It’s that time of year again! With Christmas nearing and 2022 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 long-form fiction from 2022.
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 long-form fiction of 2022, as chosen by the Wales Arts Review contributors.
The Half-life of Snails – Phillipa Holloway (Parthian Books)
A novel which explores sororal relations and motherhood, while dealing with questions of nuclear power and a trip taken to Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone.
The Sandstone City – Elaine Canning (Aderyn Press)
A haunting tale which explores the story of eighty-eight year-old Michael Doherty, who lies in an open coffin, listening to those who have come to pay their respects.
A strange, folkloric novel – the English-language debut of multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and screenwriter Caryl Lewis.
Windstill – Eluned Gramich (Honno Press)
A powerful tale of a woman fighting to escape a toxic relationship, who flees to Hamburg to stay with her grandmother, leading her to uncover a hidden family narrative from post-war Germany.
This is Not Who We Are – Sophie Buchaillard (Seren Books)
The debut novel from Sophie Buchaillard which deals with the Rwandan genocide through the lens of lost pen friends.
Sugar and Slate – Charlotte Williams (Parthian Books)
A reissue of a modern classic, but one so poignant that it more than merits inclusion on this year’s list. Williams’ semi-autobiographical novel moves between three different continents and explores Wales’ own dichotomous status within the British Empire.
Darkness in the City of Light – Tony Curtis (Seren Books)
A multi-form, genre-bending novel set during an era of fear and tyranny in Nazi-occupied Paris.
The Ends – James Smythe (Harper Voyager)
An awe-inspiring journey through a world where death has stopped, in the finale of James Smythe’s acclaimed Anomaly Quartet.
Fannie – Rebecca F. John (Honno Press)
A feminist reimagining of the story of Fantine, the tragic character from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
Release – Lucy Christopher (Text Publishing)
A beautifully written disturbing psychological thriller, which picks up ten years after the kidnapping depicted in Christopher’s Young Adult novel, Stolen.