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O Ran

Mererid Hopwood

O Ran

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ISBN: 9781843239826

Publication Date: January 2020

Publisher: Gomer, Llandysul

Format: Paperback, 196x128 mm, 208 pages

Language: Welsh

On the train between Paddington and Cardiff, Angharad Gwyn reads the proofs of a tribute volume to her father, Ifan, a successful musician. Angharad goes on a trip down memory lane, recalling her unusual childhood in Cardiff. A reprint of the novel that won Mererid Hopwood the Literary Medal at the 2008 National Eisteddfod.

Ar y trên rhwng Paddington a Chaerdydd, mae Angharad Gwyn yn darllen trwy broflenni cyfrol deyrnged i'w thad, Ifan, cerddor llwyddiannus. Wrth i ni ddarllen gyda hi, mae'n dechrau hel atgofion am ei phlentyndod anarferol yng Nghaerdydd. Adargraffiad o nofel arobryn y Fedal Ryddiaith yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Caerdydd a'r Cylch 2008.

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O Ran

Angharad Gwyn, daughter of the celebrated Welsh pianist and composer Ifan Gwyn, travels from London by train back to her home-town of Cardiff. As the train pursues its journey westward, she recalls crucial phases in her childhood, her upbringing by her widowed father with help from her maternal grandmother and aunt, who would come to visit from their home in rural south-west Wales.

Slowly her narrative of her past unfolds, interspersed with a third thread: extracts from tributes to her father, by people, some Welsh, some not, who knew him primarily as a musician. Between these threads, a further, unspoken narrative begins to form, casting doubt on the reliability of the others.

As Angharad's own perceptions of her place in the family and her understanding of the reasons for first her mother's and later her aunt's death begin to be undermined, cracks also appear in what she had supposed to be her father's impregnable reputation as a musician and as a man. Only in the very last pages does the full truth emerge and allow Angharad to reappropriate her life.

In her prize-winning first prose work, Mererid Hopwood, one of Wales's leading poets, explores with great subtlety, compassion and psychological perception the complexities that lie below perceived images of individuals and relationships. While tracing the evolution of a young girl's sense of self from early childhood to maturity as a woman, this memorable, beautifully-written novel explores the tensions and contradictions of intertwined personal, public and national identities.

Cyfnewidfa Lên Cymru/Wales Literature Exchange