Welsh Books - Our Best of 2021

Welsh Books – Our Best of 2021

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2021 drawing to a close, we take a look back at some of the best art and cultural offerings to come out of Wales this year. Today, we’re taking a look at our favourite Welsh books from 2021.

We’ve had another excellent year for literature in Wales. Writers from across the country have treated us to their best memoirs, novels and poetry, and choosing the contenders for this year’s top ten has been a daunting task. Nevertheless, we are proud to present a collection of our favourite Welsh books of 2021, as chosen by the Wales Arts Review contributors.

Our number one will be announced later in December.


The Fortune Men by Nadia Mohamed (Viking)


Fatal Solution by Leslie Scase (Seren Books)


Scrabble in the Afternoon by Biddy Wells (Parthian)

Welsh Books 2021
Scrabble in the Afternoon


The Long Field by Pamela Petro (Little Toller Books)


Delicacy: A Memoir about Cake and Death by Katy Wix (Headline Publishing Group)

Welsh Books 2021
Delicacy: A Memoir about Cake and Death


Easy Meat by Rachel Trezise (Parthian)


Angels of Cairo by Gary Raymond (Parthian)

Welsh Books 2021
Angels of Cairo


Heavy Light by Horatio Clare (Chatto & Windus)


Advent by Jane Fraser (Honno Welsh Women’s Press)


Between Worlds: A Queer Boy from the Valleys by Jeffrey Weeks (Parthian)


Previous winners include:

2020: Thinking Again by Jan Morris (Faber & Faber)

2019: Wales: England’s Colony? – Martin Johnes (Parthian)

2018: A Simple Scale – David Llewellyn (Seren Books)

2017: Writing Motherhood: A Creative Anthology – ed. Carolyn Jess-Cooke (Seren Books)




Wales Arts Review works to bring our readers the best critical writing from Wales, and the best critical writing about Wales. It is a place where passionate and informed arts critics, from Wales and beyond, can find expression. Our writers are neither drum-beaters nor axe-grinders but simply knowledgeable and dedicated people who care deeply about culture and society.

Founded in March 2012, Wales Arts Review is a media platform where a new generation of critics and arts lovers can meet to engage in a robust and inclusive discussion about books, theatre, film, music, the visual arts, politics, and the media.

Wales Arts Review commissions and publishes content in the English language, yet it proudly acknowledges that Wales is a bilingual nation with a richly diverse bilingual culture. We therefore do not restrict our focus to arts and literature delivered only in the medium of English. We have published reviews and articles examining works by Welsh language artists and companies; from the work of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to TV hit crime-thriller Y Gwyll. We have also covered the National Eisteddfod and were proud to announce that the winner of our 2014 ‘Greatest Welsh Novel’ prize was Caradog Prichard’s Un Nos Ola Leaud. Wales Arts Review looks forward to working with partner organisations on future projects that critically evaluate and celebrate all the languages of Wales.

We believe that a vibrant arts scene is the expression of a confident, healthy and creative society. We further assert that a flourishing and vigorous critical culture is vital to its sustenance and development. As such, we regard Wales Arts Review as an important building-block in the new outward-looking, forward-thinking Wales.