Thursday, 3 January 2008

Islwyn Ffowc Elis

…de icWales:

Other notable entrants include Islwyn Ffowc Elis, the Welsh-language writer born in Wrexham, who has been credited with making the Welsh language popular again.

He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War which is when he began writing poetry and prose.

His debut novel Cysgod y Cryman – translated into English as Shadow of the Sickle – was published in 1953 and went on to be chosen as the most significant Welsh language book of the 20th century, in 1999.

His biographer Meic Stephens, Emeritus Professor of Welsh Writing in English at the University of Glamorgan, said he had changed the face of Welsh prose.

He said, “He began writing Welsh stories in a way that was attractive, especially to younger readers.

“He also wrote short stories and plays and so on, he was regarded as one of the best writers of Welsh prose in the post-war period.”

Prof Stephens also wrote the biography of the Caerphilly novelist and short story writer Alun Richard.

He said, “As a native of Pontypridd he wrote novels that reflect South Wales in the 1950s and 1960s – he was a very fine writer.”

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