It’s been a big week for Seren authors. The Rice Paper Diaries author, Francesca Rhydderch, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with her story, The Taxidermists Daughter, while Jonathan Edwards has been shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, with his book of poetry My Family and Other Superheroes. To celebrate, both Francesca and Jonathan’s books will be £6 this weekend. Hurry, offer ends at midnight on Sunday 21st.
Edward’s superheroes are a motley crew: Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun and a recalcitrant hippo, all leap from these pages and jostle for position, alongside Valleys mams, dads and bamps, described with great warmth. Other poems focus on the crammed terraces and abandoned high streets where working-class and Welsh nationalist politics is hammered out. This is a post-industrial valleys upbringing re-imagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism.
Spring 1940, newly wed Elsa Jones is finding her way in Hong Kong’s ex-pat society. Lonely and homesick, she finds an ally in her Chinese amah Lin, but their friendship is clouded by Lin’s own longing to be reunited with her sister and the simpler life of her childhood. When Hong Kong falls to the Japanese, Elsa and her husband Tommy are captured and interned in a camp on the southern side of the island. Divided by nations, the prisoners struggle to survive, but in this closed world of desperation a there can be no secrets, and relationships are tested beyond endurance.