Published in 1946, Y Goeden Eirin was hailed as a masterly collection by one of the most accomplished exponents of the short story in the Welsh language. This new translation - The Plum Tree - makes the writing of John Gwilym Jones available to English-speaking readers for the first time.
Intensely interested in how literature works, Jones produced engaging and accessible stories which bear comparison to Joyce and other modernists.
The author's preoccupations include religious dogma, family life, friendship, and the duality which he saw as the defining characteristic of human behaviour. In a revealing Afterword, Gwyn Thomas pays tribute to his friend Jones's 'inveterate curiosity'.
The Plum Tree is an invaluable introduction to this most literary of Welsh authors, a man whose life and work, says Thomas, 'convinced him that the most elemental thing in our sojourn in this world is the relationship between people'.
John Gwilym Jones (1914 - 1988) was born in Groeslon and studied at the University of Bangor before moving to London, where he developed an intense interest in the theatre. On his return to Wales he taught in Llandudno and Pwllheli before becoming a producer of radio plays at the BBC in Bangor. He subsequently accepted a post as Lecturer in Welsh at his old university, and was later appointed to a Readership, a post from which he retired in 1971. He published many plays, several works of criticism and two novels, as well as the short fiction represented in The Plum Tree.
Translated by Meic Stephens.