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This report is taken from PN Review 180, Volume 34 Number 4, March - April 2008.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

The Library of Wales, a project of Welsh Assembly Government, proves that politicians sometimes get things right. The idea grew from an enquiry of the Assembly's culture committee, where it had been carefully planted by a group of writers and academics called as witnesses. It envisaged re-publication of a series of books representing the best of the English-language literature of Wales, for sale to the public, but placed free in schools and libraries. Since 2005 fifteen books have appeared. The series editor is Dai Smith, who now occupies the Raymond Williams Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea. He sees it as 'a key component in creating and disseminating an ongoing sense of modern Welsh culture and history for the future Wales which is now emerging from contemporary society'. The series will embrace a variety of prose genres - essays, journalism, memoirs, drama - as well as fiction, though the latter has so far predominated. You can now buy smart new paperback editions (published by Parthian) of, for instance, Raymond Williams's Border Country, Gwyn Thomas's The Dark Philosophers, Rhys Davies's The Withered Root, and In the Green Tree by Alun Lewis, all of which had been out of print for many years.

Anthologies also are allowed within the scheme. The first two, one concerned with sport, the other with poetry, launched with some ado early in November at the Wales ...


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