Rob Mimpriss is the author of Reasoning: Twenty Stories, For His Warriors: Thirty Stories, Prayer at the End: Twenty-Three Stories and Pugnacious Little Trolls; the editor of Dangerous Asylums, an anthology of fiction by Gee Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray and others, commissioned by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project; and a contributor to Land of Change, an anthology of Welsh radical prose forthcoming from Culture Matters, and to Brush With Fate, an anthology of short fiction by Tristan Hughes, Rachel Trezise, Nigel Jarrett and others in Arabic translation by Hala Salah Eldin Hussein. He has reviewed for New Welsh Review, published criticism by Raymond Carver, Richard Ford and Robert Olmstead, and translated prose by Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos and Manon Steffan Ros. His translations of Morgan Llwyd, Owen Wynne Jones and Richard Hughes Williams are also published by Cockatrice. In 2011 he was elected to Membership of the Welsh Academy, in recognition of his contributions to Welsh writing.
Pugnacious Little Trolls by Rob Mimpriss
Nominated for the Wales Book of the Year Award
A White Review Book of the Year for 2023
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.’
‘freely and fiercely inventive short stories… supercharged with ideas’
Jon Gower, Nation Cymru
‘Beyond question Wales’s finest and most subtle short-story writer working today… 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.
Prayer at the End by Rob Mimpriss
Shortlisted for the Rhys Davies Prize
Prayer at the End: Twenty-Three Stories is the third of a series of three collections by Rob Mimpriss. It was preceded by Reasoning and For His Warriors, and will be published in 2015 by Cockatrice Books.
A cigarette quenched in the Menai Strait makes a man vow to live a selfish life. The memory of an unborn twin makes a man regret the selfish life he has lived. An elderly shopkeeper befriends the teenagers outside his shop, and a lonely householder sets out to confront the trespassers on his land.
‘An immaculate collection.’
‘heaving with loss, regret and familial bonds.’
‘In the most seemingly unremarkable of Rob Mimpriss’s pieces there is a skill, and a mystery and elusiveness to that skill, which other short-story writers might envy. This is a masterful collection.’
Quietly written, contemplative… whose powerhouse is the depth of its moral reflection.’
Siân Preece, Rhys Davies Competition 2011
‘Whilst the publication dates of Rob Mimpriss’ three short story collections span a decade — from 2005 to 2015 — the fluency between volumes belies this interval. Reasoning, For His Warriors and Prayer at the End are dark, dense reads. This Welsh writer has a practised confidence, and each of his seventy-three stories collected here is marked by an indelibly bleak angle into society.’
Sophie Baggott, New Welsh Review
For His Warriors by Rob Mimpriss
Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award
For His Warriors: Thirty Stories is the second of a series of three collections by Rob Mimpriss. It was preceded by Reasoning and be followed by Prayer at the End.
A Welsh farmer’s wife during the Second World War kills the land-girl her husband has taken as his lover. A leader of the Cornish-language revival commits her last act of protest the day Russian troops march into Berlin. A lonely man on the waterfront at Llandudno wonders whether he or his girlfriend will be first to die of Aids, and a bored man in a restaurant in Cardiff Bay invents a story of arrest and torture in Czechoslovakia to amuse his petulant lover.
‘These stories are a rare kind of joy. Even when they approach moments of discontent and danger they bring to the reader an optimism founded in human relationships. This is a wonderful collection.’
Prof Graëme Harper, Editor, New Writing
‘Both humour and pity often arise from the characters’ inability to understand themselves and those close to them. In suggesting both the truth and the self-deception Mimpriss not only engages our sympathy but makes us question our assumptions about ourselves.’
Caroline Clark, gwales.com
‘There is nothing ostentatious about his writing: most of his characters lead unremarkable, even humdrum, lives; there are few dramatic plot developments; the writing does not draw attention to itself. And yet the best of these pieces express something important about psychology and human relationships, and the sparseness of the writing is capable of considerable power.’
Brian George, The Short Review
‘In Llandudno today… a woman crossed the road as we passed in the car and this action triggered in me the memory of a moment in a story by Rob Mimpriss when a character crosses the road in Llandudno. This means the story has properly gone to where all good stories need to go in readers – deep into the imagination, to live there. The story is called “Valiant” in the collection For His Warriors. I recommend it. Highly. It feels to me already a classic.’
Fiona Owen, author, Going Gentle and editor, Scintilla
Reasoning by Rob Mimpriss
Reasoning: Twenty Stories is the first of a series of three collections by Rob Mimpriss. It will be followed by For His Warriors and Prayer at the End.
An old man tries to assess his own guilt in the marriage his teenage daughter has destroyed. A young man tries to understand why, in the same family, he should be both hated and loved. A seventeenth-century Puritan preacher and a Cardiff woman facing divorce unite in their call to ‘know your innermost heart,’ while a Romanian dissident under Ceauşescu and a Welsh-language activist find themselves outwardly liberated but inwardly still in chains.
‘Through the stealthy movements of his prose, Rob Mimpriss enacts the quiet enigma of people’s lives and relationships. The result is an understated fiction of compelling intensity.’
Prof. M Wynn Thomas
‘A quiet writer with a loud voice… I’ll be listening for more.’
Michael Nobbs, gwales.com
‘if readers want stories that will provoke a great deal of musing on family dynamics, Mimpriss’ collections can be counted upon. The writer tugs at run-of-the-mill scenes and gleans details that morph from ordinary to expressive before the readers’ eyes. Bleak as they may be, these are honest fragments of the human condition and Mimpriss’ pensive eloquence is to be credited.’
Sophie Baggott, New Welsh Review
‘A powerful mixture of intelligence and percipience.’