative quality about them unlike anything else’.
This volume is the first to bring together all Glyn Jones’s short stories and includes ‘I was born in the Ystrad Valley’, a long story about an armed rebellion in the south Wales valleys, here republished for the first time since the 1930s. Set mainly either in the scruffy streets of his boyhood Merthyr or in the luxuriant Carmarthenshire countryside, the stories show the rich variety of tone that characterizes Glyn Jones’s fiction. Acutely aware of the pain and suffering in the world around him, Jones is also deeply responsive to the mysterious and sensuous beauty of the natural world and to the resilience and humour of ordinary, fallible human beings. By turn comic, sensuous, grotesque, even unreal, the stories can be deeply moving in their compassion. Set in Wales, they are universal in their humanity.
“In his introduction Tony Brown notes this use of heteroglossic language to convey the dynamic of cultural interaction. He sees Glyn Jones as a writer for whom the language used was as important as what was said, pointing out that we are as aware of the signifier as of the signified. His introduction also provides a useful outline of the author’s life, linking his main publications to events such as his registration as a conscientious objector. He further suggests that we might view the significance of some of the stories in terms of atonement for social guilt and some evidence from the author’s journals is examined alongside close analysis of passages from the stories to reinforce these suggestions. The volume is completed with a set of copious notes giving the publication history of each story, variant readings and a number of points of explanatory detail. This now becomes the standard text of Glyn Jones’s short fiction and future selections will need to take it as definitive.” –Planet