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This report is taken from PN Review 208, Volume 39 Number 2, November - December 2012.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
About a year ago I received the first box of books from Literature Wales, the literature promotion agency. Its home is the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and its chief executive, successor to Peter Finch, is Lleucu Sienkyn. I believe Peter was the lone male in the operation until his retirement last year; now the entire staff is female, a reminder, if one were needed, that gender inequality is not an issue in the province of literature. The book box was the first of several that came with the role of judge of Wales Book of the Year 2011. It was a shared task: my fellow judges on the English-language panel were Trezza Azzopardi, the Cardiff-born novelist whose first novel, The Hiding Place (2000), won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and who now teaches creative writing at the University of East Anglia, and Spencer Jordan, who directs the MA in Humanities at Cardiff Metropolitan University. When the invitation came, having previously served several years on the committee deciding the biennial Roland Mathias Prize, I was not enthused at the prospect: I knew what lay ahead. Reading for pleasure is like a stroll in a landscape where every turn brings fresh sights to delight and amaze, or, depending on your choice of book, shock and appal. Judging is like a forced march. But significant changes in the organisation of Wales Book of the Year were persuasive. As with other major literary awards, prizes are now given to the winners of three ...


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