Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Celtic Band

Set in Pembrokeshire - whose nightlife appears to be as tame as its landscape is wild - it describes two weeks in the life of Miyuki Woodward, a half-Japanese, half-Welsh lesbian painter and decorator, who is taking her annual holiday in the region.

Miyuki's idea of fun is modest: she goes to the pub, drinks several pints of Brains - a brand of beer, to the uninitiated - and eats disgusting meals of tinned spaghetti and oven chips. Her only companions on her evenings at the Anchor are a trio of local characters known as Tall Mr Hughes, Short Mr Hughes and Mr Puw, and Septic Barry, who services the village's septic tanks. One day, Tall Mr Hughes goes missing. Miyuki decides to look for him. This is as exciting as it gets. Other ripples that disturb the narrative's otherwise placid flow include a weekly pub quiz of striking tedium, a mild flirtation between Miyuki and Septic Barry, and an act of vandalism - or is it conceptual art? - reported in the local press.

"Cross my heart and hope to die", this Welsh slice of life has won the Claire Maclean Prize for Scottish Fiction on the closing night of the Aye Write! Bank of Scotland Book Festival.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro," as the the good doctor used to say.

1 comment:

John said...

I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me.