Literature Wales announced that the winner of the Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year Award for 2022 is the “masterpiece” Mori (Y Lolfa) by Ffion Dafis.
The announcement was made on BBC Radio Cymru during a special edition of the culture show, Stiwdio. Nia Roberts was joined by Leusa Llewelyn, Joint Interim CEO of Literature Wales, Owain Schiavone, Golwg360, as well as all of the Wales Book of the Year category winners.
Originally from Bangor, Ffion Dafis has become a familiar name within the arts sector in Wales. She is known for playing roles such as Llinos in the television series Amdani, and Rhiannon in Byw Celwydd on S4C. She also played the part of Lady Macbeth in Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s production of Shakespeare’s play at the Caerphilly Castle in 2017. Her new accolade of Welsh-language Book of the Year winner will see her a cash prize of £4,000, as well as a trophy designed and created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones.
Mori is a powerful contemporary story, and is the first novel from actress and presenter Ffion Dafis following the success of her self-written autobiography Syllu ar Walia (Y Lolfa, 2017). Mori follows a girl named Morfudd and her obsession with a girl who has sent her a friend request on social media. Morfudd’s relationship with this girl sends her on a journey of self discovery and acceptance that forces her to face the secrets of her past, leading her to very dark places.
This year marks the fourth year running that a novel has been named the Welsh-language Wales Book of the Year. Mori follows tu ôl i’r awyr by Megan Angharad Hunter, Babel by Ifan Morgan Jones, and Llyfr Glas Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros, and these four books were published by Y Lolfa. Judging the Welsh-language Book Awards this year are broadcaster Mirain Iwerydd, presenter of BBC Radio Cymru 2’s Sunday Breakfast Show; presenter and columnist Melanie Owen; the academic editor and author of the academic journal, Llên Cymru, Siwan Rosser; and the director, poet and writer Gwion Hallam.
On behalf of the panel, broadcaster Mirain Iwerydd said:
“Reading Mori was like creeping into the recesses of the main character’s mind and experiencing all that transpired through her eyes. Writing a character like Mori is no mean feat. She is complicated, and occasionally very dark thoughts cross her mind. The novel takes chances and explores themes and subjects which haven’t been discussed in Welsh-language literature in such a manner before. I believe that Mori’s character alone is a masterpiece, but combine this with the careful weaving of humorous and skilled narrative created by Ffion Dafis – well, that’s how you win Wales Book of the Year! Completely deserved. Congratulations Ffion.”
The winners of the English-language categories will be announced on Friday the 29th of July on The Arts Show, BBC Radio Wales.