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The Vagabond's Breakfast

The Vagabond's Breakfast

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“Richard Gwyn’s memoir – his down-and-out vagabondage around the Mediterranean - takes us on a terrifying, funny, and erudite journey through alcoholism, insomnia and liver disease to a redemptive and self-accepting wisdom. One hell of a good read.”
Desmond Barry

In 2006, Richard Gwyn was given a year to live unless a suitable liver donor were found. A novelist and poet, he lost nine years of his life to vagrancy and alcoholism in the Mediterranean, principally Spain and Crete. This memoir is an account of his “lost” years; of addiction and reckless travel; serial hospitalisations; redemption via friendship, love and fatherhood; recovery; living with viral hepatitis, and the life-saving gift of a liver graft.

"Takes us through a Madame Tussauds thronged with addicts, misfits, lovers, all the extreme people who may (or may not) have been part of his past."
Lloyd Jones, New Welsh Review

"... a brave, original and strangely compelling book..."
Morning Star

"Although primarily a memoir The Vagabond's Breakfast reads like a travelogue. By that I don't mean that it's merely a lowlife trek through the sunlit landscapes of southern Europe, but rather a negotiation of the darker and more difficult terrain of illness. It's an inner journey that ends in redemption and hard won self-knowledge, so one that was worth embarking upon - for the reader, certainly."
Babylon Wales

Read Scott Pack's interview with Richard Gwyn here:

Richard Gwyn is a novelist, poet and critic. His publications include the much-acclaimed novels The Colour of a Dog Running Away (Parthian, 2006), published in the UK, USA and in many translations, and Deep Hanging Out (Snowbooks, 2007), along with several poetry titles, the most recent being Sad Giraffe Cafe (Arc, 2010). He is a regular columnist for Poetry Wales and reviews books for The Independent. He is currently Director of the MA in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing at Cardiff University.

On The Colour of a Dog Running Away:
“The best novel of the year” The Bookseller
“Clever stylish and supremely entertaining” Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
“Witty and assured” The New Yorker
“Hugely enjoyable” The Times
“Clever... dark and funny” The Scotsman