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The top 10 books of rural Wales

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From Alan Garner to RS Thomas, Bruce Chatwin to Dylan Thomas, the mythic power of place in these works casts a potent spell

I’ve chosen these books because they go some way towards delivering a more comprehensive picture of rural Wales than is often presented. They are jigsaw pieces in a map.

Wales’s physical landscape changes dramatically region by region. The Beacons differ from Snowdonia differ from the Cambrian Mountains differ from the Preselis. There are isolated hill farms, wealthy border farms, small patchwork farms – all within relatively close distance. But the individuality of each place and the characters who live in them is strong. Landscape, then, is a strong if not main protagonist in the books below. But there’s a thing that seems to seep time and again into those landscapes: myth. Myth that sticks in the treads of boots and gets walked all through these stories …

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