A View of Modern Welsh Writing in English
Distributed for University of Wales Press
Imagining Wales is a major new interpretation of literary images of Wales and Welshness in the twentieth century. It is the product of more than thirty years’ engagement with the subject by an English critic who has played a pioneering role in the field, and who brings to it an outsider’s detachment, together with an informed and sympathetic interest.
Jeremy Hooker focuses on a number of modern Welsh writers in English, including Emyr Humphreys, David Jones, John Cowper Powys, Alun Lewis, R. S. Thomas and Gillian Clarke, in order to explore the different ways in which these writers shape visions of Wales in their work and thereby create what R. S. Thomas described as the ‘true Wales of [the] imagination’.
Through careful close readings of the texts under discussion, Jeremy Hooker examines the sense of imaginative possibility that these writers find in the ‘border’ situation between their Welsh and English inheritances and provides a significant analysis of the question of Welsh identity in the twentieth century.
“. . . this attractive, thoughtfully-written collection . . . is wise, thoughtful and beautifully written, anyone interested in the literatures of Wales will be richer for having read it.” –Planet
“This book is a fine one. Its concerns are important and are given unusually full treatment by an independently-minded writer. Hooker offers countless passing insights, and writes gently and lucidly. He brings a generous respect to his writers while not failing to raise awkward questions.” –New Welsh Review
“. . . Jeremy Hooker’s remarkable new book . . . a critic who treats his material with discernment and appreciation, bringing to light writings, in prose and verse, which have been too little explored, relationships which have been too little understood.” –The Tablet