Alun Lewis: Collected Stories brings together all the stories of the war poet, from juvenalia to those written as a soldier in India before his death on active service. Despite the variety of work (and the ages at which it was written) it shows several constants, including a desire to address political issues, Lewis’ redistributive socialism, and his rootedness in the south Wales valleys of the 1920s and 30s. The stories are also in tune with the literature of the period, bearing the various influences of DH Lawrence, Walter Greenwood, Robert Graves and others.
The war stories, for which Lewis is best known, are authentic documents of life in the army from 1940, when Lewis enlisted. Set in Britain during the period of military inactivity in Europe, and in India prior to the Burma offensive, the plots and characters ring true, while also illustrating the effect of service life on Lewis himself.