Richard Gwyn’s The Blue Tent

Join Cardiff BookTalk for a free special event on 3 February 2021 at 7pm on Zoom – the first author-led virtual event of our 10th anniversary season.

We’re delighted to welcome the novelist and poet Richard Gwyn, a previous winner of Wales Book of the Year, who will be in conversation with the writer Christie Collins (Cardiff University). Richard will be presenting a short talk on and a reading from his recent novel The Blue Tent (Parthian Books, 2019), a ‘triumph of magical realism’, a mysterious tale of isolation and sleepless nights set in the Black Mountains of south Wales. The event will be followed by an audience Q&A, providing you with the opportunity to submit your own questions to the author.

In a lonely house deep in the Black Mountains of south Wales, a man spends insomniac nights absorbed in the ancient texts left him by his mysterious aunt. When a blue tent appears in the field at the end of his garden, his solitary life is turned inside out.

But who owns the tent?

And when the tent’s occupants emerge, whose story are they telling? As his life unravels, the man begins to question whether he is the orchestrator or the victim of his own experiences. Are the stories that guide or steer his life – any life – real, or merely the echo of other, possible lives?

Richard Gwyn was born in Pontypool on 22 July, 1956 and grew up in Crickhowell, Brecon-shire. After several years of self-abuse and heartache, he left London and spent the 1980s travelling, much of it recorded in his memoir, The Vagabond’s Breakfast, which won a Wales Book of the Year award in 2012. In 2005 he achieved bestseller status with his first novel, The Colour of a Dog Running Away (Parthian, 2005), which has since been translated into eight languages. Richard has since written two other novels, including The Blue Tent, and is the author of four collections of poetry, the most recent of them being Stowaway: A Levantine Adventure (2018). His work as a translator from Spanish includes The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America (2016). Read more:

Praise for The Blue Tent

The Blue Tent continues to … ensnare long after it is set down, its haze of possibilities proving for compulsive re-reading.’ Harper Lauren, Wales Arts Review

‘One of the most satisfying, engrossing, and perfectly realised novels of the year.’ The Western Mail

‘The book is itself a sort of portal, where the novelist-as -alchemist builds us a house in the hills and then fills it … with a convincing magic.’ Nation.Cymru

This event is free, but as it will be delivered via Zoom, booking in advance is essential. Please book your free place via Eventbrite.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be recorded

All recordings of this and past BookTalk events can be found here: BookTalk Recordings

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