Y diawl a’m llaw chwith
Cockatrice Modern: Close Ties
Of the Ninth Verse, a novel by A. L. Reynolds, and Pugnacious Little Trolls, a short-story collection by Rob Mimpriss, were published by Cockatrice Books in February 2021. A book launch with readings was held on Zoom, and featured on the North Wales Chronicle.
As part of the celebration, the authors were recorded reading from their work, and signed copies of the books could be purchased from the publisher, with complimentary bookmarks featuring designs by Welsh artists and wool from Trefriw in the Conwy Valley. While signed copies are now out of stock, you can order copies of the books from Amazon below.
Anna Reynolds Reading
Recorded shortly after the book launch: Anna Reynolds reads three passages from her novel, Of the Ninth Verse.
Rob Mimpriss Reading
Recorded a few days after the book launch: Rob Mimpriss reads a short story, ‘The Conquest of Angles A and B by the Superior People of Angle C,’ from his short-story collection, Pugnacious Little Trolls.
Of the Ninth Verse by A. L. Reynolds
Nominated for the Novel London Award
Anwen and her younger brother, Idwal, are inseparable almost from birth. The childhood they share involves harvesting the hay and looking after the newborn lambs in the Conwy valley, though Anwen sees before her the promise of a degree in Edinburgh or Durham and a career as a mathematician, while Idwal seems destined by his strength and skill to take over the running of the family farm. Then, as their feelings for each other grow darker and more complex, Anwen finds herself put to a terrifying choice. With a luminous prose that reflects the richness of the novel’s inner and outer landscapes, Of the Ninth Verse explores both the violent, destructive force of passion and the fragility of the human heart.
‘With its austere beauty and precisely knowledgeable evocations of the land, its people, and its rhythms, written in prose “felt in the blood, and felt along the heart”, Of the Ninth Verse has a profound and rooted authenticity that convinces and enchants – an enthralling novel by a writer at the peak of her powers.’
‘This subtly written novel is both a coming-of-age story, and a love story with a difference. Rooted firmly in rural Wales, it tells a compelling narrative of forbidden yet irresistible love. Reynolds handles the plot and characters beautifully, and the prose is elegant and readable. The female perspective is convincing, as the novel unrolls to its inevitable ending.’
Angela Topping, poet and critic
‘a chronicler of the region’s disappearing heritage.’
North Wales Chronicle
For all its drama and sense of foreboding, Of the Ninth Verse is a strangely comforting read. And it is so much more than a novel about an illicit relationship. ...For me, it is the authenticity of the story that stays with you. Of The Ninth Verse is a love story. And a compassionate and incredibly convincing one at that.
Some Melodious Plot
ISBN: 978-1912368273. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 422pp. Price: £12.99
Pugnacious Little Trolls by Rob Mimpriss
Nominated for the International Rubery Award
In his first three short-story collections, Rob Mimpriss painstakingly mapped the unregarded lives of Welsh small-town and country-dwellers. In Pugnacious Little Trolls, he combines the skill and quiet eloquence of his earlier work with confident experimentation, with stories set among the bird-bodied harpies of Central America, among the dog-headed Cynocephali of Central Asia, among humanity’s remote descendants at the very end of the universe, and in the muddle of slag-heaps and job centres that H. G. Wells’s Country of the Blind has become. In the three stories at the heart of the collection is Tanwen, idealistic and timid, embarking on her adult life in the shadow of global warming and English nationalism.
‘Where is the Welsh short story going? Wherever Rob Mimpriss takes it.’
‘a work of great beauty and subtle force… a fine, distinctive voice.’
‘bathed in white fire in every sense… Borges would happily own them.’
Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.
ISBN: 978-1912368242. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 132pp. Price: £6.99
Elizabeth Bibesco (forthcoming), Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, O. M. Edwards, Caradoc Evans, Vsevolod Garshin, Gildas, J. A. Giles, Geraint Goodwin, James Harries, Sivert and Elizabeth Hjerleide, T. Gwynn Jones, Richard Hughes Williams, T. J. Llewelyn Pritchard, J. E. Lloyd, Morgan Llwyd, Rob Mimpriss (editor), George Moore, Nennius, Daniel Owen, Elias Owen, A. L. Reynolds, Wirt Sikes, Rowland Smith, Claud Vivian, E. L. Voynich, Ellis Wynne, Owen Wynne Jones.
© 2021 Cockatrice Books