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White Ravens

Authors: Owen Sheers

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854115034

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Hay Festival's Fiction of the Month, December 2009

Two stories, two different times, but the thread of an ancient tale runs through the lives of twenty-first century farmer's daughter Rhian and the mysterious Branwen…

After being wounded in Italy, Matthew O'Connell is seeing out WWII in an obscure government department spreading rumours and myths to the enemy. But when he's given the bizarre task of escorting a box containing six raven chicks from a remote hill farm to the Tower of London, he becomes part of a story over which he seems to have no control.

The eleven stories in the Mabinogion come from two medieval Welsh manuscripts, with roots dating back many centuries earlier. They bring us Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and their own view of the Island of Britain. There is enchantment and shapeshifting, conflict, peacemaking, love and betrayal.

In this series commissioned by Seren, the old tales are at the heart of the new. Each author reinvents a story in their own way: creating fresh, contemporary tales that speak to us as much of our own world as of events long gone. Based on 'Branwen, Daughter of Llyr', White Ravens is a haunting novella from an acclaimed writer.

Owen Sheers was born in 1974, spent a portion of his childhood abroad, then returned to live on a farm in Abergavenny when he was nine. Educated at Oxford, with an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA writing programme, he has worked in television in London and Wales. He hit the limelight in 2000 when for The Times of January 1st, 2000, David Bailey photographed the foremost practitioners in the arts and sciences together with their choice of the person they expected to carry the discipline forward: Poet Laureate Andrew Motion selected Owen Sheers as the poet to watch. His first book was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize Best First Collection and ACW Book of the Year 2001. Skirrid Hill, his second collection, won a Somerset Maugham Prize in 2006 and was longlisted for Welsh Book of the Year.
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