Other books byOwen Sheers
The Gospel of Us
While the town awaits the arrival of the Company Man, a stranger appears in the windswept dunes, singing songs to the sea. This is just the start of three days of unearthly events in Port Talbot that see the Teacher soothe a suicide bomber and the dead rising from the walls of an underpass. In The Gospel of Us, Owen Sheers reimagines his three-day dramatization of the Passion for the National Theatre of Wales.
In the Green Tree
The Letters & Short Stories of Alun Lewis
Through his letters home and six short stories, Alun Lewis paints a vibrant picture of life in India as a British serviceman during World War II. Intimate, vivid, observational, and always filled with emotion, this is a rare literary example of one Welshman’s experience of empire and war.
The Dust Diaries
Seeking the African Legacy of Arthur Cripps
At a family reunion in Wales several years ago, the prize-winning poet Owen Sheers stumbled across the mesmerizing story of his great-great-uncle Arthur Cripps, a mysterious figure who turned from poetry to missionary work in Africa and ultimately became a shamanlike figure, ministering to the locals. Arthur Cripps left his native England in a ship set for southern Rhodesia in 1900. During his time as a missionary in the British colony, Cripps became passionate about indigenous ways, leaving him ostracized from the largely racist, conservative European minority. Railing against colonial injustice, Cripps became a hero to the native population. He chose to exile himself from the Anglican church, factions of which branded him a heretic and burned down his churches. All the while he hid the soul-racking secret of what had driven him from England into the heart of Africa. The Dust Diaries is the haunting record of Sheers's all-consuming attempt to piece together the luminous fragments of Arthur Cripps's remarkable life, and to understand the mystery of why he abandoned England for life in the African veldt - a journey that takes Sheers from the genteel reading rooms of Oxford University's libraries to the parched landscape of contemporary Zimbabwe. Refracting Cripps's life through the prism of his own vivid imagination, Sheers illuminates the devastating effects of power, the potent effects of grace, and the legacy of an extraordinary life.
Drawing from two medieval Welsh manuscripts with roots dating back many centuries earlier, this series of 11 stories sheds light on Celtic mythology and Arthurian romance while providing a new perspective on Great Britain itself. From enchantment and shapeshifting to the age-old dichotomies of conflict versus peacemaking and love versus betrayal, all of these tales are uniquely reinvented, creating fresh, contemporary narratives that portray the real world as much as they depict the past. Based on the fable of Branwen, Daughter of Llyr, this interpretation revives one of the most action-packed stories in the whole myth cycle. Moving this bloodthirsty tale of Welsh and Irish power struggles and family tensions into the 21st century, this retelling retains many of the bizarre and magical happenings of the original. After being wounded in Italy, Matthew O’Connell is seeing out WWII in an obscure government department, spreading rumors and myths to the enemy. When he is assigned the bizarre task of escorting a box containing six raven chicks from a remote hill farm to the Tower of London, he soon finds himself ensnared in an adventure that leaves him powerless.