The Long Dry
REVIEW by Willard Manus
Coffee House Press continues its admirable support of Welsh writer Cynan Jones. Having published two previous novels of his, THE DIG and EVERYTHING I FOUND ON THE BEACH, the Minneapolis-based independent publisher follows with THE LONG DRY, which was first released in Great Britain eleven years ago.
DRY is a terse, moving novel about a farm family struggling to survive
in modern-day Wales. The narrative follows the familys fortunes
over a 24-hour period in which the seemingly simple things that occur
take on increasing complexity and power. Jones, who based some of his
novel on the taped reminiscences of his late Gaelic-speaking grandfather,
David Llewelyn Williams, has an uncanny knowledge of Welsh rural life:
its joys and sorrows, rituals and superstitions, drawbacks and rewards.
Jones also understands the way nature works: what it takes to cultivate
the earth, raise ducks, sheep and cows, live in harmony with the changing